• Eastern Cape Rising Sun

‘Iron men and women’ conquer East London

Updated: Jan 28

Buffalo City played host to the 13th Ironman 70.3 triathlon on Sunday, January 26 2020, regarded as Africa’s toughest Ironman 70.3 under harsh weather conditions that served as a true test for athletes in swimming, cycling and running.


Matt Trautman and Flora Duffy won the men’s and women’s races respectively. 1 474 athletes from around the world faced water temperature at 14.5 Degrees Celsius, making it a wetsuit compulsory swim and the air temperature reaching 27.5 Degrees Celsius.


Athletes took part in a 1.9km ocean swim at Orient Beach, followed by a 90.1km bike down the N2 highway and turning around at the Berlin off-ramp before taking on a 21.1km run which consisted of two loops of the Esplanade.


“I was super determined for this race for some reason. As a professional, you always want to win and I really wanted this one. With little Riley (son) and Nicole (wife) cheering me on I got some extra dad power, it’s a fantastic feeling. After coming second last year I needed that extra little bit of motivation. I’m really happy to come away with the win,” said Matt Trautman, upon crossing the finish line.


Bermuda’s Flora Duffy said, “This is my first Ironman 70.3 and I decided to do it because I really wanted to qualify for the 2020 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in November. I spent half the year here in South Africa training in Stellenbosch. My husband is South African, so this is kind of a second home for me and this was the only opportunity to fit an Ironman 70.3 in because I primarily race the Olympic distance triathlons”.


The 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 South Africa saw athletes representing 30 nations with a total of 91 international athletes. The biggest local contingents came from Gauteng (328 athletes) followed by the Eastern Cape (328 athletes) and Western Cape (281 athletes).


Top five PRO men’s results:

1. Matt Trautman, RSA

00:25:44 - Swim, 02:17:16 - Bike, 01:15:43 - Run, 04:02:59 - Finish


2. Bradley Weiss, RSA

00:25:46 - Swim, 02:17:18 - Bike, 01:18:15 - Run, 04:05:48 - Finish


3. Henri Schoeman, RSA

00:23:27 - Swim, 02:19:46 - Bike, 01:19:55 - Run, 04:07:30 - Finish


4. Bart Aernouts, BEL

00:28:48 - Swim, 02:17:29 - Bike, 01:17:58 - Run, 04:09:10 - Finish

5. Kyle Buckingham, RSA

00:25:53 - Swim, 02:17:01 - Bike, 01:22:47 - Run, 04:10:17 - Finish


Top five PRO women’s results:

1. Flora Duffy, BMU

00:25:43 - Swim, 02:42:12 - Bike, 01:20:37 - Run, 04:34:05 - Finish

2. Emma Pallant, GBR

00:30:01- Swim, 02:33:01- Bike, 01:27:38 - Run, 04:36:08 - Finish

3. Jade Nicole, RSA

00:30:03 - Swim, 02:34:05 - Bike, 01:31:41 - Run, 04:41:17 - Finish

4. Natia Van Heerden, RSA

00:32:19 - Swim, 02:40:29 - Bike, 01:28:09 - Run, 04:46:26 - Finish

5. Annah Watkinson, RSA

00:30:00 - Swim, 02:42:37 - Bike, 01:30:36 - Run, 04:48:39 - Finish


Congratulations to athletes who completed the 2020 edition of Ironman - Eastern Cape Rising Sun!


* 13th Edition in Buffalo City.

* 1 500 athletes took part.

* 1 164 finished.

* Windiest day of the year.

* Up to R4 000 entrance fee.

* Triathlon: Swimming, Running, Cycling.

* Time: 6:45 am – 1pm.

* Route: Orient Theatre – Bunkers Hill - Berlin.

* 2.1km swim, 91km bike ride and 21.1km run.

* 2nd most difficult half Ironman route in the world.


Matt Trautman (centre) finished in four hours and two minutes to win his fourth Ironman. Bradley Weiss and Henri Schoeman came second and third respectively to make it an all South African win in the mens category.
Flora Duffy (Bermuda) finished in four hours and 34 minutes to be crowned the women’s winner. Emma Pallant (UK) came second with South Africa's Jade Nicole claiming the third spot on the podium.

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