New Midlands Ultra course gets double thumbs up.
CompliMed Midlands Ultra Triathlon 2014 Media Release
No: ultra1410 04 March 2014
Embargo : None
Written by : Nick Tatham
Pietermaritzburg – Top South African multi-sport athlete Stuart Marais claimed the title of 2014 SA Long Course Champion and CompliMed Midlands Ultra Tri-Series champion on Sunday at Midmar Dam while it was a great debut and introduction to a course that has proven so popular amongst the majority of the 2014 two-leg series’ field for Sprint event winner Drikus Coetzee.
Having changed the bike route to incorporate more of the Dargle Road for the Ultra event, as well as taking the route past the iconic Midmar Dam wall, the route was longer as well as more demanding on the riders with a few more hills to test the athletes.
“The course was tough on the whole and the ride was more difficult than I thought,” Coetzee said. “With that said it was still a lot of fun out there and the course was testing which is something that all athletes want from races.”
The early favourable conditions meant that Coetzee capitalised on the flat water swim but mentioned that it was the run that he found to be the most difficult part of the race for him.
“The water was flat and warm which was really nice so I was comfortable during the swim and that put me on the front foot going into the cycle which is my strongest part.
“There were some good hills on the bike leg but I knew that I had to maintain so I could keep my lead on the run.
“The run was the toughest part of the race for me even though I increased my lead a bit I felt that I was battling my way through the run on a course that I thought was going to be slightly flatter,” Coetzee mentioned.
With the next CompliMed Midlands Ultra Triathlon happening at the end of the year at Midmar Dam, Coetzee will be back to defend his title if dates do not clash.
“I am from Namibia and in December we have a big triathlon in Swakopmund, my home town, but the Midlands Ultra is definitely an event that I will come back to if the dates don’t overlap!
“The course has to rate up in the top three courses that I have ever competed on and I would say it is very close to the best course that I have raced on because it isn’t too hard but there are challenging hills on the bike and it really tests your ability,” a satisfied Coetzee said.
Coetzee was not the only person who heaped praise on the organisers and the course. Marais, who has been absent from the venue for a number of years, was also impressed by what the organisers had prepared for the Ultra athletes.
“The new course was really good but pretty deadly!” Marais said. “The climbs were tricky on the new section that has been added to the course but I really enjoyed the day out there!”
Having extended the course meant that the organisers extended the bike route along the Dargle Road which meant a few more climbs on route. The laps were fewer but longer which meant a long climb to the turn at the one corner of the course.
With some blustery conditions arising later in the day, the conditions became more difficult for the later finishers but the weather for the top athletes was still and made for some fast times on the bike and the run.
Even with the windy conditions in the afternoon the athletes seemed to enjoy testing themselves of the tough bike route that had been laid out for them and even just getting through the race was an achievement in itself.
The CompliMed Midlands Ultra Expo and Registration happens on Saturday 1 March and the racing takes place on Sunday 2 March and for all the information on the event go to www.midlandsultra.com.