Race Report: Michael Joubert – The SLC Tri Challenge [The Standfordian Challenge]

Last weekends’ races took me to the scenic mountains of Magoebaskloof where Standford Lake College was the host for the off-road triathlon event.

On Saturday it was raining lightly the whole day and I thought we would have a very wet race on Sunday but the weather played along great and we had a perfect day for racing in Magoebaskloof.

This event consisted om 1 km swim, 24 km mountain bike and 9.5 km trail run.

We started off with the swim, doing two 500m laps and getting out each time and jumping in again. As I got out on the first lap I was in first place with a few guys on my heels. I worked hard to stay in the lead but unfortunately climbed out 2nd after the second lap. I swam one of my best races ever averaging a 1:26 / 100m. I am more than happy with the result and to see how my swimming is improving.

I ran into transition on the leaders heals, I quickly got my stuff together and was out first on the bike, leading slightly.  Tiaan Rossouw caught up with me after a while and we rode together for a while pushing hard. He was definitely stronger on the climbs, opening a gap on each climb and then I would close the gap on the descents again. I finished second, just behind Tiaan on the bike, so obviously I thought to myself I will have to get away on the run if I want to win this event.

I Decided to go on with the run without socks since Tiaan was on my heels in the transition… this wasn’t the smartest move seeing that on the 4th kilometre or so the blister that developed on my left foot became really sore. Tiaan and I went out of transition for the run at the same time, pacing each other until we hit grasslands where I started to pull ahead. I ran just hard enough to get a proper lead and then kept it there trying to manage with the pain of the blister on my foot. At least running around the awesome scenery and single track helped with the pain.

Crossing the finish line in 1st place was great for me since my goal for 2019 was to start to compete in triathlons again after a long break. It was an added bonus to take my second win for the year. The whole event was very well organised and real value for money – I will definitely be there again next year.

Thanks must be given to my coach Nico Sterk from Sterk Span Coaching Academy for getting my swimming from nowhere to somewhere – so that I can actually compete. Thank to my sponsors Keyhealth Medical Schema, First Ascent, Toyota, High5 & ASG – without their support, competing in these events would not be possible.

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