Posts

Rio Paralympics

Last week the South African Olympic team was confirmed so I thought it’s about time for my next blog.

As those close to me already know, I unfortunately will not be travelling to and competing in the Rio Paralympics. It is sad and it does upset me when you consider all the hard work and effort I have put into this journey. Unfortunately Sascoc would not allow us to apply for a bipartite invitation which makes no sense if you ask me. If I wasn’t chosen via the invitation process, I could accept that. But to not even apply for one? What the hell?

Anyway, I could carry on for the next week about why Sascoc should change the whole thing but let’s face it – it ain’t going to change. So for now we rather focus on what I have achieved so far.

Let me put this into perspective for those who don’t know the story.
4 years ago I was just touching on 100Kgs, smoker, drinker just enjoying where I was in life. I decided I needed to change. After setting a few goals and achieving them I was directed into triathlon.
My very first triathlon was the 5150 African champs held in Germiston on 3 November 2013.

DSCN2109_01

Some numbers for the event:
1500mtr swim – 54min
Transition 1 – 7min
40km cycle – 1hr41
Transition 2 – 3min
10km run – 1hr
Total – 3hr42

StanMotivatoin1

So what I have done is in less than 3 total years, I have improved my times by a ridiculous percentage, I have won the African Continental Championships twice (2015 & 2016) and I have represented RSA in many international triathlons as an Elite Para-triathlete. #hardworkpaysoff

The fact of the matter is that we took a four year journey and crammed it into a nine month time frame and came within inches of making it to Rio. That deserves a pat on the back.

Where to from here? Well I have just made the Elite start list for the Para-triathlon World champs to be held in Rotterdam next weekend (24th July). This will be the start of the next journey which will hopefully see me qualify for the Commonwealth Games in 2018. From there I will continue to work as hard as I can to make the Japan 2020 Paralympics.

As always, thank you to my Wife Melissa and my two beautiful daughters for standing by me through this intense year. Thank you to Adrian Goate and Warren McCann for believing in me and seeing the bigger picture. Thank you to the “Bosbruin bunch” who get up at 3h30 a.m on a Tuesday and Thursday to train with me on simulated duathlon and brick workouts. And last but by no means least, my sponsors- Triathlon SA, Bollé, Ossur SA, Suunto, Platynum, Adventure Life, Aqua Athlete Swimming, Powerblast Training and Biogen.

And to all family and friends that often see me and offer words of encouragement and support – Thank you, I live to inspire

photo_2016-03-22,_7_45_17_pm__medium

WPE Besancon France

Wow, where do I even begin this?

Arriving in Besancon France, I was informed that there was a possibility that we would not be permitted to swim in the river as there had been heavy rains leading up to our arrival. This naturally would be a disappointment and also be somewhat of a disadvantage as I race in a category with mixed disabilities (arm and leg amps). Nevertheless, it is what it is.

On Friday it was confirmed that the river had in fact got to a dangerous speed and so the competition was officially changed to a Duathlon. Now we would race 2.5km run, 20km cycle and 5km run. This was going to be interesting. I also don’t have a huge amount of experience in racing a duathlon. For those who don’t know, it’s very different to a triathlon as fatigue of muscles play a significant role.

20160619_091122

Race day arrived and although the weather was not great, the race was on.

The first run was tough as I ran completely out of my comfort zone, constantly trying to remind myself not to go too hard although I also did not want to fall back too far. The run was through parts of the town which presented its own challenges such as tight turns.

Into transition 1 and I was surprised and entertained to see the Dutch athlete – Sjaak van den Berg running out of transition and then back in again. I found out later on that he had arrived into transition, followed normal procedure and proceeded to take his bike to the exit of transition when he then realised that he still had his running shoes on!! So he had to do a loop within transition, re-rack his bike, remove his shoes and then try again.

Out onto the bike we went. On lap two the clouds opened and it began to rain which now meant the level of danger had just gone up. I pushed as hard as I could without neglecting safety and speed around corners etc. I managed to gain a position on the bike which was a positive for me as I knew the second run was going to pain.

Cycle done, maintained position, fast transition and onto second run!

Everything was now wet so the run course which was made up of huge sections of cobblestones became a nightmare for any amputee with a blade. Trying not to slip and needing to pick up the pace I pushed hard. So hard that I missed the turnaround point (they say it will happen to everyone at least once). This meant that I ended up running six km’s instead of five. Unfortunately this placed me last in my category. It did also provide much entertainment to the likes of Aidan McGlynn, my Irish mate and fellow athlete.

I must mention though that South Africa did make the podium thanks to a great performance by PT5 Visually impaired athlete David Jones and his Guide Phillip landing a 3 rd place after a great effort despite David running into a tree.

As they most often say, you can train as hard as you want; experience is one of the keys to getting better at anything – Lessons learnt!

20160618_11215020160619_13480520160619_140433Next stop, Grand Final Paratriathlon Championships in Rotterdam 22/23 July 2016.