South African Matt Trautman turned Pro in 2014 and now scored a big win at home in fairly hot conditions at the Standard Bank Ironman 70.3 South Africa. Jodie Swallow on the other hand recorded her 5th title at this early season event and broke the course record.
Kyle Buckingham, Stuart Marais and Matt Trautman made it a leading trio of South Africans after the 1.2 mile swim. Their swim time of 24:37 gave them an almost 2 minute advantage over Belgian Bart Aernouts who was considered the main contender after defending champion James Cunnama withdrew before the race.
Once on the bike the 3 South Africans worked very hard up front and pushed towards the bike-run transition. Buckingham however could not hold the pace all the way and Cyril Viennot and Bart Aernouts managed to get past him. But Trautman and Marais were still well ahead.
Trautman who had won Ironman Wales in 2014 then ran side-by-side with Marais and the two made it a very exciting battle for the win. Aernouts was running in third position and this fast Belgian is always dangerous, but he was not able to move up any further. Up front Trautman and Marais continued to challenge each other, but eventually Trautman pulled away and with a race best 1:16:49 run grabbed the win in 4:04:35. Marais held on to second place in 4:06:11 and Aernouts rounded out the podium in 4:11:37.
"It's fantastic to kick off the year with a win. It was a tough day out, with hot and windy conditions and a real neck and neck battle with Stuart Marais. Happy to be in good form with 8 weeks to IM South Africa," said Trautman to slowtwitch.
Jodie Swallow as expected was first out of the water in 24:41 and then quickly went to work on the bike. Emma Bilham and Lucie Reed were next out of the water in 26:40 and 26:49, but the next Pros needed just under 29 minutes to finish the swim.
Swallow rode not far behind the front running men and her 2:33:39 bike split was best among all female Pros. By the time the 2010 70.3 World Champion reached the second transition she had an advantage of about 10 minutes over the nearest chaser.
Swallow ran 1:28:08, which also turned out to be fastest among the front runners and grabbed her 5th title in 4:30:54. The time of 4:30:54 of Swallow also meant she broke the course record by 4 minutes despite the tough conditions. Fellow Brits Susie Cheetham and Parys Edwards finished second and third in 4:41:49 and 4:47:45 respectively.
"Aside from being beautiful and mystical and rugged like no other country I have visited in the world the most descriptive adjective I can think to describe South Africa is tough," said Swallow to slowtwitch. "The course here is relentless and coupled with the weather, the swell, the heat, the humidity and the wind. I am excited to be able to put together five wins in five consecutive years here. Endurance sport is huge in this part of the world. They breed them tough here and hope that South Africans continue to be inspired and be driven to find release and happiness in such worthy pursuits."
Standard Bank Ironman 70.3 South Africa
January 25, 2015
1. Matt Trautman (RSA) 4:04:34
2. Stuart Marais (RSA) 4:06:03
3. Bart Aernouts (BEL) 4:11:36
4. Cyril Viennot (FRA) 4:14:28
5. Johannes Moldan (GER) 4:15:57
6. Kyle Buckingham (RSA) 4:16:04
7. Karol Dzalaj (SLO) 4:24:12
8. Cool Hannes (BEL) 4:28:55
9. Swen Sundberg (GER) 4:30:57
10. Jeremy Morel (FRA) 4:38:18
1. Jody Swallow (GBR) 4:30:53
2. Susie Cheetham (GBR) 4:41:48
3. Parys Edwards (GBR) 4:47:44
4. Emma Bilham (SUI) 4:55:30
5. Jeani Seymour (RSA) 5:02:02
6. Sarah Piampiano (USA) 5:08:54
7. Andrea Steyn (RSA) 5:20:03
8. Amy Forshaw (GBR) 5:24:42
9. Lynette Van der Merwe (RSA) 5:28:03
10. Linda Scattolin (ITA) 5:36:23