Coetzee smashes FNB Desert Triathlon record
Drikus Coetzee and Jean Paul Burger did not disappoint, as they delivered in the FNB Desert Triathlon held last weekend.
It is likely that Namibia has not seen faster tri-athletes than these two, both of these youngsters breaking the record set by Gerhard de Bruin of South Africa in 2012. The FNB Ultra distance involves a swim of 1.9km, cycle of 90km and a run of 21.1. km. Drikus finished the FNB Tri in a time of 04:07, 10 minutes faster than Gerhard De Bruin’s record of 04:17 with Jean Paul 8 minutes behind but still 2 minutes faster than the record, coming in on 4hour 15 minutes.
Surfer and local Swakopmunder Phillip Seidler again showed all and sundry that nobody knows this ocean better than he does. He was first out of the water, a good 2 and a half minutes faster than Drikus Coetzee. Seidler set a record time for the swim section of the race. Seidler was part of mixed team Forever Young, this brilliant start ensuring that Forever Young ended winning the Mixed Team category in the Ultra.
After the swim JP was 2 minutes behind Drikus. It looked as if JP was slowly catching Drikus during the first loop on the bike, narrowing the gap a few seconds. After the race Drikus said, “This is the first time I did this race so I was not sure yet about my pacing, in the first lap I kept a steady strong pace, in the second lap I still felt good so I really pushed and increased my pace significantly”.
In the end Drikus finished the 90km cycle loop in 2 hours 18 minutes, increasing his lead on JP by another 7 minutes. The only thing that would now alter the outcome was a total collapse by Drikus which was not to be. Even though JP gave it all to run a 1 hr 21:58, 36 second faster than Drikus, it was not enough. Drikus is currently number 240 in the triathlon world rankings, he has to work hard to get to the top 140 in the world so that he can join the Olympics.
In third place was Swakopmunder Tyrone Kotze in a solid time of 4hr 48. The Elite ladies section was won by Adele de la Rey in 5hr 34 followed by Nicola Meintjies.
In the older categories most of the prizes were swooped by the Zimbabweans and South Africans. The Female Vet race was by won Michele Hogg, in second place Anri Parker and third Elna Fouche. The Male Vet was won by David Gardner, second place Marius Garbers and third Brad Harris.