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Midlands Ultra Triathlon Race Report – by Ryan Habib

Ryan Habib IMG 3.



This weekend I took part in the Midlands Ultra Triathlon. Aside from the weather, it was well organized – but we can’t have it all.


After a terrible experience in the water, during which I was even passed by a fellow athlete towing his son in a canoe, I thought to myself, why do I even do this?

I managed to finish the swim and strolled into transition, and then started to jog a bit. I began to think that since I was here, I might as well do what I could to recover. Conditions weren’t perfect on the bike, but having endured worse I stayed positive.


It must have been somewhere out on the ride, as I passed what seemed to be a bike I would find on my wish list for Santa (except that this Santa didn’t look too jolly as I passed him), that I had an epiphany — why I do Tri.


It seems to me that I start with a personal challenge to beat someone or to race, but come race day, when it’s just me out there with the wind whistling through small vents in my helmet, that I quickly realize that each one of the athletes competing is on their own journey. From the beginner to the elite, each competitor has personal goals – and while I love passing a bloke on a bike I secretly (or not so secretly, anymore) lust after, it’s not about that. I pass him, and someone else passes me as we all travel the same journey to our personal goals. This concept may not seem obvious for our sport-mad country, but it isn’t about making the finish line as fast as possible.


Each one of us athletes has challenged ourselves – often for some reason outside of the sport. Each athlete comes to the race with their “baggage” – a reason to prove “they can do it”.


The recent diagnosis of my mother’s cancer has made this challenge more than simply a race. It provides hope, a hope that if I can somehow overcome a physical personal challenge then perhaps, my mom’s race against the cancer can also be challenged, raced and conquered, making the medal more meaningful. Don’t get me wrong – medals for races are meaningful – but having a different force driving me to succeed makes it that much more meaningful.


The thought began to form that perhaps I wasn’t the only one out there today in between the rain and cold, redefining themselves out there, I became certain that others were racing for their own hopes too


To all of the competitors, whether you were the man towing his son or the guy dressed in his CHOC suit, well done!


Next time you are out there racing, challenge yourself, and remember for the majority of us, the race is one against only ourselves. There is no losing when we are out there.

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New Balance Journey to Comrades Webinar 4 – December – January


The fourth of our New Balance Journey to the Comrades Marathon Webinars with Run Talk SA was anchored by Brad Brown tonight, with guests Lindsey Parry and Louise Bembridge-Carter. The trio chat about what you should be doing right now from a training perspective  as well as what you should be focusing on for the next four weeks. Our resident dietician, Louise Bembridge-Carter tells us how to avoid overdoing things this festive season.

We also chat about Achilles tendon injuries, the Boston Marathon, compression gear for running, protein peptides and the Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) Diet that Professor Tim Noakes advocates

The next New Balance Journey to Comrades is happening on 13 January 2014 and you can .

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Modern Athlete December 2013 Edition

The December 2013 edition of Modern Athlete is out. You can access the digital version below or subscribe to it free here. As always the magazine is packed with some awesome articles. Read about the phenomenal Landie Greyling,  The King of Comrades Bruce Fordyce, learn more about the Park Run explosion in South Africa and singing sensation Danny K tells them why he runs.

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Cycle Talker of the Week – Victoria Myburgh


Victoria Myburgh img1How did you get into road cycling? I began cycling on the track as an u14. I had read cycling magazines and wanted to get into MTB racing, but read an article that referred to track cycling coach Dave Street. It turned out that my mother knew him, and so I went to meet him and began training on the track with his group. I later began racing on the road, as my interest was in the endurance events on the track so road racing was complimentary. My goal was still eventually to race professionally on the MTB. Supported by Linden Cycles, I competed in as many road and MTB events as possible, hoping to be recognised by a MTB team. I literally accidentally met John Robertson, and from there my more serious road racing began with Team Bizhub and later the FJR Women’s Team. My focus has moved back to the MTB though.

How long have you been cycling? I started cycling in 2001 at the age of 14. I have been riding for 11 years, with two “brief sabbaticals” along the way.

What is your favourite distance to cycle and why? I most enjoy marathon distance (+/- 75km) on the MTB. I also really enjoy Ultra Endurance events, such as the Trans Baviaans. It appeals to me to see how long I can push myself for. The attraction was similar for the endurance events on the track, where I enjoyed seeing how far into the red I could push myself, and see who else would be able to stay with me.

