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Meet the Modern Athlete DARE TO TRI Team


It’s been a ‘tough’ and exciting couple of weeks at the Modern Athlete offices. Tough, because it was extremely hard to choose only 10 team members after so many of you applied for this exciting challenge. And at the same time exciting, as we believe that we selected the best of the best!

Our athletes are in for the journey of a lifetime. Not only will they be trained by Derick Marcisz, who has 41 years’ experience as a runner, cyclist and triathlete, but they will also be kitted out in the best sporting gear on the market and receive the best sporting services available as a host of partners have come on board and joined the challenge. (Read all the details about our fabulous partners in the article on page 29 and 30).

From 5 October our selected athletes will follow a basic triathlon programme and give regular feedback to Derick, who will adjust each athlete’s programme to suit their individual needs as well as help them set intermediate goals for their training and the big event. Our team will train together on selected training weekends and attend our four triathlon workshops over the next couple of months, and our readers will receive regular feedback on how our athletes are doing (more about how you can follow their progress in the next edition).

REMEMBER: If you applied and did not make the team, or if you are a newcomer to the sport and would like to complete a triathlon or Ironman 70.3, you can still follow our programme, attend our practical workshops and gain the experience that will set you up to cross the finish line of any triathlon. Each month we will publish a generic training programme that can be followed by all readers. Training starts Monday 5 October, so make sure you don’t miss the October edition of Modern Athlete. (Also refer to page 4 for details on our Triathlon Workshops or log onto www.modernathlete.co.za to book your spot). But firstly, it’s time to meet our DARE TO TRI team members.

Age: 21

Mache started running in February 2011 and has completed a couple of half marathons. She recently bought a second-hand bike and wants to complete the Argus in future. Though she does not have much swimming experience, she loves the water and recently completed her open water scuba diving course. Mache would love to complete the Two Oceans and Comrades. “I have never considered Ironman because I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it on my own! This challenge gives someone like me the opportunity to consider the full Ironman as a sporting goal. I believe that it will be wonderful to have an organised support system and that this challenge will be one of the most rewarding experiences, especially for someone like me, who used to never be active or do any sports.”

Age: 36

Boris has been cycling since 1999 and is not scared of bikes, but admits that his longest run up to now has only been 6km. As he was born in Germany, “the land of Ledder Hosen, beer and Automation,” he admits that swimming pools did not feature anywhere on his top 100 list, hence he has never learnt to swim. His bucket list includes completing Sani2C as well as Two Oceans and Comrades and of course Ironman 70.3! “My motivation is simply to complete it and as clich?d as it sounds show that those that said I couldn’t do it that I did. Then there is the other side of the coin, to race against myself and see how far and fast I can really go, and the personal satisfaction of completing Ironman 70.3, learning how to swim at the young age of 36 and motivating others that ride and run with me to do the same.”

Age: 31

Andile comes from a running background and attempted his first Comrades this year. Unfortunately, he did not make the cut-off time. His cycling experience is limited as he has always been concerned about his safety on a road bike. He is able to swim from one end of the pool to the other and as he puts it, “knows enough not to drown,” but that is it! His sporting goals include completing the Comrades Marathon, the Absa Cape Epic and Ironman 70.3. “I have been contemplating this challenge and I would eventually like to take part in the full Ironman. Ultra-marathon and Ironman events are known to be difficult sporting codes and I want to use my successful participation in completing these to impart a positive mindset to the youth. I have been fortunate to have discovered my purpose in life, which is to help those in need. I know how inspired most people from my community were when they heard I would be participating in the Comrades Marathon. The Ironman will be an even bigger inspiration. I am positive about the fact that participating will inspire and motivate many youths from my community.”

Age: 40

Helena was on a business trip in the USA when she heard about the DARE TO TRI Challenge. She immediately applied. “Competing in Ironman South Africa is my dream! And I cannot think of a better way to reach this dream than to participate in Ironman 70.3 with the help of Modern Athlete.” Helena started running in 2008 by entering a 5km race. Then the running bug bit and soon her husband as well as another friend and her husband followed. Helena finished her second Comrades this year. “I have always set goals for myself. Pushing myself to the limit and exploring new adventures are what defines me as a person. My husband calls it a midlife crisis, as I just turned 40, but I believe you have one life, so make the most of it. I get up at 4:15 every morning to train and when it is cold and I am tired, I still get up, all in the name of Ironman. When I feel like giving up, I hear the words: ‘Helena Chamberlain, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!”

