KNYSNA SPORT NEWS - After setting off before the light of day broke on Knysna, 17 triathletes completed the second Knysna Extreme Triathlon (KET) last Saturday, with winner Manfred Wiehahn defending his title and bettering his time last year by nearly six minutes.
The KET was held concurrently with the KET 0.5, a shortened version of what has been touted as Africa's toughest extreme triathlon race by its organisers.
Even though it's shorter than the full race, the KET 0.5 was by no means easy as it comprised 2.5km of swimming, 100km of cycling, and 30km of running with a total distance of 132.5km and an altitude gain of 1 700m. The full KET nearly doubles these numbers, with 5km of swimming, 174km of cycling, and 50km of running with a total distance of 229km and 3 600m altitude gain.
The KET kicked off at 05:05 on Saturday 23 November from the jetty opposite Sirocco restaurant, and while the sun slowly crept out from its hiding place, the triathletes took on the chilly waters with a harsh wind chill in the air too.The first half of the swim which took them up to Laguna Grove and down to Leisure Isle would arguably be the easier of the two, as on their way back up to Thesen Island the swimmers would be met by a brutal outgoing tide which they had to fight to get back.
Nicola Mattheus and Victor Williams would be the first swimmers out of the water in the full KET, with both finishing their 5km swim in 01:39. Wiehahn wasn't far off as he finished his swim in 01:40, while eventual ladies winner Corinne Berg would come in just before Wiehahn.
The remainder of the race would belong to Wiehahn, as he finished the 174km cycle leg in 06:26 before completing the 50km running leg in 04:44 to round out an impressive race day that saw him defend his KET title. He would clock a total time of 12:52:15, nearly six minutes better than his winning time last year.
Berg would overtake Mattheus on the bike, completing her cycle leg in 07:16, and 05:50 on the running leg to finish with a winning time of 14:46:45.
In the KET 0.5, Team 102 (Nick Mowbray, Michael Kingston and Liza Kingston) was the first to cross the line with a time of 06:46:20. Matthew Franzsen was the first individual male to cross the finish line, clocking a time of 07:01:26, with Nicky Smith the first individual lady home with a time of 08:06:18.
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