All roads are leading to Nelson Mandela Bay, with just more than a month before the 16th edition of the Ironman African Championships takes over Summerstrand.
Nearly 1,800 professional and age group athletes will take on the daylong challenge, comprising a 3.8km swim, 180km bike ride and 42.2km marathon, and they are preparing hard for the ultimate test in strength, endurance and mental toughness.
Speaking at the official launch of the event at the Boardwalk Hotel and Conference Centre in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday, Ironman SA MD Keith Bowler said it was the residents of the metro who made the event — taking place on March 29 — so special for the athletes and organisers.
“I think we are going to have a phenomenal event this year with the calibre of athletes who are coming down to race in the Bay,” he said.
“Nelson Mandela Bay has become synonymous with Ironman.
“This is the home of Ironman in Africa and it is befitting to have a city that holds such an icon’s name [which] lends itself to this type of sport.”
With a powerful field of international and SA professional athletes in both the men’s and women’s fields, spectators can expect some Herculean battles as the elite competitors compete for top honours.
Asked about the return to the old bike course for this year’s race, Bowler said the old route would allow for more of the city to be accessible for ...........