By Staff Reporter
Great conditions contributed to the hugely successful Verizon Off-Road Triathlon at the Friedenau Dam on the outskirts of Windhoek on Sunday.
More than 120 triathletes lined up for the Off-Road Triathlon event – making it the biggest triathlon on Namibian soil.
Former Namibian triathlon champion Frank “Tokkie” Bombosch appeared to be maturing like old wine and had little trouble in shaking off some challenge from a strong field of competitors in the men’s elite division (02:14:25).
Andrew Rowles and Frederic Belantin were placed second and third respectively.
With only two entries in the Female Elite category, it was a two-horse race between Molley Fonner and Henda Haworths, but the fierce competition was short lived.
Haworths found herself five minutes ahead of her only competitor in the 21-kilometer cycling but mysteriously fell by the wayside on the home stretch, leaving Fonner to run a lone race – finishing in an unhindered time of 02:42:14.
Veteran triathlete Paddy Murphy showed once again that he has lost none of his strengths in the tough and demanding three-discipline competition when he left his younger competitors for dead in the men’s veteran category.
Murphy clocked a remarkable time of 2 hours and 39 seconds to be crowned overall winner.
Another former triathlete Patcrick De Goede made a welcome return to his favourite discipline and came second, five minutes off the pace of Murphy with Lloyd Camp trailing in third place, crossing the line almost 14 minutes later.
Evergreen female triathlete Zoe Mitchell had to battle it alone in the female veterans division and strolled over the line with a time of 02:04:36 and claimed the overall first place in all female categories.
Elke Jagau found herself in the same boat as Mitchell but that did not dent her spirits and Jagau defied her advanced age to clock a remarkable time of 02:24:14 in the female master category.
Another lone rancher Dieter Berens surfaced on the finishing line almost a minute later in the men’s Masters division.
The OTB-A Team, consisting of swimmer Quinton Delie, cyclist Ian and runner Frans Hosea was completely in mean mood and took honours in the Teams division by recording the day’s fastest time after the trio clocked a combined time of 0138:12.
The Mixed Team category was won by the Prowealth team led by Cordula Moller, who used the event as preparation for her participation in the more competitive Iron man triathlon in Port Elizabeth.
Pierre van Rensburg was victorious in the male rookie event while Charmaine Shannon, who is strangely no stranger to this particular discipline, entered in the Female Rookie category and expectedly had little trouble claiming the scalps of her competitors.
The organisers attributed the success of the event to the growing popularity of off-road triathlon both on the local and international level.
They believe Namibians are excited by off-road triathlon and the astronomical number of newcomers is testimony to that philosophy since social participants bring another dimension to this particular discipline.
Verizon representative Ingram Van Heerdeen, who also had the experience of being amongst the participants, was over the moon and said that he personally felt it’s one of the best, if not the greatest sport events over the last couple of years on local soil. ??????’??