The second last weekend of March was the Stilbaai Triathlon and saw us road-tripping up the coast with The French and Team Afrikaans. It was great to share a day of racing with friends again, and despite a tiny field, the race organisers presented a superb, professional event on a well-marked, fun course! I will post photos soon!
We drove up to Stilbaai on the Friday after work, and camped at the Ellensrust Campsite which is on the eastern side of the Goukou River.
On Saturday morning a quick bus trip took us by road up the river and over the bridge to the other side to the starting point. It was overcast but warm, with a good breeze coming up the river from the beach.
The swim was a super-fast dash down the Goukou River: despite the headwind pushing up a fair chop, the outgoing tide helped us down the course. We stuck to the right-hand bank until near the river mouth where we crossed to the opposite bank, running up the beach to T1. I had a great swim, but started losing focus a bit in the last stretch, and need to concentrate on keeping my head down in future. I came out of the water 3rd.
The MTB course followed the tar road out of Stilbaai before heading onto gravel through the Pauline Bohnen Reserve. Almost the entire course was on rocky jeep-track. The return leg saw a good stretch on a slight downhill which I love and managed to crank out some really fast kilometres! A quick dash across the local airstrip, and then back down to T2 through the quiet streets of Stilbaai.
We ran across the beach to where waiting rubber-ducks whisked us across the river mouth to the opposite bank. The course then took us along the beach, through the harbour area, and through some dunes. The paths through the dunes are well established, and surfaced with a layer of bark and leaves, making for very comfortable running. The twisted trunks and low hanging branches of the indigenous trees did necessitate some ducking and weaving! We then ran on the road along the river bank to the road bridge where we crossed the river and headed back down the opposite bank to the finish line.
My splits were roughly: 00:12:13 / 01:35:12 / 00:49:32, and I finished 4th out of 26