It all started 4 years ago with my first triathlon 5150 Bela Bela. Ironman was never ever in my mind to do as I thought who can do a 3.8km swim, 180.2km bike and then run a marathon afterwards, this must only be for the pro’s. No normal human can go through this?
So I started with a few Olympic distance events not that I was good at all, battled probably the first 2 years to brake 3 hours on an Olympic distance. I eventually got the courage together to enter my first 70.3 East London. I could not do this by myself and who better to do my first one with, my wife. She was not keen at first but also agreed to enter (well I just entered her and let her know afterwards). So training was going on but not much to write home about. In December of 2015 I rode between Christmas and New year in the Cradle to get a few long rides in and I saw a group of people in pink and blue coming past me. Boy they flew and I pedaled so hard just to catch up with them and started to chat to a guy named Richard Gaugeler. We chatted from Lion and Rhino park to the first stretch on the caves rode where he had to do Intervals. But in that time he mentioned how awesome this group of people is and how they encourage one another and push each other to their limits.
So, I’m an Ironman. I know it because Paul Kaye said it. He’s the voice of Ironman here in South Africa. As you run down the red carpet to the finish line of an Ironman race, it’s announced “Geoffrey Smith, You ARE an IRONMAN”. Every age group athlete has fantasized that Ironman moment and hears those words in their head while imagining it over and over. On many long runs, bike rides, or pool workouts I played out the red carpet moment, crossing the finish, hearing those words. That moment would be an ultimate moment of this journey
Before I started triathlon, I always followed the sport in awe of all the athletes. Chrissie Wellington was an early favourite of mine, especially after reading her book. She wrote that her motivation always came from a poem by Kipling – IF. It really is a remarkable piece of writing, do yourself a favour and read it.
‘If you can dream—and not make dreams your master’
Ironman was never a dream of mine. It was just impossible. 3.8km swim, 180km cycle and 42.2km run. Ha that’s only reserved for the heroes of our time! But then I met one of my own hero’s, Lucie Zelenkova. After training with Luc for 3 years, she instilled the possibility in me to take on the challenge. At first I thought she was mad!
Where Trifactri athletes get to tell their side of the Swim, Bike and Run