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Not Ironman… RyanMan.

Those who have been following my journey into triathlon would have seen a couple of false starts with races. Such is life in 2022.

I entered Race2Stanford – a triathlon – which looked like such an epic event. Half Ironman distance: 1.9km swim, followed by a 90km bike ride, followed by a 21.1km run between Hermanus and Stanford in the picturesque Western Cape.

That was enough of a challenge and a lure for me. So I began training.

Then, on 1 April, race organisers emailed to say roadworks were affecting the route and “the traffic dept have deemed it unsafe to accommodate us on 14 May 2022”. It wasn’t even an April Fool’s joke.

“Well, at least it wasn’t Covid this time,” I thought. But it was still enough to be a bit more disappointed than a mere eye roll and a deep sigh.

I phoned the race organiser straight away.

“I’ve just had two guys from the UK on the phone as well,” he said. “They’ve planned accommodation and everything for that weekend.”

“Well that’s also why I’m checking in with you,” I replied.

“Don’t cancel your accommodation plans,” he quickly interjected. “We’ll have an awesome training camp that same weekend!”

Great, I thought. So there’s still something to look forward to.

Then, a week before:

“Howzit Ryan, lekker to feel your stoke. Sadly you’re one of a handful; so not enough to justify hotel subsidies etc and we are pulling the plug on this. Next time, much more warning.”

*Sad trombone*

I then tried to enter the Durban 70.3 Ironman, but alas, entries were full and the receptionist on the phone said that they were “not taking more entries even if there are cancellations”. (She sounded jaded.)

I told Tam, who reassured me that it obviously was not supposed to be. I’d thought about just doing the distance on my own… but who wants to just do that kind of thing on their own?

Anyway, we ventured along to our weekend away regardless. And after an afternoon training ride, I received the following news from my brother Jon.

“My intrepid friend Graeme has organised, in two weeks time on the 28 May, the very first RyanMan… starting at Theewaterskloof Dam, riding through Franschhoek to Stellenbosch and back, and a run in Franschhoek.”

Graeme. What a legend. Organisational guru if ever there was one, as well as a creative problem-solver. And gung-ho mate on top of all that. If you missed the previous blog, I’ll say it again: we all need a Graeme in our lives.

So, we’re off to Franschhoek this weekend, for the inaugural RyanMan 2022. I’ll let you know how it goes.

1.9km Swim. 90km Bike. 21.1km Run.

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