The Ultra Triathlon series is at the forefront of long distance triathlon in South Africa. Following three successful events in 2018, the inaugural MyWayLife Joburg Ultra is set to take place on the 2nd of December. It’s a race with lofty ambitions, hear more on the latest edition of the 32Gi Sports Nutrition podcast.
David Katz: Thanks for joining us once again on 32Gi Sports Nutrition, and we focus on triathlon today on the podcast. A fantastic series, a returning guest and it’s the MiWay Life ultra-series, of course four events throughout the year in South Africa. There’s an incredible one, I love this concept!
I think it is going to do fantastically well, it’s the Joburg Ultra taking place up on the Highveld on the 2nd of December. Damian Bradley joins us again. Damian, it’s your 4th race of the year, how have the rest of the series gone? Of course Sun City, the Cape and one in your own backyard in KZN.
Damian Bradley: Thanks Dave. The series has been fantastic this year, we’ve really tried to step it up, and I think the support has been good as well, especially in the tough economy we’re in. It’s been great. We’ve got some iconic venues around the country and I think this new Joburg Ultra is really going to just put the cream on the top of the series.
Racing in the Cradle of Humankind
It’s quite ironic that there’s never been a long distance event up there when the majority of our triathletes in South Africa are based there. It’s been a good year, but we’re looking to end it off with a bang at the Jo’burg Ultra on the 2nd December.
DK: You talked about iconic venues and this one is going to be hosted around the Cradle of Humankind, which has been known to be a fantastic venue. Not just for cycling, in general, mountain biking, a bit of multisport venue as well. What has the response been, just in general, the logistics around it, was it easy enough to say: This is where we’re going to host it?
DB: Dave, when we looked at our Sun City event in 2015, we battled just to find dams and roads and decent venues and this one slipped through our fingers. We’re happy to have found it now. The roads are the most important and obviously dams as well, so we were very fortunate to find it.
It hasn’t been too hard to initiate and get going. The best thing, we work with communities and local businesses and things like that quite extensively at all our venues. That’s what we’re doing for the Joburg Ultra, really getting the guys and the Cradle on board, getting their buy-in, working with them and we hope that the athletes support the event and come through and have a great race.
What to expect from Joburg Ultra
DK: Talk us through the venue, where is it going to be hosted from? What’s the cycle route and the run route going to look like around that?
DB: The venue is taking place at the Cradle Moon Reserve and Lodge, which is the old Heia Safari venue. They’ve put a massive amount of infrastructure in there in the last two years. The venue is looking absolutely amazing.
They’ve even created a mini beach on the side of the dam now, which is fantastic! The race, obviously the swim will take place in the dam, the athletes will come through into transition, grab their bikes and then they head out onto Beyers Naude.
They’ll be turning left and left again and they basically cycle, the sprint guys just do a 10 out and back, so they will turn around by the Cradle of Humankind, I think there’s a restaurant area there. Then the Ultra guys carry on past the Lion Park and carry on and then they turn towards the Sterkfontein Caves and they turn around at Makiti and then head back.
They don’t come all the way back to the venue; they actually turn around at the intersection by Beyers Naude, which is the N5 intersection. They go around that massive big circle there and then head back out for the second lap.
There’s quite a big hill between that circle and the venue, Cradle Moon and we just thought it would be too tough for the athletes to take on that hill twice. It’s quite a simple bike route. It’s not going to be easy but at the same time, we’re working off a base from the Midlands Ultra which is synonymous with a tough bike route.
I think it will be good and then the run route; the 5km sprint run route goes around dirt roads inside the venue. The Ultra 21km is 10.5 out and back. We’ve got a short session of dirt then they come out onto Satellite Hill and down, they turn right all the way down to Nedbank and turn around there and come back to the finish.
DK: That sounds fantastic, I love the mention there of the turning around in Mikiti, beautiful wedding venue, trust me, I know. Everywhere in the Cradle is fantastic and people who have ridden there will know how great it is. To have this now, to have that space, I think it’s incredible.
The start of something great
We’re looking at 2nd December. I think the timing is great as well and because of that, generally people are still in town, it’s before they go away but they are quieter at work. I presume you’re predicting quite a good turnout?
DB: We are, we’re looking at building this event from next year to the Championship event of the series. Basically what will happen, we’ll get athletes having to qualify for two other events in the series and they then get a space into this championship final event, obviously awarded with points and all the rest of it and trying to build it up.
The response has been fantastic from the crowd in Joburg, it’s been amazing. We’ve got quite a few Durbanites coming up, looking for new races, new venues and things like that. The strategy was to have the last Ultra distance event in South Africa up there and I really hope, well, I’m sure it will go off well from our side. I hope the athletes come through and support it and end off the year with a bang and then carry on and enjoy Christmas.
How to still enter
DK: I think it’s a phenomenal concept, the timing is perfect. If people have not entered yet and they’re still keen, even if they’re not up for the Ultra, if they want to do the sprint, how do they go about that?
DB:Dave, funny you mention that. We’ve actually just extended entries. We’ve had quite a few calls and emails of athletes just not being able to commit just yet and wanting extensions. We have extended it to the 12th of November, so next week Monday the entries close.
We do have space still. Space is limited, we’re taking 1,300 entries only and that’s really to a new venue, we don’t want to over-commit to too many athletes on it and keep the course as clear as possible for the guys to enjoy it and have fun.
DK: It sounds like an absolutely amazing event. We’ll catch up with you at the time or afterwards. 32Gi as a team will be there as well, also as a nutritional supporter. Also the Rapid Recover machines to help you ease through the aches and pains and stiffness that comes after the event.
That’s it; I’ll put up some links to the website if you do still want to catch an entry for the event up here. Thank you very much Damian for joining us. From myself, Mr Active, David Katz, we’ll catch up again soon.