Written by Hendrik van der Hoven
On the 1st of June 2018 at about 12h30 I got off the airplane of my Kulula flight at the King Shaka airport. Travelling from a cold Gauteng and being greeted by Durban with summer weather was very welcoming. After I got rid of my sweater I was suddenly in a great mood for the Durban 70.3 Ironman race weekend. I have completed two 70.3 Ironman events in the past, both in East London and one full Ironman distance in Port Elizabeth during 2015, so after such a long and lazy break, I was greatly exited to line up on Durban’s beach on the 3rd of June 2018.
After booking into our hotel, we had a quick lunch and a beer to celebrate the start of the Ironman weekend. Luckily our hotel was very close to the Casino, where registration and the race briefing would take place. About an hour before race briefing we started heading that way. On our arrival at registration it was awesome experiencing the vibe and excitement of all the athletes registering and getting ready for race day. The atmosphere was just great.
After registering, it was time for a few highlights of the day - being my fellow Trivium club members arriving to attend race briefing. I joined Trivium five months ago and Coach Magda Nieuwoudt and all the members of the Trivium family could not have made me feel more welcome from day one. In no time I was literally invited into their homes eating “potjiekos”, enjoying home cooked dinners, enjoying 2nd and 3rd rounds of cappuccinos after bike training on Saturdays, sitting together around camp fires during training camps in the bush, facing the swimming pool at Affies together, enduring the athletics track at LC de Villiers sports grounds, enjoying muffins and cupcakes brought to training and even being privileged enough to celebrate the birth of the youngest Trivium member and his parents’ first born, Liam. I was therefore very excited to experience the weekend with these guys who became great friends!
We attended race briefing, I was much too excited to be able to concentrate so I had to find out all the important stuff from friends afterwards. Coach Magda scheduled a warm up swim together with a warm up run for the next morning. At 10h00 on Saturday morning we met each other on the beach and as always there were no shortages of smiles, jokes, excitement and support. The ocean was calm, the water nice and warm and accept for a little wind the weather was great. We felt ready and very excited for the next day.
The night before race day I went to bed early, after reading through Coach Magda’s race email, which she prepared for all of us personally the week before, and reading a couple of inspiring messages from fellow Trivium members, I had a feeling that the next day was going to be great, I was confident and ready!
Before long, it was the next morning and I was standing on the beach with only twenty seconds before my turn of the rolling start to run into the ocean to start my Ironman event. It was my first rolling start and it worked very well. Due to a lesser number of athletes starting the swim around me I managed to settle into a rhythm almost as soon as I started swimming. The ocean was calm and the water nice and warm. After swimming around the third buoy I felt like I still had plenty of gas in the tank and I started working much harder. I was aiming to swim just under 40 minutes and was very happy and surprised to be able to complete the swim leg in 37 minutes.
The bike leg is always the most difficult part of the race for me, but due to the fact that I heard that the road surface on the route would be really smooth and much easier than the route in East London, I was looking forward to see what I can do. During the first lap I felt good and I saw that the climbs were very manageable. When I finished the first lap I decided to try and cycle much harder during the second one. Unfortunately, the wind was picking up and during the last 20 kilometres we had to deal with an uncomfortable head wind. I was planning to cycle the 90 kilometres as close to 3 hours and 15 minutes as I could and again I was pleasantly surprised to finish the cycle in 3 hour 5 minutes.
When I started with my favourite part of the event, the run, I felt so good I had to force myself to slow down. I believe the reason why I felt so good was due to the nutrition I used. The PVM nutrition that Coach Magda introduced me to, and the nutrition training I got worked perfectly. It felt as if I had never-ending energy throughout the race. Further, I almost felt like I found my running legs within the first 1000 meters, the proper brick training we had done was therefore having impressive results. The two-lap run on Durban’s promenade was awesome, I enjoyed the supporters immensely and seeing all my fellow Trivium members and hearing them shouting words of motivation made it hard for me not to start running too fast and paying the price at a later stage. Although my legs were completely done and felt like lead weights during the last two kilometres, I truly felt great until my feet reached the red carpet. I ran my second fastest half marathon in a time of 1 hour 43 minutes, finishing in a total time of 5 hours 34 minutes improving my previous best time with over an hour.
Thank you Magda, for all your effort and enthusiasm towards my training, your knowledge, advice and motivation is unparalleled and appreciated so much. This was by far my best endurance race to date, but only until the next one!! My fellow Trivium members, thank you for becoming great friends and making training for this event so enjoyable. I already had to enter for the 70.3 in East London next year. To my fellow Trivium members who took part in the 2018 Ironman70.3 Durban, congratulations! You all had great results, it has been a great privilege being part of your team!!!
I can’t wait for the future adventures with Trivium!!! Go Trivium!!!
This blog is written by the coach and athletes associated with Trivium.