Age: 30

Kerryn has some running and cycling experience and only recently started swimming a bit. Her sporting goals include running the New York and London marathons, finishing Ironman 70.3 and ultimately also Ironman SA. “As a child and teenager, I was too scared to try anything. I didn’t play sport. Two years ago, I could not run more than 500m without breaking a sweat and coughing up a lung, but I decided to give a 5km time trial a shot.” She has now done a few half marathons and the 94.7 cycle challenge on a borrowed bike. “I have been thinking of entering triathlons for some time, but my fear of swimming has kept me away. After watching on the sidelines of Ironman in 2010, I was inspired. More than the winners, the guys running in the dark, trying desperately to finish really inspired me. I entered 70.3 as soon as entries opened in July!”

Age: 51

Caswell has been running since 2006 and had always asked himself: “Why did I start so late?” He has since completed his first Comrades Marathon in 2007. His cycling experience is minimal and he describes his swimming as “very limited.” Caswell’s bucket list includes a Comrades finish of sub-9 hours before he turns 60 as well as an Addo 100 Miler and the Absa Cape Epic. The cherry on top, of course, is crossing the red carpet at Ironman 70.3. “When my fellow African brothers see me completing a triathlon, they are also going to be encouraged to participate. Moreover, when they think that this supposedly old man, who is supposed to be over the hill, is showing them, the youngsters, that it can be done and that it is never too late, they will jump onboard.”

Age: 31

Johan is part of our husband & wife team and extremely excited to be tackling this challenge with his wife, Christelle. He is an avid cyclist and has done two open water swims as well as some road running in his younger days. He recently started running up to 10km at a comfortable pace. “I am a dedicated athlete who has made the conscious decision to start training for Ironman. I have a few friends who have completed Ironman and I would really like to be part of this elite group. I don’t want to merely finish this, but do this in a manner that will keep me coming back for more. I enjoy new challenges and always make sure that I complete what I set out to do. Another big motivation for me is to set an example for my two young kids and wife. By setting an environment in place where fitness is an everyday occurrence, I can motivate my kids to lead a healthy lifestyle.”

Age: 36

Christelle has been cycling for just over a year and did her first open water swim earlier this year (with minimal training). She has no experience in running, but recently started running up to 8km with her husband. “I don’t believe in quitting. I may not finish in the top 10, but finish I will. I love the feeling of going over the finish line and knowing that it was all me that got there. I also know that you can’t achieve this without training. It may hurt while training, but when you conquer a climb in the race, you know the training paid off. I know that I will be able to give my best and set an example for other people out there, especially my family and friends. I have read so many inspiring articles about people that change their lives and complete a gruelling event like this. I know that I have the support of my husband and with the help of the programme, I am sure that I can achieve the goal in 2012.”

Age: 28

Neil has done a couple of small triathlons, but finds training without structure very hard. His goal is to complete his first Ironman 70.3 in a time of 6:30 or better. “I qualified as a chartered accountant in 2007. I immediately realised, due to my qualification people have placed me into a certain mould, regarding my personality and abilities. I would like to be part of the DARE TO TRI team to break this stereotype and to prove to people your qualification does not make you who you are or determines what you can do or can’t do. I would love the chance to tap into some expert training advice. Up to now my training tips have been that of mates who have done a few more tri’s than myself.”

Age: 49

Sarah, also known as ‘Madam Dough’ to her family, comes from a running background, though she took a bit of a sabbatical for some years when work, marriage and children started happening. She began ‘plodding’ again a couple of years ago, before running a bit more seriously since last year. She has finished the Two Oceans Ultra twice, and finished one Cycle Challenge last year after buying her bike just four days before the race, having only trained on a spinning bike. She hasn’t swum since school, but says she can breast stroke at a leisurely pace endlessly. “I am not a great athlete, but have always wanted to be one. After leaving school, my school swimming coach said he always used me as an example to new kids: ‘She had no talent, but had a strong mind and drive,’ which is quite true. I know I am no spring chicken, but in 10 years’ time I will look back to this age and say ‘you were so young then, why didn’t you do more while you still could?’ I have always been curious as to how I would or could do if I trained for and partook in a triathlon, as I am pretty average at all three disciplines and do think that with good guidance and training I could improve greatly. I could be a perfect example of how your average, middle-aged Madam Dough can become fit and healthy if she gets off the couch and gets the heart pumping!”

