Great PB for Luvuyo Bangazi at Durban 70.3

Success at 2nd IM Durban 70.3

June 20, 2017


Luvuyo Bangazi

 The build up t Durban 70.3 could not have been more interesting. After having had an amazing Ironman African Champs in April with a finish time of 11hr20min, I was already looking forward to taking a break and focusing on the next Iron distance event, Challenge Regensburg in Aug, or so I thought. It didn’t take much to convince me that I needed a preparation race to fine tune the engine for Germany, a race we a re dedicating to raising funds for Smile Foundation SA. So I registered in the end.

With all the base fitness in place the program evolved to more high intensity and speed work. As I was getting into a rhythm then life happens. First sickness (colds and flu) started interrupting the plan. Then kids school activities that I wouldn’t miss for anything seemed to be on every weekend. From camping on school grounds to hockey matches, I was there. Be that as it may, never losing focus, catching up where possible, even including taking a day off just to squeeze in that long ride.

Then the last week came, at gym for a normal strength and stretching work out, BOOM I pulled my hip flexer, on taper week! Panic set in, frantic visit to medic for Transact straps, anti-inflammatory etc. I wont go into detail about the tongue lashing from Nats and Ray because this strength and stretch session was never in my program! Oops! So I’m off the whole wheel, no action until departure day when I decided to visit the Gym and feel out the hip on a spinning bike and treadmill.

Guess who I bump into, coach Ray and Nats! Skip to the end..

Nothing worrying but still a little niggle in the background. I took my chances and got onto the flight that afternoon for Durban, hoping and praying that nothing flares up.

After all the admin or registration, I met up with the gents and we headed out to Race Briefing with legendary Gordon Graham. It is here that a very useful piece of information was gathered specifically on regarding the bike route. Gordi showed us a second little bike loop which wasn’t very clear on screen but the impression was made.  Mental note made! This would proved to be crucial when the time came to make a call when a confusing marshal was screaming something at me, going at 34kph I decided to follow my instinct, thanks Godi.

 Swim practice done. Thanks Ray and Nat for the support always.

 My training mates, Peter and Jabu – I’m still chasing.

 Bikes ready.

 Thanks to Action Cycles PE for getting me sorted out for race day.

Race day came – what a beaut..

The day started very early, breakfast at 4am, pickup the boys at 4h30am and a long walk to shuttle stop. Finally got on to a bus around 5h15…panic again as T1 would close at 06h30am but fortunately when we got there, they had extended to 07h20am to allow of athletes waiting for shuttles.

Found the shiv ready racked at #33, tyres checked, nutrition checked and all set to rock and roll. Already feeling good but nervous at the same time by not knowing how the hip would hold.


Swim was flat and fast as expected. Unfortunately I seem to have followed feet that went astray at the beginning, collecting 170m more that necessary but when I figured out I was going to uMhlanga, changed course and made my way back. 4 min lost! In the end a personal best swim of 38:25 (35min had I swam straight)..


I’ll keep my mouth shut on this one as I have a few concerns about the length to my rack position and most especially the first 3km of the bike..9min at T1 and 7 min to cover the first 3kms on the bike!

Out we go..


The route is said to be flat but ask anyone out there, clearly not especially with the last climb to Zimbali. IT is an undulating course that allows you to hammer the bike but also steadily grind up the hills. Always concerned about the hip flexer especially on the uphills, in fact I chose to spin it up and less grind. Lots of crashes unfortunately due to some bad patches. At 80km mark was a turning point, literally and figuratively. This is where we were supposed to go for a second smaller loop.

I remembered Gordi’s voice clearly at this point. I wast sure if this was it but instinct told me to follow the peeps in front of me when the marshal wasn’t making sense. Unfortunately lots of peeps went the other way. A little R20 sign would have made a whole lot of difference instead of depending on a human. Athletes invest a lot on races like this, yes it is our responsibility BUT please just put up a sign, it makes a huge difference.  In the end 2hr44 and 20 seconds more that my last outing here. 20 seconds! I can live with that.

The Run

IF you know me, you’ll know that this is my forte. I love running. I felt great from the start, I guess with the hip having behaved for 3hrs+ I figured I could push a bit. The plan was to go for a negative split, easy first half at 5min per kilometer and then push a sub 5min on the second loop. Boom! done it. Very happy with a 1hr44min / 4min57sec/km..

 So right now as you can tell I’ super excited, excited at the results. Clearly shows that hard work does pay off. Who would have imagined I’d do a 5hr20 70.3 after my first 70.3 of 7hr23min!

Thanks to my family, my wife, my training friends and brothers, my coaches and Team Tissink squad for helping me achieve yet another PB.

I have to thank my longest serving partner Nutritech / Endurade for backing me since day one. Thanks to Amobia and Action Cycles for standing behind me always. Also a big thank you to Blu Smooth for the Mark2 Wetsuit, Newton for the discount, 2XU SA for my chip ankle strap and the support and motivation from King Louise.

Thank you to all my Facebook family who keep me going with so much motivation and encouragement. Enkosi.

Next stop – Challenge Regensburg Germany.


Author: Tissink_Admin

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