It has been quite a coup for Cape Town to secure a World Triathlon race. This is one of only 8 races like it in the whole world and the first one on the African continent.
The closest that I have ever come to one of these races was in Kitzbuhel, Austria in 2012 when a bunch of us drove a long way from Germany, where we were based with a triathlon club. We couldn’t afford accommodation in Euros in the swanky ski resort town and so we pitched our tent in someone’s backyard. It was quite an adventure.
The men’s and women’s races were an absolutely amazing display of athletic prowess. But I had eyes for only one athlete. Javier “Baby Face” Gomez. My knees go weak.
Moving on to Cape Town 2014.
The World Triathlon Series consists of 8 races in the 2014 season, culminating with the Grand Final in Edmonton in September. The world’s top triathletes compete head-to-head for ranking points that determine the overall ITU world champion, with media and fans able to watch from everywhere with a live international broadcast feed available from every event.
This race is so unlike anything I have ever done before. Firstly, the venue is going to be quite magnificent. The swim takes place in Quay 6 at the Waterfront, in front of the Table Bay Hotel. It consists of 2 laps of 750m and athletes will have to exit the water between laps. At the start the 65 athletes will dive off a blue-carpeted pontoon and fight for position going around the first buoy. It promises to be quite a chaotic bun fight.
The first transition area (T1) will be right in front of the hotel. The athletes will then cycle toward the Cape Town stadium where they will complete 8 x 4.8km technical laps with lots of circles and 180 degree turns which they will have to navigate. Should any athlete fall off the pace and be lapped, they will be taken off the course.
The second transition is different from the first and here athletes will exchange bikes for running shoes and hit the pavement for 4 x 2.5km loops. You can expect the front running men to run high 29/ low 30min 10kms, while the women should run 34/35min.
The entire race is designed to be spectator friendly and should be quite a spectacle as the Waterfront is closed down for the day while the races take place.
The elite women are off at 15h00 on Saturday 26 April, while the men will have their turn at the same time on the Sunday.
Make a plan to be there to watch the top 130 triathletes in the world battle it out for glory. I know which hot Spaniard I’ll be shouting for. And our South African men too, of course 😉