Meet The FABULOUS PARTNERS Of The Modern Athlete DARE TO TRI Team

The Modern Athlete DARE TO TRI Challenge team has secured some amazing partners for this life-changing experience. Our partners have come on board to help these girls and guys cross the finish line in East London and make their journey exciting and memorable .
Modern Athlete is proud to present the following partners:


World Endurance South Africa has endorsed the Modern Athlete DARE TO TRI Challenge campaign. World Endurance SA is the premier endurance event organiser in South Africa and hosts the prestigious Spec-Savers Ironman South Africa, Spec-Savers Ironman 70.3 South Africa and the 5150 Bela Bela Triathlon. Visit their website at www.ironman703.co.za.
70.3? is registered trademark of World Endurance Sports Group. M-Dot 70.3? is a registered trademark of World Endurance Sports Group. Used here by permission.


This funky new multi-sport shop in Bryanston is the team multisport and bike service partner. Tribe has every conceivable cycle product plus so much more under one roof. They specialise in female-specific triathlon gear and also stock the latest triathlon, cycling, trail and running gear. Tribe MULTISPORTS is also the proud host of the third Modern Athlete DARE TO TRI workshop on 27 November. For more information, visit www.tribemultisports.co.za. They can be contacted on (011) 568 0275, or visit their great store in the Hobart Shopping Centre in Hobart Road in Bryanston.



Leaders in compression gear, MEDAC is a Cape Town-based company that prides itself on being internationally renowned for its design, manufacturing and marketing of compression supports, orthopaedic bracing, and performance gear to the orthopaedic, sports medicine and recreational athletic markets. For 30 years, MEDAC has been leading the industry by manufacturing products from the best available materials and to the highest standards of quality. Visit their website at www.medacsport.co.za.



Saucony is the team’s proud running shoe partner, ensuring a quick, comfortable last leg of the triathlon. The Saucony? brand has been in existence for more than a century and has always striven to make runners’ lives better. The people at Saucony? are passionate about runners and want to create the best running shoes and apparel on the planet, to inspire others to run. Available at all leading sports shops. Visit www.saucony.com for more information.



The guys at ZOGGS have the following to say: “Born in Australia, it’s in our nature to swim. We love the freedom and exhilaration of the water and want to share our passion for swimming around the world!” ZOGGS offers a ‘one-stop swim shop’ for recreational and fitness swimmers, quite a feat considering that back in 1992 they launched with only 12 pairs of goggles! Now, 18 years on, they are proud to offer an innovative and quality range of swimming goggles, training aids, kit, swimwear, water confidence and sun protection products. ZOGGS are worn by Olympic triathlon gold medallist, Jan Frodeno, former World Triathlon Champion, Daniel Unger and local elite husband and wife triathletes, Kent and Claire Horner. For more info and to check out their products, log onto www.zoggs.co.za or contact Colin Farrer at colin@lgbdistributors.co.za.



Cebe is a pioneer in the manufacture of sports and fashion eyewear, and in the past three years has added optical frames, sport goggles and watches to its range of sunglasses, ski goggles, gloves and helmets to complete its product portfolio. Cebe has now become the essential accessory, committed to quality and comfort. Today the company’s products are distributed in over 60 countries, so Cebe is providing increased satisfaction and ever-improved service worldwide. For more information, contact Christo Snyman on 011 796 8960 or at christo@ultimo.co.za.



Suunto watches are world-renowned for providing superior technology, first rate quality and total reliability. Suunto designs nothing but the most accurate and dependable instruments that you can trust under any circumstances. Suunto was founded in 1936 by outdoorsman and keen orienteering enthusiast Tuomas Vohlonen. For more info on Suunto watches, visit www.suunto.com, or contact Christo Snyman on 011 796 8960 or at christo@ultimo.co.za.


Founded in 1993 in Northern California by John Mix and Olympic gold medal swimmer Pablo Morales, many of the FINIS products are currently used by US and international Olympic teams, elite triathletes and fitness swimmers worldwide. Finis has a tradition of providing high-quality and creative technical products to the swimming world. They have worked with an extensive list of coaches and swimmers over the past 16 years to create products that optimise training and competitive performance, resulting in FINIS being regarded today as the worldwide leader in technical swimming development. The FINIS staff includes swimmers and coaches from around the world with distribution centres in 37 countries, including Australia, South Africa, Japan and Europe. For more info on FINIS products, visit www.swimgear.co.za or e-mail Michelle Schoeman at info@swimgear.co.za.