Who is your biggest cycling inspiration and why? Continue reading

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Eleven Global Sun City 2013

Check out the highlights of the Eleven Global Sun City 2013 that took place on the weekend of the 9th and 10th of November 2013 below:

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James Evans dismisses ASA AGM as invalid

Athletics SA (ASA) president James Evans says the annual general meeting (AGM) held on Saturday where the federation’s entire board was dissolved is unconstitutional and invalid.

Neither Evans nor vice-president Hendrick Ramaala were in attendance as they were appearing in a Johannesburg High Court to uphold Thursday’s decision to suspend five members of the provincial boards.

James Evans

ASA President James Evans

Evans said a notice was sent to all members of ASA that the AGM would have to be postponed until the High Court matter was concluded.

“Undeterred, and while the High Court matter was being heard, and in the absence of the president and vice-president of ASA, who were at the High Court, certain members of ASA, led by the five provincial affiliates who had forced ASA into court, insisted on the AGM continuing,” Evans said in a statement on Sunday.

“More alarmingly, the ‘meeting’ then chose to not follow the agenda, but instead considered a motion to remove the board, for which no notice had been given and which was not on the agenda.”

A seven-member interim board was appointed at the AGM to run the sport for the next six months, after which another annual general meeting would be called and elections would be held.

The seven board members were Tebogo Masehla, Harold Adams, Aleck Skhosana, Jakes Jacobs, Daan du Toit, Steven Khanyile and Sello Mokoena.

Evans said the AGM did not take place since no item on the agenda was discussed while the Annual Report and the Annual Financial Statements were not tabled or discussed.

“Members of ASA who had not met the requirements for participation at the AGM because they do not have audited financial statements for 2012, were permitted to participate in the charade on 30 November 2013,” he said.

Evans said for a resolution to remove directors they must, according to the Companies Act, be given 30 days notice of the motion, while they should also be given an opportunity to make a presentation before the matter is put to a vote.

He said the High Court matter had been postponed to February 4, 2014 when a final decision would be made.

The IAAF was planning a visit to South Africa in January to address the ongoing impasse in the sport, Evans said.

“In the meantime the office and board of ASA will do everything within its power to ensure that the sport continues to run and that teams are entered and accepted by the IAAF and the CAA,” he said.

He said the IAAF constitution made it clear that “in the event of a conflict that brings the activities of a member to a standstill, an ad hoc committee may be set up, for a defined period, to be in charge of the management of athletics in the country or territory concerned”.

An ad hoc committee also had to be approved by the IAAF in advance.

“No prior approval was given by the IAAF to form such an ad hoc committee,” Evans said.

“Asking for permission after it has been done does not comply with the clause — the IAAF has made that clear before.”

Evans warned that if the interim board that was appointed on Saturday interfered with the running of ASA, it would place the federation’s membership of the IAAF in jeopardy. – SAPA

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James Evans ousted as ASA board dissolved

Embattled president James Evans was ousted and a seven-member interim board appointed to run Athletics SA (ASA) at an annual general meeting (AGM) in Johannesburg on Saturday.

The existing ASA board was dissolved with the interim board appointed for six months, after which a meeting would be held to elect a new board.

asaThe seven interim board members elected on Saturday were Tebogo Masehla, Harold Adams, Aleck Skhosana, Jakes Jacobs, Daan du Toit, Steven Khanyile and Sello Mokoena.

Speaking on behalf of the acting board, Mokoena said they had been given a mandate to sort out the federation.

“As it stands now Athletics South Africa is under interim leadership. Seven interim directors have been appointed today to run the affairs and try to normalise the situation,” Mokoena said.

He said the process to remove the board started on Friday at a Special General Meeting in Johannesburg.

“It started with 11 provinces saying ‘enough is enough’ and deciding to put a motion in place to deal with the problems at ASA.

“Chief among them (the problems) was the non-progress and the difficulties of the board working together. The provinces decided the board needed to be held jointly-accountable for the situation ASA found itself in.

“The other provinces joined the 11, and the meeting was held last night.”

Mokoena said it was a unanimous decision to sack the board and he reiterated that the AGM was held in accordance with the ASA and IAAF constitution.

