A week ago today, local triathletes and visitors around the country were doing their last minute prepping for the first Ironman 70.3 for 2017.
With pouring rain and intimidating swell on Saturday evening. Buffalo City surprised anticipating athletes on race day with perfect weather conditions to kick off the morning. The Ironman team had a slight surprise due to unpredictable Spring tides, that the swim was made longer than what the swimmers bargained for; 200 meters longer. Pro athlete Kyle Buckingham landed himself a sturdy 7th place out of the swim. Richard Lawrie, amateur athlete, set out to go ‘all guns in’ at the start of the swim and to get a lead on the bike as fast as he could.
This was nothing short of exactly how it went to the driven athlete; opening up the bike on a decent lead of around 1 minute and 20 seconds to the 2nd place amateur. Over the course of the bike, the wind picked up and became a challenge to the athletes facing a return home with a head wind, but this was no challenge to Buckingham, climbing the ranks in the bike, landing himself 4th man overall onto the run. Over the course of the run the weather became extremely hot and humid reaching to around 27 degrees. Buckingham persisted well throughout the run passing through to take the third place podium for his first race of 2017 with a time of 4 hours 14 minutes. Richard staying top of the amateurs coming into transition first on the bike, standing his ground and running his personal best time finishing 5 minutes ahead of the 2nd amateur and 11th overall with a time of 4 hours and 32 minutes.
The day overall was a tough race as the weather conditions were individually a challenge for each discipline from the get go. Richard explained that he could not compare his previous race time to this year’s as the change of the race and conditions were so significantly different from what he had previously experienced. We say, “time to join the pros”. Richard commented and said that we could expect to see him race his first professional division in 2019 for the reason that the Ironman 70.3 World Championships are being held in South Africa in the coming year of 2018 and intends on qualifying and bring his A game to the table for this race.
Brilliant work gents, onwards and upwards for the Endurade team!