Entries Re-opened for CompliMed Midlands ULTRA Triathlon

Due to the cancellation of the JHB Tri-Series on the 3rd of March B-Active Sports have re-opened the “Pre-Entries” at pre-entry prices for

competitors wanting to still enter the Midlands ULTRA Triathlon this weekend. ENTRIES CLOSE AT 5pm WED (27th)

(NO T-Shirts or Goodie bags available unfortunately)


B-Active Sports Marketing and Event Management.

info / Tel: 031-7641885 Fax 0865 122 182


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Midlands ULTRA Triathlon entries closing !


For more information on the event go to www.midlandsultra.com

B-Active Sports Marketing and Event Management.

info / Tel: 031-7641885 Fax 0865 122 182


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Ultra runners vs. Ironmen

From Caron:

Hi, I am not too sure who of you receives the modern athlete emails but I thought that the latest chirps were quite funny. I especially love the ironman’s opening line!!

In a nutshell,ultra runners and Ironmen triathletes have a different outlook on things…

Ironman: “Is ultra running just for fat people who can’t run very fast but have a very
high tolerance for boredom?”

Ultra Runner: “Perhaps you are right about the boredom; I am still listening to you. I run ultra marathons because they are incredibly hard and rewarding”

Ironman: “An Ironman is much harder than an ultra marathon.”

Ultra Runner: “How do you work that one out? The finish rate for an Ironman is close to 100%. Many ultra marathons have finish rates of less than 50%.”

Ironman: “An Ironman is harder because it is more difficult to make it to the start line. You need years of training in 3 different sports just to make it to the start, unlike you ultra marathon runners….”

Terry’s 70.3 Story

About sums it Doug. This is my recollection


Register – oh dear -got an orange hospital band on my arm. Thank goodness just means I have a ticket for the w/end.

Test swim -oh dear feels like I am swimming up & down mine shafts…rather chilly too. Not sure if the shark pings are on the bouys so stayed very close to Iano….

Briefing – Oh dear -the BOOK of rules- what a load of hogwash – need a phD to comprehend all this stuff & better still have a photographic memory otherwise you are stuffed & will be in the penalty box – frequently.


Oh dear – sore throat – no second test swim.

Test cycle – oh dear – wobblier than normal -glass everywhere – seemed to carry my bike more that I rode it to start off -bike not right – Ro to the rescue – off to the mechanics to sort.

Pack bags , pack bags ..pack bags – stick numbers on everything ….oh dear what have I forgotten – Ro to the rescue again- re-arrange reorganise….repack …

Rack bike & hand in bags – oh dear – cold & wet – the organisers don’t seem to care we are standing in the rain & freezing. Walk thru transition – it is just a sea of bags – my bright orange & blue ribbons seemed to pale into nothing ….


Oh dear – 3hrs sleep -that was all I was obviously going to get. It was Ok at 1.30 am I could eat a banana – take corenza C & spray throat – would be all sorted for 7.35.

Last check of the wet soggy bags – load the bike with bottles …spend an hour getting into the wetsuit.

Warm up – what are u kidding ???….. more like Cool down to freezing point – was in an out like a shot.

The start -wave 4 (ladies) oh dear – one competitor was already swimming back having not reached the 1st bouy…… too late can’t back out now.

The swim – Oh dear .I am not climbing any mountains in the snow -this was enough – hands rigid and won’t close so swam with them open??? Tried to rinse wetsuit in the sprays – just a bit of a squeeze with 10 others doing the same..

Transition – no movement in the hands or feet… Could have had a MnB coffee in that time- wish I had!

Bike – Oh dear ….. why wasn’t I warming up ….Not being a “proper” cyclist (Doug distinguishes us between proper cyclist & those that aren’t) and yet here I was cycling in gale force winds & pelting rain … had to giggle or I would have cried.

Run. Yes -home turf ,familiarity , easy ….-oh dear – so I thought. My experience did not pull thru , expended more energy than I thought & I was depleted of carbs ….grimmaced,waved & smiled at everyone else that seemed to be cruising and enjoying themselves ??

The finish – a mild elation – yes I have finally finished ….not coming back.

But wait this race can’t get the better of me ….as B says – don’t leave those ghosts in the cupboard …see you on the road …


East London 70.3 Race Report – A Virgin’s Story

Well, the race is done…wetsuit’s nearly dry, shoes are starting to eye me from the corner where I tossed them last night and the sunburn is really hurting!

