Durban, synonymous with great weather, played the role of perfect host by welcoming triathletes from around the country in the inaugural TriRock-Durban half iron distance triathlon held yesterday. Event organisers complimented all involved and thanked all athletes, volunteers and service providers for their efforts to pull off a major event within the confines of the city. Spectators were thrilled by the performances of the tenacious triathletes who completed the 1,9km swim, 90km cycle and 21km run.
The race was won by visiting Gauteng athlete Michael Davidson in a time of 4:06.18, setting the bar as the inaugural course record. Davidson commented, “Having closed roads to race on in Jo’burg is unheard of, so it was a treat to have full road closure here. The route was beautiful as well.” This gives an indication of the commitment of all involved to produce a world-class event which will attract visitors from around the globe to the city of Durban.
Local athlete Donovan van Gelder produced a stellar performance in front of his home crowd to finish second overall in a time of 4:11.50, reliving some of his former glory days when he won multiple events across South Africa. “I’m thrilled beyond words,” van Gelder said, “To do well in front of my friends and family is a treat.” He was elated after crossing the finish line after “high fiving” his young daughter metres before the line.
The women’s race saw pre-race favourite Riana Roberston withdraw, and her closet rival from Johannesburg Caroline Koll pulling out during the cycle leg. This left the door open for Lynette van der Merwe to take the inaugural win in a time of 4:54.00 and pocket the prize money on offer. Overall race victory went to age-grouper Marinda Engelbrecht in a time of 4:51.11.
Men’s Pro results:
1. Michael Davidson 4:06.18
2. Donvan Van Gelder 4:11.50
3. Freddy Lampret 4:15.45
4. Brad Venter 4:20.39
5. Michael Cannon 4:21.28
Women’s Pro results:
1. Lynette van der Merwe 4:54.00
2. Samantha Ferreira 4:59.06