As we move on from a sensational last weekend where Daniela Ryf fulfilled a lifelong dream of winning a pro World Championship, we did not mention that at home Nicola Spirig was toiling away in producing a 3 hour 57 minute Half Ironman in Locarno herself .
However, this weekend the results are just as significant. We all have our own Mt Everest to climb, and Matty Trautman of Cape Town South Africa produced a truly inspirational result within our team.
It’s hard to come to somewhere new and to fit in with the other athletes, but even more difficult when you arrive with your yearly race schedule planned out only to be told by Coach: “That’s all irrelevant now. This is what we are going to change and we’re gonna do it now, not when your season is finished!”
So armed with a new swim stroke, bike position and run movement, it is a daunting task indeed to try and do both at a 70.3 and then back it up in Sutto style with one of the hardest Ironmans in Europe (Ironman Wales).
Matty took it all in his stride, didn’t try to half change, just bought into the changes 100% and did what most South Africans do – get on with it no fuss no fanfare. So time-to-performance has truly been very, very intense.
That in itself showed the character needed to pull off his first ever Ionman win by holding off for the best part of 8-hours a very good and extremely determined Fraser Cartmell. Hats off to him also, both boys put on a real war for the Wales patrons.
Meanwhile, down in England Stephen Bayliss was displaying tremendous bravery and grit in dealing with a knee injury that has stopped him running for the last three weeks. He is booked in for a MRI scan this week, but with Stephen “a dodgy knee” is not going to stop him from racing, so he went in with the strategy of “I’ll swim and bike and then see if I can stand up… If so, I’ll give the run a go.” He could stand up, and toughed his way onto podium at Challenge Tri UK. You can see why Bella and Steve are such good partners, both endowed with great courage.
The weekend round-up finishes with Stephen’s good friend, Reinaldo Colluci, who also took out the Brazilian Pan Am Sprint Cup to enhance his standings as he walks the road to the Olympics in Rio in 2016. People may also remember that at the Grand Final of the ITU World Champs it was Rei who rode through the field to pick up Alistair Brownlee and with a gritty Norwegian showed the world that if Brazil puts the race over the current Rio de Janeiro course done at ITU level each year, Rei is a very big dark horse for the big show.
So just wanted to say a public congratulations to the boys and let them know that their efforts mean just as much to the team as what happened last weekend.
Well done lads.