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Annual Off Road Triathlon

Overall winner (and veteran age category winner) Hans du Toit

Overall winner (and veteran age category winner) Hans du Toit

The annual Stauch and Partner Off Road Triathlon took place on Sunday, 30 March, under excellent weather conditions. Although the water was warm, swimmers were mostly kitted in professional triathlete wetsuits, which was not the case when the race was first inaugurated in 2007.
The swim route extended up to the Oanob Dam wall, where the depth of the dam is a scary 40 metres deep. After that, it was off on mountain bikes, followed by a run.
Asked to comment, Andy Chase from Stauch and Partners Architects, also a seasoned triathlete, said that “Moving the Off Road Triathlon from Friedenau to Oanob was an excellent decision by OTB. The 200 or so athletes were very excited about this event, and as a sponsor we are very happy that this sport has grown so strongly. We think it would be great if more people followed OTB’s example and set up similar off road triathlon events. The sport of off road triathlon is one of the fastest growing in the world.”

The first event to kick off was the Enduro. Top Namibian swimmer Gabriel Liebenberg was first out of the water. She completed the 1.2km-swim in a time of 15:56. Macquelin Winkler was second, with favourite Jean-Paul Burger a hair’s breadth behind.
Jean-Paul, a top Namibian triathlete who is training to qualify for the Junior Olympic Games, put his experience to use and was out of transition in seconds. He soon took a comfortable lead on the bike and set a very fast time for the route. A fast downhill section with a sharp turn to the right around 6km into the race was, however, the undoing of Jean Paul. He tore down the gravel road and missed the sharp left turn.
As this error placed him so far behind the leaders, he decided to quit, which opened the race for the chasing pack of Hans Du Toit, Stefan Böhlke, Tyrone Kotze and Andrew Rowles.
After the cycle leg, first into transition was Hans Du Toit, followed closely by Tyrone Kotze, Stefan Böhlke and Andrew “Danger” Rowles. They were trailed by a big group of seasoned cyclists, including Genevieve Weber.
During the run, Hans Du Toit managed to open the gap on Tyrone Kotze while ‘Danger’ Rowles gave it all to overtake Stefan Böhlke to ensure a podium position.
Overall winner (and veteran age category winner) Hans du Toit finished in a time of 1:50:01. Second overall (and winner of the elite age category) was Tyrone Kotze in 1:54:39, and third overall (and second in the elite age category) was Andrew Rowles in 1:56:08. Third place in the elite age category was awarded to Anton Swart.
Stefan Böhlke took second in the veteran age category in 1:58:19, and in third place was Patrick de Goede in 2:04:40.
Genevie Weber showed her mettle as one of Southern Africa’s best veteran female triathletes by sticking right in there with the boys’ pack.  She won the female event comfortably in a time of 2:03:18, more than 10 minutes in front of next contender Elke Jagau, winner of the 40-plus age category, who completed the course in 2:17:07. Charmaine Shannon took overall third place and was second in the elite age category in a time of 2:25:07. Elfrieda Kirsten was third in the elite age category in 2:36:18.
Willie Mac van Zyl was second overall and winner of the elite age category in 1:01:16. Second in the elite age category was Martin Sheya in 1:02:19 and third De Wet Joubert in 1:05:46.
First female in the Sprint was Aletti Lowe in a time of 1:24:40.  She was also winner of the 40-plus age category. In second place in the 40-plus age category was Lydia Theron in 1:29:41 and Karen Bockmann third in 1:30:26.
Odette van der Merwe was first in the female elite age category in 1:24:53. Second was Elzanne van Wyk in 1:35:58 and third Veronica Hinze in 1:36:20.

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