Race report SA Marathon Champs - Stellenbosch
The 5th South African Marathon Championships took place this past weekend in a very cold and rainy Stellenbosch. Paul and myself went down early for a training camp and by the time we raced were accustomed to the mud and rain. The 64km route was short for a marathon, but having over 1500metres of climbing and the course conditions very muddy and fairly technical it was a tough course. The ladies field although fairly small was strong and competitive and I was looking forward to a good battle for the SA title.
Standing on the start I was really looking forward to the race ahead, this was my first race on my new, extremely lightweight (thanks to my team mate for building me the most tricked out MTB on the planet!!) TREK 9.9 custom painted by Trek USA for the Olympic Games.
After a rolling start through Stellenbosch behind the lead vehicle the racing stared as we reached the first climb, I went out hard and managed to get a gap on the rest of the ladies field. Not wanting to take any risks with the Olympics so close by I took the descents cautiously working hard on the climbs to extend my lead. I crossed the line in first place having had a great race on my new racing machine and very happy to retain my title. Hanlie Booyens finished 2nd, Tania who unfortunately suffered some mechanicals early in the race finishing 3rd.
My team mate Paul who is currently in excellent form had a stormer of a race taking the sub-vet SA Champ title 4min ahead of his closest rival
Next the Olympics, I'll keep you updated....
1 Yolande Speedy (IMC Reaction) 03hr13min10sec
2 Hanlie Booyens (Jeep) 03:25:21
3 Tania Raats (Fox) 03:30:50
1 Paul Cordes 02:47:25
2 Nico Pfitzenmaier 02:51:33
3 Jock Green 02:52:18
The IMC Team travelled down to Stellenbosch last week to prepare for the 5th round of the Mazda marathon series which dubbled as the S.A. Champs. We went down early that week for a training camp to help to prepair for the event as well as for Yolande to prepair for Beijing. We were met with a week of rain but this didn’t put us off our training and luckily for all the athletes the weather was perfect on race day however the ground was still very waterlogged. All the usuals were on the startline and it wasn’t long after the gun went that the pace heated up properly with the orange markers leading us up the first of many climbs of what was to be apart of just over 1500m of climbing for the day. I found myself with a small chase group consisting of JP Pearton (USN) and Rourke Crouse (Red/Mongoose) once again trying to catch the illusive Francios Theron (USN) which again never happened (he went on to finish 6th). We pushed hard hoping that the quick pace early on would take its toll on some of the riders but our efforts were invain. The organisers gave us a good undulating course, which included some very well groomed single track and some fantastic open gravel glimbs. I was pleased with my race, no mistakes, good pace the whole distance and finished up 13th (I was hoping for a top 10) but finished as the 1st sub-vet giving me the S.A. title to go with my XC title and of course my teammates elite womans win making this a fantastic year for the Team and a great send off for Yolande before the Olympic games.