Sunday saw a number of Bombers, most of them first timers, attempt and conquer the East London Ironman 70.3. For me, it all started a while ago when Matthew, my 7 year old, told me that his friend’s Dad was an Ironman, and “all” I could pull of was Comrades. You’d be amazed, but the way he said “comrades” it sounded just like “run round the block”. “Anyway, Dad, Comrades is only as hard as a half Ironman…” he continued, watching me with those innocent blue eyes as my self esteem slithered to the floor.

The seed was sown and was soon nurtured by Wynne and Terry’s tales of this thing called “cross training” (which I thought involved sprinting across a busy intersection) and Iano and Ro talking about “brick sessions” (which I assumed had something to do with a run so hard you cr@pped bricks)…my, my what little I knew!

Soon I convinced my unsuspecting better half to let me do “the half”. “It will be fun”, I said, “some swims and rides…much easier than a track sessions! And, not only will I stay injury free this year, I’ll get stronger, too!” To be fair, I really had no clue what I was talking about so technically can’t be accused of lying. Soon the credit card was recruited as first I had to get “the basics” (bike, shoes, tri shorts), then “the essentials” (wetsuit, tri bars, skimpy top 3 sizes too small) and then “the unavoidables” (physio, bio and bike transport). And that was all before I shelled out more than a few bob for the entry fee, flight to East London and some humble accommodation!

During the training (or rather, practicing, in my case) period I learned that cycling is bloody hard work and for me involved a disappointingly low number of cappuccino’s at the M&B as I desperately raced up Cedar Rd hill to ensure that the session didn’t consume the whole of my family’s weekend, and that swimming is actually not boring, just reserved for the “strong of mind”. I learned what an open water swim was all about – in Mexico with the fish and in the Vaal Dam with a big black snake – and that tri bars look very, very cool and actually work once you know how. I slowly picked up some of the lingo – 53 cogs (still not sure) and 70.3 (what you call the half Ironman so you can talk about it without admitting it’s only 50% of the REAL Ironman). I learned how to put on and take off a wetsuit (hint: use a packet) and how reach behind me on the bike to those cool looking bottle holders; “they go in the dead spot, man” said the guy at the tri shop. (I think he assumed I would be going fast enough for there to be a wind shadow behind my butt. Fool!)

Then came the race.

There are many arguments about whether Comrades or Ironman is harder, and what kind of personal commitment is required to get each of them done, blah, blah and so on. But what I can tell you for sure is that there is nothing as stressful or exhausting as the day before an Ironman event. For me, it went like this: wake up, trip on bikes being handed in, unwrapped, by the pretty blonde who you are pretty sure is going to kill you in the race tomorrow, catch flight, find your hotel, find your bike, rebuild your bike, check the tyres, register for race, check bike again on 15km ride, check tyres (twice), weave madly to avoid all glass on the road, check bike, check tyres, walk to beach for swim, crap bricks wondering how you will get to those bouys just over the horizon, pack swim bag, pack ride bag, pack and unpack and repack run bag, apply stickers to bike, bags and supporter, repack all three bags, stand in line to check bike in, return to hotel to fetch timing chip, reenter bike-check line, provide DNA sample to enter bike transition, find your unique ride and run bag hanger among 2 thousand others, attend briefing, crap yourself again, eat lunch then dinner (at once). Then you get to sleep, if you can. Compare to Comrades: arrive, register, eat, sleep, throw a few gels on top of your shoes, pin on your number, sleep. Easy peasy!

The morning dawned bright, calm and clear. In Cape Town. In East London it was dark, windy and foreboding, but at least the sea looked calm from the 6th floor of the hotel. Down to the transition for a last look at the bike (check tyres), put on wetsuit and enter the water for a “warm up”. This part was quite funny since the water was 16 degrees and my body a cosy 27 in the wetsuit, so the warm up didn’t go as planned in the warming sense, but at least I got wet and confirmed that I hadn’t lost my ability to float overnight. Don’t joke, that was a serious consideration!

Then something strange happened. All of a sudden the once distant buoys didn’t seem so far. The steely gaze in Terry’s eyes, and Iano’s firm handshake confirmed what we all knew: we could do this. And I started to look forward to it, starting with the swim. I stood at the front of the holding pen on the beach and, turning to the mob behind me, warned them not to think about swimming over me if they knew what was good for them. They just smiled. I even gave some advice to a nervous looking bloke standing beside me…me, the virgin, was dispensing advice in the manner of a grizzled veteran, and it felt right!

As so the race began, and I swam and didn’t panic or drown, then changed out of my suit and found in my transition bag everything I needed and in the transition tent a friendly smile from the bloke wrestling off his Orca wetsuit and also one from the friendly orca helping him. And I found my bike first time and didn’t forget to put on my helmet.

