The dark water of the Waterfront canals looks icy cold, a suspicion confirmed as we count down from three and plunge in.
It’s the #InstaSwim, a warm-up event for the Discovery World Triathlon Cape Town taking place this weekend, and a smiling team of media and real athletes is braving the water together to kick off the buzz for this prestigious annual race. The water is a not-so-mild 14ºC but our Xterra wetties are keeping us warm so there’s time to say ‘freeze’ for the camera before we get swimming.
The last time I tugged on a wetsuit was in Coffee Bay in 2013, and it involved two minutes in the day’s unusually sub-par surf and another 20 or so minutes trying to get the damn thing off. This time was different. Xterra suits are designed with performance in mind, with enough slick technology behind them to keep you buoyant, fast and warm as you slice through the swim leg.
Let’s get something straight though. I’m no triathlete. You could say I’m more of a try-athlete – a 5 kay here, an open water swim there, but my hat is definitely off to everyone participating this weekend, and to the organisers of this awesome event.
Cape Town is the first African city to host an ITU World Triathlon Series event, considered by many to be the pinnacle series in this sport. The tour covers 10 cities, including Abu Dhabi, London, Stockholm and Chicago. We just have to be a little biased and suggest that our route – encompassing the V&A Waterfront canals and Atlantic Seaboard, with Table Mountain as its backdrop – has to be the most scenic worldwide.
No fewer than 130 of the world’s top triathletes will be battling it out for first place, and the entire route and race village at Green Point Athletics Stadium have been designed to offer spectators maximum chances to watch them put their fitness to the test.
Not clued up on the whole swim, cycle, run drill? Here are the details.
The course is divided in two distances: sprint and Olympic. Sprinters complete a 500m swim in the canals, a 20 km cycle along the Atlantic seaboard, and a 5 km run ending at the Green Point Athletics Club. Those who choose to do the Olympic distance are in for a
1 500m swim, 40 km cycle and 10 km run.
You can choose to participate as an individual or in a relay team, and the race includes events for schools and a corporate challenge.
Sound like your cup of tea? Good news then – it’s not too late to enter! Sign up here and get ready to sweat your way to glory.
More of a spectator? Click here for your downloadable guide to this spectator-centric event and get ready to cheer on the world’s best.
Where Starting at V&A Waterfront, ending at Green Point Athletics Stadium
When Saturday 25 and Sunday 16 April
Social media Facebook Discovery World Traithlon Cape Town, Twitter @WTS_CapeTown, Instagram WTS_Cape_Town
Photography Jeff Ayliffe Media, Courtesy