I have been asked to once more ponder on paper about two races I rolled in, the Ironman 70.3 Buffalo City and the Discovery Triathlon World Cup Cape Town. Even though I’d like to mutter about how I once more drowned during the swim (yes, I basically did the classic lungbuster swimset on race day), how I got passed on the bike as if I was taking a pee-break, how I got run into the dirt by my upper class peers in both these different format races and the doughnut carnage that unfolded in between, but I’d rather write about something a little bit different than the usual “swim-bike-run race report”. Even though I might make mention to a race stint or so, I understand that this information is null and void (and probably boring) to most readers in any case, but hear me out on the following.

First of all, let’s pack some cards on the table. Here are some of My Training Day (MTD) statistics on Ironman 70.3 EL:

  • Out of the top 20 Overall Men (including pro’s), 8 were MTD age group athletes.
  • Out of the top 10 Amateur Men, 5 were MTD athletes. These included fastest amateur time by JP Burger, 2nd fastest amateur Chris Bruchhausen and 3rd fastest amateur Ryan Schmitz. If you broaden the filter to top 12 then the MTD tally rises to 7.
  • Coaches Clinton Gravett placed 11th and Rudolf Naude 8th in an extremely deep professional field.
  • MTD had 9 male podiums, with a clean sweep in the 25-29 age category.
  • Out of the top 20 Overall Women (including pro’s), 5 were MTD athletes.
  • Out of the top 10 Amateur Women, 4 were MTD athletes.
  • MTD had a total of 4 female podiums.
  • MTD won the Division IV category in the TriClub competition.
  • A total of 111 MTD athletes completed the race.
  • One brain has just exploded

And here are some statistics on Discovery Triathlon World Cup:

  • In the professional elite men’s field MTD had JP Burger placing 16th after a sublime sprint race.
  • In the professional elite women’s field MTD had 16 year old youngster Ashleigh Irvine-Smith fantastically placing 23rd.
  • Overall amateur 1st through 3rd belonged to MTD athletes, with Master Dylan Pivo taking top step. This was also the category 19-29 male podium. Another clean sweep!
  • The top 5 male Age Group athletes were MTD branded.
  • Tanya Marshall was 2nd overall amateur female and 2nd in her age group.
  • Mandy Lowings took 5th overall female to win her age category in the standard Duathlon.
  • MTD had a 5th overall female and 4th in her category in the sprint Duathlon.

The above statistics might not be 100% correct and please do not push me off the bridge if it isn’t. The point is not to be accurate but merely to make an obvious statement. And you might think or say that it’s just some “cool numbers” as a result of “circumstances”. Well let me give colour to the depth of those numbers and explain why those numbers are so much more than just that with a simple example from my Ironman 70.3 East London race… It was probably during my darkest kilometer of the race, number 6 on the run if I’m not mistaken, that I got passed by fellow MTD athlete, Chris Bruchhausen (aka Patrick Lange). I latched onto his feet and quickly found a synchronized rhythm. This paired running didn’t last long, after which I told him (the first time) that this bus has going to have to leave without me. He refused and I stuck. I was stunned. A fellow competitor asking me to stick with him, as if I’ll be the one doing him a favour. Go figure! A few kilometers later we ran through a much needed aid station together, still putting my foot down where he lifted his. I got cut off from the water sachets as we both first went for sponges after which he then had the last grab of water at the end of the station. I was thirsty and dying and had no water for the Great Karoo inside of me. A few strides out of the aid station, Chris turned to someone that was in that moment a competitor to him, in the hottest and tightest of battles, and handed me his water. Even though I wouldn’t have been a threat to his fastest run split of the day or his Age Group win with or without that water, he made a decision to share more than just a race with a competitor…

So listen, My Training Day is currently dominating the scene and doing so with style! And we will do so for a long time to come. Big race podiums are being painted red, black and white and with the current nationwide comradery, training spirit, friendship and level of coaching this is a trend that we will see pull through many more races. If you are a part of this amazing group that call themselves My Training Day, than either you are on the bus, or you are on the bus. Jip, no matter if you are the matric sitting in the back row or the driver at the front, be sure that firstly you are on the bus, secondly not alone, thirdly a valuable part of it, fourthly bound to be dropped but never left and lastly but surely I promise that it will be time in the sun. So hang tight starmen, we are on our way to Mars.