The ride was tough, but I expected that. Going out into the wind was a challenge; the low point came at the high point as I struggled up the offramp before crossing the bridge over the highway. The sign said “It’s ok to vomit a little”. Very funny! Not. Coming back into town was fun and fast and soon enough it was over.

In the run transition tent I was visited by an angel who said to me “sit back, breathe and change your shoes. I will do the rest.” If I saw her today I am ashamed to say that I wouldn’t recognize her, but she was amazing. Not only did she open the bag for me, help me find what I needed, pack away all my clobber (sopping wet from the rain and sweat) but she also put up with my pathetic blubbering about how grateful I was to her for doing this thankless task!

I am going to log only 11.1km for the run because I ran the first 10 on someone else’s legs. For those runners who scoff at our run times I invite you to try running after a 90km cycle. Not so funny anymore, hey? The run consisted of 2 loops with a turn point at each end, and volunteers dispensing wrist bands at the end of the far turn point. I briefly considered holding down a young lady who had one before I did so I could steal hers, but I knew that I could never catch her and that even if I did she would probably leave me crying in a heap with a black eye! So I lugged my frame around the course for a while, trying to catch Iano who shouted encouraging things like “looking strong, mate” and “wow, you’re really running well” as he sped off in the opposite direction, when all I wanted to hear was “Here’s my first wristband, Doug, you’ve earned it! And don’t stress, I’m going as fast as I can to pick up the second for you so you can proceed directly to the finish line. Sit yourself down under that tree over there and I’ll be along in a mo.”

And they’re cruel, those wristband guys, really cruel. The guys with the second wristband, the blue one, stand closer to you than the blokes with the first lap bands, so you have to run past the one you really want before having to run a full 10km before you see the beloved blue band boys! Sadists!

Okay, so now I had my two prized wristbands, one white and one blue, and off I trotted towards the finish. I had visions of cranking it up a bit to enjoy a couple of sub 4 15 kays – after all, I am a runner and it was time to show these lycra clad, carbon worshipping triathletes a thing or two about running – but no, it was not to be. So instead I smiled and I waved to the crowd at the bottom of Bunkers Hill but she only waved to her husband.

At that point I remembered my conviction on the beach: I could do this, I was strong enough to do the (half, 70 point…whatever) Ironman, and by gum I was going to show them some elation at the end! I used all the training techniques I knew to prepare for the big event – first I set a goal (some moderate fist clenching building to an above the shoulders V for Virgin as I crossed the line), visualized the action and the feeling of perfect execution and then did a few warmups (you can never be too careful, it would be a shame to pull a lat after 18km of the run) and then let go with a full rehearsal fist pump, “whoohoo” and a perfect arms up celebration…I was amped for the finish line! And the spectators averted their eyes in shame, thinking I had lost my mind. Pity I still had 2 miserable kays to run into the teeth of the westerly that had been tormenting me all day!

Then it happened: the path narrowed and the vuvu’s blasted, the kids put their hands up for a high (for them, very high for me) five and the announcer called my name. I lifted my gaze and stared down the finishing line, concentrating single mindedly on only one thought: how f#cking mad you would have to be to do the full Ironman! So focused was I on this that I nearly forgot my finishing celebration, and so I had to clench and pump the fists and raise the arms all in one jerky, uncoordinated instant. I think the announcer thought I had a cramp attack!

It seems that I am going to have to go back next year to get it right. I have some unfinished business with that finishing straight.

Ironman 70.3 Results

Well done to everyone that braved the conditions in the Spec Savers Ironman 70.3 in East London on sunday 23rd Jan.

I met up with Terry on Friday to go for a swim in the sea and it proved a wake up call for both of us. The Easterly wind was pumping through at just below Gale Force pushing up the swell and bringing in the cold water. Had it continued, it would have likely caused the swim to be cancelled and replaced with a run. Fortunately on Saturday the wind changed to a South Westerly, bringing with it the rain, but at least warming the water up to a “warm” 17 degrees. Most of us had fun on Saturday trying to register and book our bike in, standing in a long line for well over an hour.

Come to Sunday and Race day and the Westerly had flattened the sea, (but not warmed it up) and at the start, the rain had moved away. The cold water got to a number of atheletes (some 60 odd), who had to withdraw due to hyperthermia. Fortunately our Bombers were stronger than that and apart from Genelle who came of the bike and has 3 stitches to show for it (don’t worry, she’s fine), everyone was fine.

On the bike and up the hill (all 45 kms of it) we toilled riding into the wind and with a driving rain at our faces (on my side, nothing was dry!). It did mean that coming home was a pleasure – riding downhill with a strong tail wind, but in the rain and doing 75 km per hour, I must say I was a bit nervous.

