TRIATHLON: Eleven Sun City - Africa's Toughest Triathlon

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DO IT NOW Magazine, Multisport. Why have the organisers of ELEVEN Sun City tagged this race as Africa's Toughest Triathlon? Simple, it's a tough course! The swim takes place in the crystal clear water of the Water World Complex, but as soon as the athletes transition to their bikes, the course starts to exert its grip, as athletes have to run 500 metres uphill to reach the mount line.

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<ul><li><p>www.doitnow.co.za 1</p><p>inACTION: Words: Alexandra Holt | Photos: DO IT NOW Media</p><p>ELEVEN SuN City triathLoNFrom a FirSt-timEr'S PErSPECtiVE</p></li><li><p>2 DO IT NOW DIGITAL | November 2012_#10</p></li><li><p>www.doitnow.co.za 3</p><p>With thE omiNouS WEathEr From thE Saturday EVENiNg haViNg diSaPPEarEd aNd LESS StiFLiNg hEat thaN LaSt yEar'S EVENt, thE WEathEr CoNditioNS WErE PErFECt For my FriENd aNd mE to ComPEtE iN our FirSt ELEVEN SuN City triathLoN, oN SuNday 11 NoVEmbEr 2012. </p><p>The event consisted of a Sprint Race (Junior 16-19 and Kids), Olympic Distance Race, and Olympic Relay Team Race. Promoted as 'Africas toughest triathlon' the nerves were running high for the 1.5 km swim, 40 km cycle and 10 km run, but so too was the excitement of competing in a triathlon together with a good friend!</p><p>I am sure it was a very early start for some athletes who had travelled from far to get to Sun City for the 7 a.m. start, but we had decided to spend the weekend a little closer, in the Pilanesberg. So by 5 a.m. we were ready to go, with our supportive husbands eager to cheer us on. </p><p>When we arrived, I was amazed at the amount of people already there racking their bikes and it was tremendous to hear that for many it was their first triathlon. It was also exciting for me to see how the sport of triathlon has grown since my first triathlon, 18 years ago, and how many people are joining the sport every year. Having recently returned to the sport after a long period of not competing in any races, I felt really motivated for this race. </p><p>With the water at 22 degrees, wetsuits were not permitted - a relief not have to get it on and off! The Elite athletes got the 2012 11 Global underway, and were followed by the men and thereafter the ladies. This wasn't an ideal situation for me because the swim is my strongest discipline. By the first buoy I had already caught the slowest swimmers and so for most of the swim I was navigating my way through a sea of legs and bodies, and luckily (I guess) only got hit over the head once as I looked up to see where I was going.</p></li><li><p>4 DO IT NOW DIGITAL | November 2012_#10</p></li><li><p>www.doitnow.co.za 5</p></li><li><p>6 DO IT NOW DIGITAL | November 2012_#10</p></li><li><p>www.doitnow.co.za 7</p><p>Feeling good after the 1.5 km swim, the T1 (first transition) went smoothly, but then there was the long climb to the top of the hill, to where the mount line was. This was a challenge in cycling shoes and made me realise that I really should learn to put my shoes on when cycling and not in the transition. Out on the bike I felt good and although it was getting warmer, the weather conditions were still in our favour. Being a strong swimmer, I have to work hard on my cycling and running, and joining a training group has definitely helped. At the 20 km mark we climbed to the turnaround point, which was, I believe, at the top of the steepest hill in Sun City. Perhaps this gruelling climb is what it takes to make one appreciate one of the many beautiful bikes that cost more than my car! After a further 20 km, athletes cycled the same hill for the second time with grim determination and the top was a welcome relief as we dismounted and ran back down to the transition. </p><p>I quickly got my running shoes and hat on before heading out onto the lush Gary Player Country Club golf course, where most of the 10 km run took place. In the first section we were greeted by a steep climb towards the Palace, and many (including myself) had to walk parts of this challenging hill for a bit of relief. Then it was back onto the golf course for the next 7 km. By this time the sun was beating down mercilessly and there was much relief to be found at the water points, especially as they supplied us with some much-needed 32Gi. As some say, nutrition is the fourth discipline in triathlon, and this is an unchartered aspect of triathlon to me. I got some good advice from 32Gi's representative, Derek Reyneke, before the race, and I believe this helped me tremendously on what is usually my weakest discipline - the run! I felt good and managed to keep a good pace throughout. </p><p>Nearing the end of the run, the sound of music from the finish motivated me to pick up the pace, and I finished in sub three hours, a time I was very pleased with. My friend crossed the finish line shortly after, having completed her first-ever Olympic distance triathlon - I was very proud! And well done to all the athletes that competed in Africas toughest triathlon. </p><p>WE SPENt thE rESt oF thiS FaNtaStiC day at thE VaLLEy oF WaVES ENjoyiNg a WELL dESErVEd brEak bEForE hEadiNg baCk to gautENg. aLL iN aLL it WaS a grEat day, a WELL orgaNiSEd EVENt, aNd a VEry ENjoyabLE WEEkENd! </p></li><li><p>8 DO IT NOW DIGITAL | November 2012_#10</p></li><li><p>www.doitnow.co.za 9</p></li><li><p>10 DO IT NOW DIGITAL | November 2012_#10</p><p>Buy ONeIssueONLINeNOW</p></li><li><p>www.doitnow.co.za 11</p><p>My advice to anyone who has never done a triathlon and is looking for a new challenge - grab your costume, bike, and running shoes, and give it a go - you wont regret it! Just remember nutrition, psychological preparation, and getting the correct gear that works for you is also part of the fun.</p><p>ComPLEtiNg thiS triathLoN mEaNS our traiNiNg iS oN traCk to ComPLEtE thE haLF iroNmaN 70.3 iN jaNuary 2013 - a goaL that WE SEt togEthEr a FEW moNthS baCk. PErhaPS WE may EVEN CoNSidEr thE FuLL iroNmaN oNE day. </p><p>2013 raCES:ELEVEN Dubai, UAE - 18 January ELEVEN Cape Town, South Africa -17 FebruaryELEVEN Lake Oconee, USA: 11-12 May ELEVEN Niagara Falls, Canada - TBDELEVEN Sun City, South Africa - TBD </p><p>Related articles: Ironman (Digital article, June/July '12) De Hel Van Kasterlee (Issue 19, p. 82) Eleven Sun City - Africa's Toughest </p><p>Triathlon (Issue 15, p. 60)</p><p>11global represents our company's exciting long-term mission to provide an annual international Olympic-distance triathlon series that will culminate in age-group and relay team champions. Our triathlon series name is: ELEVEN and we strive to recalibrate the Olympic-distance experience and have carefully designed and planned triathlons. Locations with superb landscape and environmental conditions have been selected to deliver the ultimate triathlon experience. Check out our triathlon videos at: ElevenTV.</p><p>Source: www.11global.com/aboutus.htm</p><p>idinFO box</p></li><li><p>12 DO IT NOW DIGITAL | November 2012_#10</p></li><li><p>www.doitnow.co.za 13</p></li><li><p>14 DO IT NOW DIGITAL | November 2012_#10</p><p>C</p><p>M</p><p>Y</p><p>CM</p><p>MY</p><p>CY</p><p>CMY</p><p>K</p><p>32Gi_SportAd_DoItNow_A4.pdf 1 2012/11/06 2:42 PM</p></li></ul>

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