Living my Dream

Hugo and Joubert Come Out Tops


was high when enthusiasts from various sporting disciplines gathered in Gordon’s
Bay in the early morning to take on the 10th annual Totalsports
Challenge, with most eyes focused on multi-sport legend Dan Hugo, the five-time
defending champion in this gruelling 123.5km seven-discipline event. Just after
midday, he had walked off with his sixth consecutive victory in the individual
men’s category, while debutant Lezandre Joubert surprised everybody, including
herself, as she claimed the women’s title.

The event started
in Gordon’s Bay with a 12km surfski and 1.5km swim, followed by a 50km road
bike to Kleinmond. Next up was a 13km road run to the Arabella Resort, where
the 13km K1 canoe paddle took place, followed by a 25km mountain bike leg. The
race finished with a 9km beach run on the Kleinmond beach. The event also
offered the four-discipline Terra Firma Challenge (97km), which comprised the four ‘land’
legs. Athletes could enter as individuals, pairs, trips of teams of seven in
the main race, while the Terra Firma was open to individuals, pairs and



Dan had to
ward off a formidable attack from Stuart Marais, who made his break on the road
run, pulling approximately three minutes clear of the defending champion going
into the canoe leg. “I didn’t expect a fight on the day and then finding myself
in the ‘ring’ taking punches, it’s just difficult when you don’t have great
form,” said Dan. “I definitely have a lot of respect for Stuart. He is a
remarkable athlete and for a split second there he had me considering letting
go. But after really digging deep I managed to catch him on the K1 paddle. It
was on the mountain bike discipline that my second tank kicked in and I could
build on my lead.”


Dan crossed
the line in a time of six hours, 18 minutes and 28 seconds, with Stuart taking
second and Dylan van der Merwe coming home third. “I am really grateful to be
able to take part in the Totalsports Challenge. It remains one of my favourite
events, and my family’s support on the day was once again awesome,” said Dan.


In the
women’s race, Lezandre Joubert hit the bull’s eye with her first attempt at the
full Totalsports Challenge, crossing the finish line first in 7:58:46, ahead of
Kim Rew and Charisse Hansen. After the race, Lezandre said the first highlight
of the day was during the surfski leg. “We were approximately 30 minutes into
the race when we were welcomed by between 100 and 200 dolphins. They surrounded
us, swimming under our boats, and it was such an amazing experience. My second
highlight was coming down the finish straight, realising that I was first in my
category. This truly is an amazing race, the support was perfect and the vibe
was just awesome!”



Pfitzenmaaier walked off with his third consecutive victory in the individual
men’s category of the Terra Firma Challenge, finishing in 3:45:53, with Pieter
Wehmeyer second and John Ntuli third. American Courtenay Brown was the first
individual women home in 4:42:42, with Kathrin Walther second and Ingrid Peens


The seven-athlete
team categories were hotly contested affairs, with the Totalsports Champions
coming home in 5:16:20, just over six minutes clear of the New Balance Pro Team
in the men’s sevens. My Training Day/JAG was third. The same three teams
dominated the women’s sevens, but swapped finishing order, with My Training Day/JAG
home first in 6:19:40, followed closely by Totalsports A Team, and New Balance
Women’s Pro a distant third.


The leading
team in the Terra Firma men’s foursomes was Potjies, home in 4:18:19, with MTD
Social just 50 seconds adrift in second, and Kelfords Mixed third just over a
minute later. The women’s category was won by Hexvallei Dames in 5:38:45, with
Cruisers second. In the mixed category, 4 Fit Friends took the win in 5:13:26,
ahead of Team Langebaan and Green Bottle Heroes.