Race2Stanford Triathlon – 24 April 2021
R2S is a challenging triathlon from the whale watching waters of Hermanus, through the Hemel & Aarde valley wine route, culminating in the historic & picturesque Stanford village.
Conditions on the day were perfect as swimmers lined up in the Hermanus harbour 24 April 2021 with one of the strongest fields in triathlon for over a year since Covid struck.
As the warm sun rose over the breathlessly calm glassy ocean in Walker Bay, 200+ brave athletes swam out into the turquoise new harbour. A 1900m swim course, laid out by the NSRI station 17 crew.
The oil painting looking golden pink sky and water were only separated by the pod of splashing wetsuits on the 2 lap course, surrounded by water safety craft.
The sound of African music & exciting commentary then Deputy Mayoress Elnora Gillion’s pre race blessing boomed over the microphone.
From 24 minutes to 1 hour, swimmers emerged from the crystal clear water and into Transition 1 for the bike leg to Stanford. As the swimmers trickled in through the arch & across the slipway it was heard from those who could speak, babbling about starfish everywhere!
The bike leg at Race2Stanford is arguably the most challenging half iron course on earth.
Riders knew it would be a test of patience and control and most athletes managed to do that successfully in near perfect cool, windless conditions.
The steep and now infamous La Vierge and Shaws Pass climbs provided a massive challenge and equally large bragging rights to amateurs before hitting Caledon with a sharp right south before turning onto the Akkedisberg pass leading straight into Stanford.
The riders were safely escorted by exceptionally well received Police Traffic Services and the Think Bike motorised Marshalls which were especially necessary given the ongoing roadworks in the Overstrand region.
The beautiful 4 lap 21km run course took athletes from all over South Africa on a scenic tour along the ‘wandelpad’ around the quaint village of Stanford.
The bird filled trees along the Klein River provided shade and distraction for the now exhausted runners heading to the music filled and iced drinks laden vibe of the Village green, nestled under the church steeple, to crown a near perfect day out.
As the hot sun that rose over the swimmers in the harbour earlier in the day began to drop and cool down, athletes laughed, many almost in tears, as they collapsed over the finish line onto the grass.
Pretty much every single one acknowledged that it was “brutal but beautiful!”. This challenge, that took athletes anything from 4:17 to a staggering 10 hours and 10 minutes, is a very honest one, ideal for those who love to test their true limits in the great outdoors.
Powerful stories of many fascinating personal journeys were told along the way.
It’s true that anyone can achieve what they set their minds too.
“Congratulations to every proud finisher who ‘survived Shaws Pass’ and the happy teams that nailed the practice run towards solo efforts in 2022.
Thank you to the patient local harbour, walking trails and road users for putting up with the crowds. Many said it was “just so good to see tourists and events back after 14 months of lockdown”.
A big thanks also to event partners Seesa too who supported this event that has big ambitions by helping pay local community sourced helpers who were full of typical saffa gees when athletes needed an emotional lift.”
For more fantastic pics on the day visit R2S FB page.
And finally, from a proud village, we’d like to congratulate our very own local, Dirk Troost, on his 2nd successful R2S finish! See you next year, same time, same place!