This past weekends CompliMed Midlands ULTRA Triathlon saw one of the most exciting races unfold in the KZN Midlands. Athletes from Gauteng, Cape Town and Durban descended on the small town of Howick for the 5th annual Midlands ULTRA Triathlon. Top contenders Donavan Van Gelder and Gerhard De Bruin had ear-marked this event, as they love racing in the beautiful midlands surrounding. Mike Davidson, Dianne Mc Ewan and Natasha Gorrie, also signed up to make their mark on SA's fastest ½ ironman distance course.
Sunday arrived with perfect racing weather. The water was a warm 22.5deg and the sky overcast with a slight chill. The Sprint and ULTRA Athletes kicked off with their swims at 7am and 7:30am respectively, with Glen Gore dominating the Sprint swim and taking a big lead onto the 22.5km cycle route. In the Ultra race, Cape Town athlete Nick Turner exited the water first in time of 22min, leading a strong pack of riders and runners behind him. On the bike course Glen Gore opened up his lead and held it to t2, where he was 45 seconds ahead of Darren Purtell. But Glen managed a strong 19min 5km run and help off Purtell to take the win. Darren Purtell was second with Mike Cannon claiming 3rd place.
The Ultra bike course consisted of 4 laps of 22.5km each. Donavan Van Gelder quickly took over the lead on the first lap while being chased hard by Gerhard De Bruin who was hungry for a win after finishing runner up twice before. Van Gelder and De Bruin both raced neck and neck for the last lap, each taking over the lead every 1km. De Bruin was into the transition first, 8 seconds ahead of Van Gelder. With 21km of running ahead, this was the closest race in the 5yr history. De Bruin led the Ultra athletes on the first lap of the run, which Van Gelder crept up slowly to take over the lead. However it was Mike Davidson who was flying up from behind and past both Van Gelder and De Bruin on the 2nd run lap. Davidson sped ahead to win the race posting the fastest individual run time of 1hr 21min for the 21km run route. Van Gelder claimed 2nd place, with Grant Edmiston claiming 3rd and De Bruin and Harrington claiming 4th and 5th respectively.
The ladies race was also closely fought, with Dianne McEwan exiting the water as the first lady and getting onto the bike 2min ahead of Natasha Gorrie. However Gorrie's strong biking talents moved her into the lead on the bike and she help it going onto the 21km running route. But McEwan was always chasing hard and managed a strong first run lap, to clinch back some time and take the win from Natasha. Gorrie finished in 2nd with Corrine Berg claiming 3rd place.
The next race in the 2013 CompliMed Midlands ULTRA Triathlon Series takes place on the 1st December back at Midmar Dam.
Go to www.midlandsultra.com for all the race results.
Pic. Sprint Winner - Glen Gore