A beautiful birthday triathlon

One of Cape Town’s “old favourite” multi-sport events takes place at the beautiful Langebaan Lagoon this weekend when the West Coast Warmwater Weekend triathlon and open-water swim returns to the West Coast National Park.

In the first event of the new season, triathletes will be testing their form on Saturday in either the standard distance format (1500m swim, 40km ride, 10km trail run) or over the sprint distance (750m, 20km, 5km), while open water swimmers have the choice of a 3,8km, 1,6km (1 Mile) or 800m distances on Sunday

Event organisers, Electric Ink Media, are putting in a real effort to make this event special as they celebrate the 10th birthday of the Westcoast Warmwater Weekend powered by MiWayLife. The event is one of the traditional favourites for triathletes, but this year competitors will enjoy a beautiful new feel for the anniversary event.

Renovations at Kraal Bay inspired a change of scenery and the event has moved to the area of the lagoon which kite boarders have made famous in recent years. This shift has resulted in some exciting new routes. Much of the bike and run legs take place inside the park, while the swim and transition are inside the Shark Bay Estate near the Langebaan park gate.

For the standard distance event, the competitors will start with a 1.5km point-to-point swim through the calm turquoise lagoon channel from the yacht club beside an old shipwreck, followed by a 40km undulating road ride inside the national park. The longer-event athletes end with a 10km road and trail run towards town and back. The run takes them along some spectacular cliff paths and white sand beaches before heading back into the park.

The sprint athletes have a 750m swim into the same channel, followed by short jog to transition and a 20km bike into the park and back. They end with a run along the west coast of the lagoon, including some technical but breathtaking coastal single-track trail .

“We are proud to be hosting the 10th anniversary edition of the Westcoast Warmwater Weekend Triathlon,” said Paul Ingpen, the event’s race director from Electric Ink Media. “It has been a spectacular journey over the past nine years with some of the country’s top triathletes joining us for the event in the beautiful West Coast National Park and its turquoise lagoon.

“Over the years we have aimed to build an event that is family friendly, beautiful and well-organised, yet has an atmosphere that is fun, personal and relaxed.

“There are very few triathlons globally that take place in such a beautiful setting. By local standards the swimmers will be in the relatively warm and clam turquoise lagoon waters; and then this year the runners and riders take in the spectacular scenery of the famous flowers. The West Coast flower season has been described as ‘the greatest flower show on earth’, and this event in the West Coast National Park is now happening at the tail end of it.”

The event is once again sanctioned by CTTA (Western Province) and Triathlon South Africa.