Finally a win on home soil!

January 31, 2014

After many year sof trying and always finding a way to fail, I finally won a race on home soil! But it was not easy!


Coming into the race I felt good, but it is January and following a good break after Kona to let the body heal and recover from a hard 2013, I was certainly not in peak condition. But I was confident I had done enough for a solid performance, even if it would hurt more than it probably should. My predictions were right on both counts - I had done enough to win, and it hurt far more than it should!


The swim was uneventful - I couldn't quite stay with the fast-swimmign front guys, but a comfortable pace had me in the main pack. OUt fo the water and up the steep run to T1 I knew I was in for some suffering as my legs felt like lead, but it was early and I had plenty of bike riding for them to loosen up. 


The first 20-30kms of the bike were tough - I had to work hard to get the legs going and entertained some thoughts that maybe they just wouldn't, but sure enough I warmed up and felt stronger as we approached the turn-around point at half-way. By then I had caught most of the leaders, except Romain Guillame and Faris Al-Sultan, who were about 2mins up the road. The group of 6-7 guys I was with seemed content to let them go, but I knew that on this course, 2mins at half-way turns into 7mins on the way the way back very quickly, so I moved tot he front and worked hard to limit my losses. Either no-one else cared about lost time on the leader or they didn't have the legs to help, but I dragged the group all the way back to T2 without anyone taking a turn. So be it. I considered it, but sitting up to let someone else take a turn would have cost us all time, and maybe the race. So I kept telling myself - 'If it's hurting you, it's killing them.' 


It was hurting me though, and I got off in T2 feeling well worked, with still a hard 21km to run. And plenty of guys breathing down my neck, including Will Clarke, a great runner. We were immediatley gaining time on Guillame, who had 4mins lead, and Al-Sultan 2mins ahead. By 8kms in I was running with Clarke and Al-Sultan and still chasing Guillame. I got a small lead on Clarke and could see Guillame coming back to me, but I was working hard and my hamstrings were threathening to cramp at any second. I caught Guillame at the final turn-around, but Clarke was right there (it always seems so close at the turns!) and a fast-running Stuart Marias right behind him. I tried to open up my legs down Bunkers Hill, and at the same time prevent my hammies cramping. Thankfully they behaved and I was into the final mile with the SA crowds behind me. There were a few nervous glances behind but I made to the line eventually - my first SA title! A long time coming. Will Clarke was only 23 seconds behind in the end. Too close for comfort, but hey, 22 seconds more than necessary... ;) 


I hung around the finish line to welcome in Jodie - what a feeling! Both of us winning the same event, and her her 4th title in a row here! We have actually won the same race before, but that was Alpe D'Huez 2010, before we were even dating! 

Now let's see if we can do it a few more times this year!



Please reload

Featured Posts

70.3 South Africa - starting the year off on the wrong foot.

January 19, 2015

Please reload

Recent Posts

May 9, 2018

October 16, 2017

August 1, 2017

June 6, 2017

March 1, 2017

November 27, 2014

October 16, 2014

Please reload

Search By Tags
Please reload

Follow Us
  • Facebook Classic
  • Twitter Classic
  • Google Classic

© James Cunnama