Six Grahamstonians will represent at the 10th edition of Ironman South Africa takes place this weekend, 4 to 6 April, in Port Elizabeth.
They will be tackling the gruelling Ironman on Sunday 6 April, while many more will be taking part in Friday’s Iron Girl road run, the Corporate Triathlon and Spur Iron Kids on Saturday.
The main event, covering a 3.8km sea swim, 180km cycle and a 42km run, takes place from Hobie Beach on Sunday morning.
Taking part from Grahamstown are Leslie van der Merwe, Johan Conradie, Megan Hobson, Walter Eksteen, Nolan Berriman and Willem Esterhuysen.
After 10 years the event has grown to record numbers and for the first time, selling out.
Another first is the change to the course; the sea swim has become a single loop of 3.8km and the bike leg two loops of 90km each.
Sunday will see 2400 athletes and over 80 000 spectators spread across the Ironman route.
Reaching 2000 athletes has prompted race director, Paul Wolff, to restructure the course in accordance with a number of international IRONMAN races.
Once a race reaches over 1800 athletes on the course, certain changes are necessary to enhance safety and ensure a fair race for athletes.
The major changes are on the swim and bike courses while the run course remains the same, still allowing the athletes to soak up the crowd’s energy along Marine Drive.
Athletes will start at Hobie Beach starting in separate groups, with the professionals at 6.30am, the second group at 6.40am and the third at 7am.
The swim will head out parallel to Shark Rock Pier, turning left after 300m.
The course then goes past Humewood Beach, all the way to Kings Beach, before turning at the Kings Beach Lifesaving club heading back towards Hobie Beach.
The cycle course now encapsulates some of the best elements of Nelson Mandela Bay, taking athletes along the coast, into the heart of the city, past a lake as well as through indigenous coastal bush and a nature reserve.
Article source: http://www.grocotts.co.za/content/10th-ironman-pe-03-04-2014