Iron Man 70.3, Mossel Bay

If there was a medal for resembling a ripe tomato, or a parboiled crayfish, I’d win it. Every. Single. Time. As I sit typing this post, more than 24 hours after being in the sun, the heat is still radiating off my skin. #sunburnisnotforsissies

It’s not the first time this has happened to me, nor is it likely to be the last. I just have the type of complexion that the sun sees and thinks fry, roast, or cremate. The last time I got this sunburned, I was reading my book on the riverbank while Charlie was fishing. My legs got so burned that day, I couldn’t even wear my short pajamas because they hurt. That was four years ago. You’d think that I’d be a little wiser by now, but alas, I clearly am not. I seldom venture out for some natural Vitamin D, but when I do, I make up for it.

Yesterday Mossel Bay hosted its first Iron Man 70.3 competition. Part of the cycle route was less than a kilometer away from my folks’ place, so I decided to go and show some support, seeing that I had a few friends in the race. I downloaded the app so I could monitor my friends’ progress, but I didn’t have the savvy to put sunscreen on. Because the spot we were is close to an industrial area outside of town, there weren’t many supporters, so I stuck around a lot longer than I initially had planned to. I got to see two ladies who I knew from the days when I was at the gym, and an old school acquaintance who was doing the race with her husband. I have great admiration for anyone who does something like the Iron Man, because heaven knows, I don’t even have the guts to think about doing it – and that goes for the days when I was a much fitter version of myself than I am today.

There was great spirit amongst the participants – some of the male cyclists had bike trouble and even though they didn’t know each other, they helped one another where they could. Two gentlemen who weren’t in the race, nor intending to spectate, went to their storeroom and organized a bike pump for the cyclists to get them back on the road. They didn’t need to, but there is something about sporting events that brings out the goodness in people.

The men’s winner was a South African and the first female across the finish line was from the UK – this, a mere week after having completed the Iron Man in Utah in the United States. Many bikes whizzed past me in the four-plus hours I was outdoors, but one cyclist in particular caught my eye because of his outfit, with its matching socks. Any South African will understand why 😉

For a first event, I think everyone involved did extremely well, but there are things that can be improved upon next year and in 2024, like advising the businesses in the area (particularly in the industrial area where we were) of the road closures. It was clear that they hadn’t been formally informed by the powers that be, nor the organizers of what to expect. Admittedly, there was advertising about the route and traffic disruptions, but still people didn’t know. One of the marshalls who relayed the message about the road closure to a motorist almost got his head bitten off by her. Personally, I do think that at least one traffic official or municipal law enforcement officer could have been placed at each point to deal with the difficult members of the public, but hey, that is just my five cents worth.

Anyhow, that’s it from me. I’ll write again soon, when I am no longer in competition with a Pink Lady apple.

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