Total Immersion is the world’s most respected swim-improvement programme, famed for teaching a special relation with the water. Total Immersion students learn to swim like fish and love the water, while traditional instruction teaches ‘survival swimming.’ Total Immersion can teach anyone: Whether you’re new to swimming or have years of experience, the programme can provide you with all the tools you need to become the best swimmer you can be. All swimmers in the programme – even those who have been frustrated for years – have seen their swimming improve dramatically. Total ImmersionTM workshops will take you through the latest Total Immersion techniques covering in detail the drill sequences and builds to full stroke. These workshops offer a foolproof approach to teaching! For more info on Total Immersion, visit www.totalimmersionsa.co.za or contact Georgie Thomas on georgie@totalimmersionsa.co.za.



For over a century the Falke brand has been synonymous with excellence in quality and product innovation. With more than 30 years in the South African market, Falke continues to push the boundaries of performance technology. From the executives to the sportsmen and women of South Africa, Falke presents functional fashion for all lifestyles. Falke sport socks are engineered for ultimate performance and developed in close collaboration with top athletes. Falke gear is designed to bring out the best in you, whether you are training, competing or just passionate about sport. For more information, visit www.falke.co.za.



Focus.On.The.Finish.Line™ takes care of all the logistics that you, the athlete, are concerned about, and more importantly, even the details you have not thought to worry about yet! Focus.On.The.Finish.Line™ is a full service provider offering athletes race and training camp travel solutions. It is the creation of Kelly and Paul Kaye, who have both travelled and raced extensively, and between them worked in the luxury hospitality, events, media and marketing environments. As a result, they have immersed themselves in creating an elevated, personal experience for the participating athlete – from weekend warrior to professional – and their significant others. For more information, visit www.focusonthefinishline.com or contact Paul Kaye at 083 413 1000 or paul@focusonthefinishline.com.



PeptoSport? is a sports drink with carbohydrate AND PeptoPro? (protein hydrolysate) for use during and after exercise.  PeptoSport? was formulated and used in scientific studies on post-exercise recovery by Prof Andrew Bosch, University of Cape Town / MRC Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, in 2009. These studies, on 23 elite rugby players, demonstrated a reduction in delayed onset muscle soreness in the calf and quadriceps muscles during periods of high training load. PeptoSport? is especially formulated to provide PeptoPro? and carbohydrates calculated per kg body weight, as used in scientific studies. The choice and ratio of carbohydrates used in PeptoSport? have been scientifically proven to result in high rates of oxidation by the muscle and together with PeptoPro?, has been shown to activate muscle protein synthesis and enhance muscle recovery, thus enabling increased hard training and thereby improving overall performance.  PeptoSport? is available in citrus flavour and is added to water for convenience. For more information, visit www.atlife.co.za.



Kat Leisure Hotel Group is proud to offer a variety of leisure, sporting and business accommodation in the Western and Eastern Cape. Nestled near the southern tip of South Africa, the Eastern Cape boasts a moderate climate ideal for holidays, sporting events and business in getaway mountain and coastal destinations. The Kat Leisure Hotel Group has a diversity of accommodation ranging from 5-star hotel and golf estates to affordable self-catering accommodation. The natural beauty of South Africa, friendly Eastern Cape people and Kat Leisure Hotel Group hospitality will meet all your business and leisure accommodation expectations. In the past years, the hotel group has welcomed many Ironman participants to its establishments, and this year will be welcoming them back again while also playing an even larger role as the host of the official expo and famous Pasta Party at the Hotel Osner. Proudly South African, proudly Eastern Cape! For more information, visit www.katleisure.co.za.



St Benedict’s is a modern South African school with excellent facilities, built on a 40-acre site in Bedfordview, Gauteng. It was established in 1958 and is not only South Africa’s largest Catholic school, but also one of the country’s finest and most successful schools. It caters for college and preparatory school boys, from reception in Grade 0 through to matriculation in Grade 12. In 2009 the University of the Witwatersrand named St Benedict’s as one of its top 10 feeder schools. St Benedict’s boasts superb facilities, from a fully-equipped health-gymnasium and indoor heated pool to the 50-metre outdoor pool, tennis and basketball courts, cricket and rugby fields, a magnificent rugby/cricket pavilion and restaurant, grass hockey fields and an astro-turf, as well as an outstanding fleet of rowing boats. Bishop Grandin House, the boarding facility, is situated on the property and offers both weekly and termly boarding. For more information, visit www.stbenedicts.co.za or contact Mr Craig on 011 455 1906.

Modern Athlete wishes to thank all partners for their great support of the Modern Athlete DARE TO TRI team!