Sedgefield to host top SA athletes this weekend

Some of the youngsters competing in the previous Junior Dash at Swartvlei. (PHOTO: Supplied)

Sedgefield will play host to athletes from all over the country who   will  flock to the Southern Cape this weekend for the Lakes Off Road Festival to be held at Pine Lake Marina. This is the second time that this event, previously known as the Pine Lake Marina Tri Challenge will take place.

The Triathlon, which takes place on the Sunday, is accredited by Triathlon SA and they have indicated that if the weekend’s event is a success, the SA Triathlon Championships will be staged here next year.

This weekend participants as well as spectators can look forward to more events than the previous time.

One of the highlights of the festival will be a night race on Saturday evening. Athletes will run a 10 km race with head lamps on to light the path in the forest. The race is organized by Southern Cross Adventures and according to Hano Otto it is an interesting event that attracts a strong field of athletes.

 On Saturday there will be canoeing, open water swimming, mountain biking and trail running events and on  Sunday there will be off road Swim Triathlon events (Ultra and Sprint Distances) which will be sanctioned by Triathlon SA and WP Triathlon.

For those that don’t like the swimming, there is also a Canoe Challenge instead of a swim Triathlon where you can do a Ultra or Sprint Canoe Challenge which consist of canoeing, mountain biking and a Trail Run.

A number of development teams will also participate. According to the race director Sonja Terblanche-Otto it is very important to create a love for the triathlon amongst the younger participants. Many of them might already be interested in running or cycling or swimming, but they have never participated in a combination of the three disciplines.

The races take place  in and aroundSwartvleiLakewith spectacular views of the mountain. The cyclists and runners will participate on  jeep tracks and single tracks in and amongst the indigenous forest of the Garden Route.

Relay teams may also be entered  for the Sprint Triathlon or the Sprint Canoe Challenge. “The idea is to grow the 2 days into 4 days in the future with lots of   events that people can choose from. Sedgefield and the surroundings offer a lot to the endurance and outdoor athlete and we believe this festival will grow each year with more and more events” Terblanche-Otto said.

A number of different organizations will be working hand in glove to make this Lakes Festival a success. On Saturday a 6 km and 18 km canoe race will be staged by the Wilderness New Balance Multisport Club. SWD Swimming will present a 500 m and 2 km open water swim and 20 km and 50 km mountain bike races will be presented by Cycleworx Sedgefield.

On Sunday the different Triathlon events will take place. This is also when the Development Teams will compete. They will be doing 200 m swim, 5 km cycling and 2 km running. Make sure you are there to encourage these youngsters. Who knows, we might be housing a SA Champion amongst them!

Spectators can also look forward to an Ultra Off Road Triathlon (1 500 m swim, 6 km canoe, 50 km cycling and 8 km run) as well as a Sprint Off Road Triathlon (500 m swim, 3 km canoe, 15 km bike and 4 km run).

 The Relay Sprint Triathlon, where a number of athletes take part in a team, will also be staged on Sunday. The different disciplines are 500 m swim of 4 km canoe, 15 km cycling and 4 km running). The last competition will be the Junior Dash with distances as follow:  50 m swim, 2 km bike and 500 m run.

 Late Entries available on the day, except for the Sprint and Ultra Swim Triathlons where late entries will only be available on Saturday

For more details and online entry form visit www.trisport.co.za or contact Terblanche-Otto on 082 579 7595.

This truly will be an Off Road Festival!

(Denise Lloyd)

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