BIG5 C­hal­len­ge

Knysna-Plett Herald - - Voorblad -

Win­ners of the n­inth e­di­ti­on of the Mo­men­tum BIG5 C­hal­len­ge we­re de­ci­ded on Sun­day 8 Ju­ly at the Knys­na Half Ma­ra­thon fi­nish li­ne, with Kee­gan Cooke (accu­mu­la­ti­ve ti­me of 07:25:07) and Vic­ky van der Mer­we (08:20:54) ta­king first pla­ce o­ver­all in the men’s and wo­men’s e­vents re­specti­ve­ly.

Ca­pe Town’s De­an Hopf was se­cond (07:48:58) and Ri­chard Alan La­wrie thi­rd (08:07:46) in the men’s, and Fie­nie Bar­nard was se­cond (08:34:23) with Al­ma­ri de Mi­lan­der thi­rd (11:04:18) in the wo­men’s e­vent.

In one of the most ex­ci­ting ad­ven­tu­re ra­ces in South A­fri­ca, Mo­men­tum BIG5 C­hal­len­ge athle­tes com­ple­te fi­ve of the ma­jor spor­ting e­vents that form part of the Pick n Pay Knys­na Oys­ter Fe­s­ti­val, na­me­ly the Knys­na Cy­cle Tour 80km MTB, the La­goon Mi­le Swim, the 15km Fe­at­her­bed Trail Run, the MTBX Cy­clo-Cross, and fi­nish with the Knys­na Half Ma­ra­thon.

‘Par­ti­cu­lar­ly success­ful’ e­vent

Ra­ce or­ga­ni­ser Ga­ry Ma­res­cia said this y­e­ar’s e­vent was par­ti­cu­lar­ly success­ful. “We had a thril­ling week of ra­cing with tough and c­lo­se com­pe­ti­ti­ons playing them­sel­ves out a­cross e­ach e­vent. We con­g­ra­tu­la­te e­ver­yo­ne who fi­nis­hed and look for­ward to next y­e­ar being our 10th e­di­ti­on.”

Cooke, the 21-y­e­ar-old tri­athle­te from Port E­li­za­beth, was very hap­py with his win: “I wan­ted to go one bet­ter than last y­e­ar w­hen I ca­me se­cond to Brad Weiss. Last week I sur­pri­sed my­self on the moun­tain bi­ke, going a lot quic­ker than last y­e­ar. Throug­hout the week I tried to keep it con­sis­tent; I felt I had a good swim on Mon­day. The trail run was tough, as al­ways, but I was hap­py to de­fend my tit­le of the o­ver­all win on that e­vent from last y­e­ar.

“The MTBX is al­ways fun with a few ob­sta­cles thro­wn in and I ma­na­ged to stay on my bi­ke. It was good to go in­to the Half Ma­ra­thon with a cus­hi­on, so alt­hough the­re was no pres­su­re I ga­ve it a good push. My bo­dy is p­ret­ty bro­ken!”

‘A­we­so­me, chal­len­ging week’

Af­ter Oudts­hoorn’s Fie­nie Bar­nard had es­ta­blis­hed a sig­ni­fi­cant le­ad in the 80km MTB ra­ce, S­tel­len­bosch tri­athle­te Vic­ky van der Mer­we, who ca­me to the e­vent as the de­fen­ding cham­pi­on, ma­de up ti­me in the sub­se­quent e­vents to ta­ke the o­ver­all win. “It was an a­we­so­me, chal­len­ging week. The 80km MTB is al­ways the toug­hest for me as the­re are ot­her gi­rls who are very strong on the bi­ke, and I was ple­a­sed to fi­nish 10 mi­nu­tes fas­ter than last y­e­ar, in 3 hours 50 mi­nu­tes.

“I ma­na­ged to c­lo­se the gap in the swim, and win­ning the trail run o­ver­all was fan­tas­tic. My MTBX ra­ce was al­so fas­ter than last y­e­ar, so top­ping it off with a win in the Half Ma­ra­thon, I am very hap­py.

“The thing a­bout the BIG5 is that you are ne­ver cer­tain of a win until the last day as a­ny­thing can go wrong – you ha­ve to pa­ce your­self,” she said.

In the BIG5Li­te, w­he­re athle­tes ta­ke on shor­ter dis­tan­ces and ha­ve a choi­ce be­t­ween three e­vents for their thi­rd e­vent, points are a­war­ded rat­her than an accu­mu­la­ted ti­me u­sed to de­ci­de the win­ner.

Dan Ho­witz won the men’s BIG5Li­te e­vent (240 points), with Ki­mon Ha­ra­lam­bous pla­ced se­cond (236) and An­tho­ny Ha­ra­lam­bous thi­rd (230). First wo­man in was Lin­da De­te­ring (213), with Amy Hop­kins se­cond (168) and Mi­chel­le Van As­we­gen thi­rd (165).

P­ho­to: Mat­thew du Toit

Vic­ky van der Mer­we, the o­ver­all wo­men’s Mo­men­tum BIG5 C­hal­len­ge win­ner in a ti­me of 08:20:54, ta­kes on the Half Ma­ra­thon.

P­ho­to: Li­sa Leslie P­ho­to­grap­hy

Kee­gan Cooke on his moun­tain bi­ke.

P­ho­to: Li­sa Leslie P­ho­to­grap­hy

Men’s Mo­men­tum BIG5 C­hal­len­ge win­ner Kee­gan Cooke ta­kes on the La­goon Mi­le.

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