Jeep Msinsi Multisport Race #2

Arriving at Shongweni Dam with a laden boat trailer (bikes hanging off the sides) an hour before race start, I thought “this time we’re ahead of the curve”.

30 minutes to go till the start of the race: one slit side wall of a bike tyre; a broken chain and a trailer load of boats and bikes yet to be untied and placed in position for race start – organized chaos was the order of the day.

 

Somehow ‘African time’ waved its magic wand and amazingly all the ‘Change a life’ athletes were ready on the start line.

 

At the blast of the gun, they took off with all cylinders firing. I assigned myself to a four-wheeler to transport a cameraman around the course, in order to get the best action footage Valley boys. I was excited to see the improvements of their positions after many of them followed the wrong course at the Albert Falls race, and I was especially looking forward to seeing how my potentially strongest multisport athlete, Eric Zondi would do as he had a disastrous race at the last event.

 

Eric bolted straight into the lead from the start on the run and slowly pulled away from the chasing group, where Nhlanhla and Kwanda were holding their ground. Lucas was toiling a little further back having been sick the past week.

 

Eric was out onto the bike course first, but had to stop to re-tie and tuck-away his shoe laces so they wouldn’t catch in the chain, a rookie error. With the course being sandy and technical and not suiting my boys’ skills just yet, I expected them to drop a few positions. However, with a paddle ahead to finish and their persistent ‘race determination’, I was hoping some would sneak into the top ten positions.

Half-way into the first lap of the two 10km lap bike course, I found Mkhonzeni off his bike, almost in tears holding onto a very swollen ankle. He had taken a tumble during the run and had pushed through this far, but now it was too hard to push past the agony of a severely sprained ankle.

With 2km to go on the bike, Nhlanhla (9th position) broke his chain and had to run/push his bike the rest of the way to the paddle transition. Having forgotten his life-jacket in the car, he had to make a 1km dash to the car fetch it, costing him a certain top ten finish.  

Eric had an awesome race finishing 5th overall. The junior

Kwanda made no mistakes and showed up the rest of the

seniors, who normally beat him in training.

Zonele being the strongest cyclist said he struggled with the soft sand. Checking his tyres afterwards, they were rock hard, which wouldn’t have helped the situation.

Lucas struggled from the start and never found his legs.

Nhlanhla sabotaged his own race with lack of preparation.

Richard raced consistently and was happy with his position.

Tom and Skhumbuzo are not strong enough in all three disciplines and so take the easier team option.

 

Team Change a Life Positions

Eric 5th 1:52:55

Kwanda 9th 1:55:49

Zonele 10th 1:57:28

Lucas 18th 2:04:20

Nhlanhla 19th 2:05:17

Richard 21st 2:05:58

Mkhonzeni  DNF

 

Team Race

Tom and Skhumbuzo 3rd  2:02:23

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