Marais and Watkinson take the heat to win the MiWay Durban Ultra

Marais and Watkinson take the heat to win the MiWay Durban Ultra.

Racing got underway for the Ultra Triathletes at 7:30am. The writing was on the wall early on when it was called as a non-wetsuit swim with the water tempo hovering around the 26 degree marker. With next to no wind and clear blue skies, athletes were in waiting for a day that will long remembered as one of the hottest days of racing yet to take place.

The swim started off at a frenetic pace with the ocean playing ball and allowing the Triathletes to swim in optimum conditions. First out of the water was the trio consisting of Rudolf Naude, Mark De Swart and Glen Gore. Not far behind them was pre-race favorite Marais who swam himself into the ideal position before the start of the 90km two loop bike.

Gerhard De Bruin was also in the mix early on as he, along with Naude and Marais carved out a lead of about 3 minutes after 45km from the chasing pack that included locals Donovan Geldenhuys, Freddy Lamprett and Brad Venter. Unfortunately for this group, they were handed a 5 minute penalty for drafting which allowed the leading threesome to gain an extra 5 minutes on this hot pursuing group before the start of the run. Marias, the class act in the field over 21km took total control of the race as he headed for an easier victory than he might have expected. Naude was fading fast while De Bruin was hanging tough. Travis Johnson bolted out of the gates and managed to run himself into 2nd place with Geldenhuys taking a well-deserved 3rd place just in front of Lamprett.

On the ladies side, Watkinson and Magda Niewoudt came in as the favorites and it was once again, these 2 who dueled for the win. Both of them were only separate by around 60 seconds after the 1.9km sea swim but it was Watkinson who put the hammer down on the bike to stretch that lead by over 6 minutes by the time the bike was done. In control and without too much pressure, Watkinson race to the victory with Niewoudt putting in a faster run but having to settle for second place. Jade Nicole had a great solid all round performance over the 113km and this gave her a fine 3rd spot on the ladies podium.

Double for the QUENETS

The Western Cap duo of Nicolas Quenet and his sister, Alexander Quenet took the Sprint Titles at the MiWay Ultra Sprint event in Durban Yesterday.

Both extremely good swimmers, they exited the water in 1st place with some hot competition on their tails. The 20km flat bike route was ideal for great times and it was Quenet who laid down the charge on the bike leg. In hot pursuit was local favorite Ben De La Porte who unfortunately took a wrong turn on the bike which allowed Quenet some additional space over his pursuers. His time of a shade over 28 minutes for the 20km was the fastest of the day with a trio consisting of Matthew Greer and the twins Gareth and Darren Marquiss next best in 30 minutes. Quenet had a solid run to finish in 54 minutes while Greer got fastest run on the day to take 2nd place with Gareth Marquiss rounding out the top 3 positions.

In the ladies event Alexander Quenet was first onto the road after the 600m swim and she was being chased hard by local hero Amber Schlebusch with Tegan Gore, Jodie Berry, Ashleigh Irvine-Smith and Giselde Strauss not too far behind. Quenet was in control and took the win but Schlebusch pushed her hard to the line for 2nd spot with Berry coming in 3rd. A fantastic race by all which the youngsters showing some great promise for the future of South African Triathlon.

FULL RESULTS: FinishTime

A fantastic race completed in some brutally hot conditions with competitors already excited to come back next year.

Next up for the MiWay ULTRA Series is the Sun City Event which takes place on the 7th May. Visit www.ultratri.co.za for entries on-line and more information