Jabu Mpengesi

Ironman Durban 70.3 race report

So, it’s a week and half after the race itself. And have had time to let it sink in what happened in Durban. Durban has been a good hunting ground for me. This year brought all the memories of 2018 when myself and Thembile raced and came 7 and 8th in our age group to qualify for the 70.3 World Champs.

I still have a lot to improve when it comes to swimming. My swim was very slow, made also by the fact that I started right at the back of the group. This is because I panicked when I got to transition and found my front tyre flat. I thought it was a flat but when I pumped it, it remained hard and realized the valve was left open the day before. Normally, I would start in front of the group and hang on for as long as possible. But that tire had me run to swim start and had to stand at the back to catch my breath. Anyhow, once I hit the water I swam as hard as I could and managed a 38min swim.

Durban bike course is one of the best and fastest courses in 70.3 Ironman racing circuit. Undulating and nice long down hills to make up time. Starting the swim from the back meant that I had to focus on my own ride. Fortunately, I remembered the Coaches instructions from the day before and tried to stick with them. I thoroughly enjoyed the ride, even more when I started passing some of the fast swimmers from my age group.  But one thing I won’t forget pretty soon is when James MacCullum face passed me on a downhill as if I was standing still. That moment I asked myself so many questions like what’s wrong with my bike as I thought I was going fast, how could this guy pass me like that on a downhill. Anyway after I realized James was on a different age group that started some 20 min in front of my group I got better and pushed on again. And managed a 2h34min.

I felt good from the word go and got onto the zone right from the beginning. Knowing that Pitt was out there chasing me (even though we were in different age groups) gave me so much motivation to run hard. As I started to get tired and dropping the pace at the end of first loop at around 10 km, one gentleman who was from Pitt age group came pass me at a similar pace I was running before. That was the moment I stuck on his heels and had a strong run of 1h35min. All in all was very happy with the outcome and proof that when you put in the work, results will come.

Thanks to everyone who made this possible, our Coaches,  family and friends for the support and encouragement. A very big THANK YOU to Isuzu for the financial support.

Author: Tissink_Admin

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