Weiss & Watkinson Victorious At The IRONMAN 70.3 SA
The 27th of January was a perfect race day for the Standard Bank IRONMAN 70.3 South Africa, for racers and competitors alike. Bradley Weiss and Annah Watkinson won the race in the pro-male and pro-female divisions respectively. The race started at 06:45, after the national anthem was sung. The water temperature was at 19.1°C, and wetsuits optional. The air temperature was 19.6, and reaching a high of 23.4°C during the day, which made for prime conditions on the course.
“Due to rough sea conditions, we had to shorten the swim to 1.1 km. This was done purely for the safety of our athletes. The event as a whole was spectacular. The Buffalo City residents supported our athletes throughout the course which was magnificent to see. This always helps to bring the athletes home over that finish-line after a tough day,” said Keith Bowler, Managing Director of IRONMAN South Africa.
Elliot Smales started off the race with a lead in the swim, followed by Johann Ackermann exiting the water. Evert Scheltinga followed Ackermann out the water by a matter of seconds.
Although having quite a lead in the swim, Smales fell behind in the cycle. Evert Scheltinga passed the 18 km mark with a time of 00:55:06. At this point point, Kenneth Vandendriessche was behind him with a time of 00:55:47. Matt Trautman followed, hot on their heels, being only 3 seconds behind Vandendriessche.
A strong headwind in the morning did not hinder the athletes and at the 72 km mark on the bike section, Bradley Weiss took the lead with a time of 02:05:10, followed by Ryan Schmitz with a time of 02:07:46 and Matt Trautman at 02:07:50. Schmitz and Trautman were close behind one another, with Bradley Weiss having a comfortable lead.
In the run leg of the race at the 10.75 km mark, Bradley Weiss still had a lead with 03:15:33, Matt Trautman close behind with a time of 03:15:33. In the run leg, James Cunnama put on his jet shoes to overtake overtook Schmitz and had a time of 03:17:51.
The order of the male athletes stayed the same the last 10 km’s, and it was a South African affair at the finish line with the champagne ceremony. Bradley Weiss came in first, followed by Matt Trautman and James Cunnama, all professional South African athletes.
Top 3 Professional Men’s Results:
1.) Bradley WEISS, OVERALL: 03:53:50, SWIM 00:15:35, BIKE 02:14:25, RUN 01:19:29
2.) Matt TRAUTMAN OVERALL: 03:54:52, SWIM 00:16:05, BIKE 02:16:48, RUN 01:18:10
3.) James CUNNAMA OVERALL 03:56:25, SWIM 00:16:08, BIKE 02: 17:43, RUN 01:18:18
The first female out the water was Annah Watkinson, followed by Emma Pallant and Jade Roberts, and the order for the pro females remained relatively unchanged for the duration of the race, except for Pallant and Watkinson overtaking one another once or twice.
In the bike leg of the race, at the 18 km mark, Emma Pallant took the lead with a time of 01:08:29, with Annah Watkinson right behind her with a time of 01:08:31, only a split seconds’ difference. Jade Roberts lost a bit of momentum and came in at the 18 km mark with a time of 01:13:52.
On the 72 km bike mark, Annah Watkinson overtook Emma again, but both had a very close time: Watkinson with 02:29:41 and Pallant with a time of 02:29:42. By this point, Jade Roberts was relatively far behind the front two athletes with a time of 02:40:57.
At the halfway point of the run, the positions remained unchanged, with Watkinson still in the lead, followed by Pallant and then Roberts.
The race finished with the pro females in the same order – Watkinson, Pallant and Roberts. South Africa was bragging today with Emma Pallant being the only international professional athlete making a podium finish at the Standard Bank IRONMAN 70.3 South Africa in Buffalo City – all other podium positions went to South African athletes.
Top 3 professional women’s results:
1.) Annah WATKINSON OVERALL 04:21:15, SWIM 00:17:39, BIKE 02:34:16, RUN 01:24:49
2.) Emma PALLANT OVERALL 04:32:12, SWIM 00:18:03, BIKE 02:35:14, RUN 01:26:01
3.) Jade ROBERTS OVERALL 04:44:24, SWIM 00:18:52, BIKE 02:47:03, RUN 01:32:48