South Africa’s iconic Cape Whale Coast hosted the inaugural Pura Soda Race-to-Stanford Triathlon, a Half Ironman distance, on 18 November 2017. The R2S Triathlon, the acronym for Race-2-Stanford, starts at the sea and finishes inland.
Multisport sensation, Robyn Owen, 27, who grew up in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, (Jeep Team/Best4Sports), is a multiple-award winning adventure racer not used to racing on anything tarred and flat. Currently in training with her younger brother, top paddler Lance Kime, Owen used the triathlon as an opportunity to put into practise time-trialling, fast transitioning, and running on tired legs in a race environment, in preparation for the 2018 Kathmandu Coast to Coast World Multisport Championships.
This challenging triathlon started with a 1.9km ocean swim in the Hermanus Harbour, then cycling through the Hemel en Aarde Valley on a 90km bike leg via Caledon and over Shaw’s Pass, and concluded in a 21km run around the beautiful and historic Stanford Village.
Owen, who is a seasoned off-road runner, paddler and mountain biker, finished the testing race in just under 6 hours, earning herself a surprise second-place finish with a time of 05:50:48. First place went to Kelly van der Toorn in 05:42:51, while Gabriella Gioia finished in third place in 06:01:12.
Owen reflects on her experience, “I swam 1.9 km with numb fingers in a pretty chilly ocean; rode 90 km with skinny wheels on tarmac; and ran 21 flat kilometres, and wasn’t half bad! The water was as clear and blue as an ocean gets; the hilly bicycle ride was good, hard work; and the 3-lap run through Stanford was as good as any cross-country run course I can remember.
I’m no triathlon connoisseur, but I don’t reckon a half Ironman could get much better than that. The Pura Soda Race 2 Stanford is destined to become a classic. The race was great training for Coast to Coast; and the unexpected bonus was the second-place finish.
Thanks to Paul Ingpen and the team for a magnificent event and the incredibly warm welcome. And a massive thank you to Best 4 Sports, Jeep Team, Sivi Gounden and Caelyn Gounden for the support and for kitting us out in all the tri-essentials!”
Results – Race-2-Stanford Triathlon
- Kelly van der Toorn 05:42:51
- Robyn Owen 05:50:48
- Gabriella Gioia 06:01:12
- Matt Trautman 04:18:58
- JP Burger 04:25:31
- Stuart Marais 04:32:14
— Arrive Alive (@_ArriveAlive) April 15, 2015