The Freshpak Fitness Festival hosted its 32nd successful year of multisport on Saturday 29 September 2018 in Clanwilliam. One of the country’s most popular and longstanding multi-sport events, novice and professional athletes competed in the various swimming, cycling and running events in Rooibos country.
Matie student Quenet, retained the title of Men’s triathlon champion for the third consecutive year in the festival’s flagship event. Slashing his previous time by almost four minutes, Quenet took advantage of the ideal conditions to finish in 01:00:44. Seasoned triathlete and 2015’s triathlon champion, Dean Hopf claimed the second position in a time of 00:59:46 after winning the Duathlon earlier in the day, in 00:59:46, the only du-athlete over the line in under one hour. Racing in the Masters Category (50+) Douglas Burger proved that age is irrelevant as he took overall first position in the Biathlon in a time of 00:55:13. Burger was also on the podium in his age group in the triathlon that took place later in the day.
Michelle Krebs, who exited the water behind international swimmer, Jessica Ashley-Cooper, managed to pass Ashley-Cooper and head out onto the run in first position to cross the line as this year’s women triathlon champion in 01:15:03. Improving her 2017 time by over six minutes, Krebs was home 90 seconds ahead of Ashley-Cooper who claimed second position.
Almari de Milander secured a comfortable win in the women’s Biathlon (01:04:50)) as she took gold with over eight minutes between her and second over the line, Michaela Reuvers. Up and coming athlete Charne Roux was the first lady over the line in 01:13:38 to claim the number one spot in the women’s Duathlon.
The 1,5km open water swim was comfortably won by Dylan Pivo in a time of 00:20:16 while South African swimmer Jessica Ashley-Cooper showed why she’s represented the country internationally by finishing 33 seconds behind the leading man in 00:20:49 and almost four minutes ahead of the second woman. It was a tough duel between Rudolph Visser and Dylan Wright, 2017’s winner in the 3km open water swim as they exited the water together, but it was Visser who took the gold medal in 00:37:14. Fifteen year-old Hannah Pearce took the women’s title in the 3km swim (00:40:27 and with over 11 minutes between her and the second lady out of the water, this proves that she is a youngster to watch.
Athletes and spectators were rewarded with a 100% full dam after last year’s lowest level in the event’s history, due to the drought. Swimmers and athletes competed on a virtually wind-free day in glorious sunshine and high temperatures characteristic of the Cederberg.
The various events included a 1.5km or 3km long swim, duathlon (5km run/20km cycle/2.5km run), biathlon (5km run/20km cycle) and a triathlon (800m swim/20km cycle/5km run) where participants competed individually or as part of a team. Younger kids also competed in the FitKids challenge (1km run, 200m swim, 1km run) and the Run for Fun (1km).
A percentage of the proceeds raised from entry fees will be donated to CANSA’s local branch that serves the West Coast region. Rooibos, which is grown only in the Cederberg, has antioxidant properties that fight cancer effectively and form part of a healthy lifestyle.
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