On to the run, with wobbly legs to start off, we were off around the pier and then headed on a gradual down hill running along the seaside and off to Bunkers Hill (which was a breeze, cause we like hills) and then back again. It was a double lapper run, out and back, so it was easy to see other competitors and cheer them on (and for me to see how long I could preserve that 5 min lead I took off bike over Doug – he put in a valliant chase and I was sure he was going to catch me at the finish line – nothing like being chased to spur you on).

It was a bit deceiving because the time on the road was different for most atheletes. Because of the huge number of entries, they started groups in different waves at 10 min intervals, starting at 07h00 (Pros), 7h15 (Men 20-39), 7h25 (Men 40-70+), 7h35 (Ladies) and 7h45 (Teams).

As to results, Wynne and Terry (rumour has it that Terry managed to rinse out MJ’s wetsuit after doing the swim too), finished an astounding 6th place in their age groups and Tennille out running MJ’s daughter Ali to finish 7th and 9th respectively in their age group. Lauren had a phenominal run pipping everyone  running to a 1:40. Doug had the fastest swim time and a pretty decent bike time, making me chase him to catch him, just before the turn around. Genelle did really well to get up after her fall on the bike, complete it and then do a half marathon – and all of that within her goal time!

For all of us, it was great having the support at the race. Roan showed great character coming down to second after putting his shoulder out just 2 weeks before the race. Andrew,  Craig and Tennille’s mom were great shouting on the sidelines. Thank you.

So here are the results: the question is when will we see more Bombers doing more than running…..




Westaway, Wynne 40-44 00:38:01 03:14:29 01:57:03 05:58:45



Swait, Terry 45-49 00:38:14 03:37:49 01:54:05 06:20:27



Robertson, Tennille 25-29 00:35:49 03:15:32 01:45:46 05:46:59



Miller, Alison



03:13:07 01:48:36 05:48:42 13:23:42


Kennedy, Lauren 35-39 00:38:23 03:47:09 01:40:49 06:18:02



Hendry, Ian 40-44 00:35:39 02:53:36 01:48:38 05:24:58



Van der riet, Genelle 40-44 00:40:12 03:46:23 02:07:59 06:50:39



Jones, Doug 35-39 00:35:21 03:07:31 01:47:03 05:37:53 12:52:53

Year end, Birthdays and Race results

It’s almost the year end, so to everyone, have a great holiday. If you are travelling, drive safely, keep up the training and have a fantastic New Year. For the triathetes, this period is the most critical from a training point of view as you should be peaking right about Christmas time (a good incentive to keep off the extra pounds 🙂 ). Try and find a few like minded individuals to train with – add a note to the I am running page telling us where you’ll be.

Before we wind up for the year, how about us all getting together for a last run?? It would be really great to see some of the old faces ( Brian, Tony, Andrew, Denton ….etc) as well as the regulars for a run tomorrow morning (Tuesday 14th) – 05h00 at BMC.

There are quite a few birthdays this month, so rather than standing a chance of missing them, here is list for December, starting with Lauren K, whose birthday it is today – have a great day, Lauren (& keep up the triathlon training!!).

 Monday 13  Lauren Kennedy
 Thursday 16  Terry Swait
 Sunday 19  Andrew Howes
 Sunday 19  Tony Arriah
 Wednesday 22  Robyn Jones
 Thursday 30  Jeff Harrisberg
 Friday 31  Jenni Kruse

Guys, have a fantastic day!!

Last weekend (4th & 5th December), there were some excellent race performances, worth noting:

Congratulations to Lauren C, who ran the PE marathon in a blistering time of 3:11. This was a 2 min PB (Doug, you are safe – just!), and Lauren was the 3rd lady home! This is a fantastic achievement, considering how windy and tough the conditions were on the day.

Down in Durban (while Lauren was away in PE), our budding triathletes were down in Durban at the Compendium Winter Series Olympic Distance getting some race experience, including a sea swim.  Yet again the results were excellent:

Race No Name Sex Age Cat Swim Cycle Run Total Time Final Pos Age Pos
178       Wynne Westaway F 40+ 00:30:20   02:03:11 02:33:32 14 3
176        Terry Swait F 40+ 00:27:52 01:26:00 00:43:31 02:37:25 20 4
177       Genelle Van der Riet F 40+ 00:29:53 01:16:44 00:52:53 02:39:30 23 6

 Well done ladies!! (Noticely absent from the reults is one of our Durban resident Bomber, aka Gary Roscoe….)

Have a fantastic day and see you all tomorrow for the run!! (if anyone is in contact with Emma Borrill, get her there too!!)