THE ‘MR AND MRS’ SHOW IN SOUTH AFRICA
Seventh victory in a row for Mrs Cunnama (the former Jodie Swallow)
oth are familiar faces on this podium. And newly-weds Jodie and James came close to making it the Mr and Mrs Cunnama show.
Despite racing for the first time under her married name other contenders were, once again, left to “follow the swallow”.
From the off, Cunnama led the field, exiting the water a clear 2:40 minutes ahead of compatriot Susie Cheetham and Poland’s Agnieszka Jerzyk.
Out on the bike Cunnama continued to push the pace, entering the men’s pro field, with Cheetham chipping away determinedly at her heels.
BDespite a brave effort, Cheetham was unable to catch her, and crossed the line just over a minute behind an ecstatic Jodie. “It was good to feel the pressure lift as I crossed the line,” she later posted on Facebook.
With last year’s champion Matt Trautman absent, the men’s race was wide open. First out of the water was Brit Mark Threlfall with Romain Guillaume (FRA) in fifth and fellow South Africans Kyle Buckingham and James Cunnama seventh and eighth.
Guillaume quickly clawed back ground on the bike to take the lead and carve out a six minute gap ahead of Threlfall by T2. Meanwhile Cunnama and Buckingham had moved up the field to start the run in third and fourth place.
With Threlfall in their sights, the two quickly gained ground. Cunnama slipped into second place early in the run while Buckingham also overtook Threlfall at the 10k stage.
However, Guillaume was determined not to have a rerun of the 2014 race when Cunnama ran him down in the closing stages.
Despite a blistering run split of 1:16:52 Cunnama was unable to catch the French athlete and had to settle for second place.
With Buckingham taking the final slot on the podium, Trelfall had to settle for fifth behind Stuart Marais (RSA).