“Right at the point of Boland proposing the motion, the IAAF was informed. The first step come Monday is to speak to important stakeholders among the IAAF, Sascoc (SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee) and the Department of Sport,” Mokoena said.

He said the interim board was likely to appoint a chairman on Monday, while Mokoena, along with Du Toit and Masehla, would go to the ASA offices on Monday and meet with the staff.

Mokoena said the first item on the interim board’s agenda was to look into the federation’s financial status.

“The seven interim board members will need to know exactly what is happening in terms of the finances and operations of ASA,” he said.

“We are here are simply to ensure the athletics program runs… and that will require other resources which may need other stakeholders.

“It is common knowledge that the sport doesn’t have any sponsors… the private sector needs return on their investment and, at the moment, we don’t have a return for them.”

At the end of June, Sascoc suspended ASA after its members ignored sanctions placed on its board.

The suspension was in terms of Clause 9.3 of Sascoc’s Articles of Association which gave it the power to “suspend, fine and terminate” the membership of any federation which infringed the Sascoc constitution or brought the organisation into disrepute.

Mokoena believed Saturday’s decision would pave the way for the Olympic body to lift the suspension.

Neither Evans nor Hendrick Ramaala attended the AGM as they were appearing in a Johannesburg High Court attempting to uphold Thursday’s decision to suspend five members of ASA’s provincial boards.

“The five members ignored the dispute resolution mechanisms in the Constitutions of Athletics South Africa and Sascoc and [were] also in violation of the rules of the IAAF,” Evans said in a statement on Saturday.

It emerged later on Saturday, the high court judge would not grant Evans an interdict and instead suggested Evans seeks arbitration to resolve his differences with the board members. – SAPA

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Mountain Biker of the Week – Heleen Els

Heleen Els IMG SugarRush 2013How did you get into mountain biking? Strange story. I use to be a squash player but was diagnosed with a heart condition in 2011. I got told to get another form of exercise because squash cannot be no more. So I chose mountain biking. After much deliberation the Dr agreed and then it all started

How long have you been riding? First race was in November 2011

What is your favourite distance to ride and why? I have been limited with the distances I could do so far. At this stage the longest ride was a 25km. That is quite nice and my favourite so far but I would like to do at least a couple of 40’s. I think that it tests both physical and mental strength

Who is your biggest mountain biking inspiration and why? All these small kids who participate in the 10kms events and finish it! I think that is incredible.

What is your biggest or best mountain biking achievement? What are you most proud of? My biggest achievement – never gave up in a race as yet. Finished each and every one I have started so far. My proudest moment was actually finishing my very first race. That was the Lynford Classic and I thought I was going to die….

What is your favourite mountain biking quote? Continue reading

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Cyclist Johan Labuschagne run over by taxi in Sandton – Update


This morning saw yet another cyclist needlessly knocked down by a taxi while riding in the yellow lane. According to Andrew Mclean, well known cyclist Johan Labuschagne was commuting to work when the incident occurred in Sandton.  The nine time Absa Cape Epic finisher, Labuschagne, is being treated at the Sandton Medi Clinic for injuries which include fractured cheek bones, a fractured wrist as well soft tissue damage and lacerations.

Once again, as always happens following an incident of this nature, there was an outpouring of well wishes, support and anger on various social media networks. These are just a cross section of some of the tweets that were posted since the incident this morning:

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Johan Labuschagne knocked down, we chat to Andrew Mclean, JMPD’s Edna Mamonyane & the PPA’s Steve Hayward – Cycle Talk SA Episode 18


This morning was abuzz with news that Johan Labuschange was knocked off his bicycle whilst riding in the yellow lane in Johannesburg. On this episode of Cycle Talk SA:

We chat to Andrew Mclean, who tweeted the pictures of the accident as well as those of the taxi that is accused of knocking Johan off his bike.

Brad spoke to Superintendent Edna Mamonyane, the spokesperson for the JMPD, about the accident and what the JMPD is doing to stop this behaviour on our roads.

Steve Hayward, chairman of the Pedal Power Association touched base with us about what we as cyclists can do to stay safe on the roads.

If you would like to subscribe to our weekly podcast on iTunes here or on RSS feed by clicking here. You can also be in touch via  or  or 

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