Trautman wins Ironman for fourth time
After coming out fifth in the water and making a good transition on the bike, triathlon star Matt Trautman went on to win his fourth Ironman 70.3 South Africa title at the Orient Beach in East London on Sunday.
The 34-year-old Trautman finished the tough East London course at 04: 02: 59, while last year's winner and current XTERRA world champion Bradley Weiss came second at 04: 05: 48 and former champion and Olympic bronze medallist Henri Schoeman finished third at 04: 07: 30.
In the female's race, 2017 ITU World Triathlon Series world champion, Flora Duffy finished in first place at 04: 34: 05, while two-time duathlon world champion Emma Pallant from the UK came second at 04: 36: 08. The only South African in the top three females, Jade Nicole, finished in third place at 04: 41: 17.
The Cape Town-based Trautman who's been out of action since he last competed in the Challenge Cape Town event in November, said the 28-year-old Schoeman gave him a run for his money.
“I knew Herni (Schoeman) would have a bit of a gap on us out of the swim and I expected that but I was happy with my swim.
"Henri is an Olympic bronze medalist and one of the best swimmers in the sport. He's just a good all-rounder and I knew he was going to be hard to beat but I managed to catch him at the right time.
“I was with the main pack, Bradley [Weiss], Michael Raelert, so I had to make sure that I got out of the transition quickly,” said Trautman.
“It was good for me to get a bit of gap during the run. My plan was to quickly get into my own rhythm and I managed to lead in the last 40 minutes of the bike.
“I had to make sure I got off the bike first and I thought Henri would be fast in the first 10km.
“He set off quickly but I managed to stay ahead of the guys and extend my lead and thankfully all went very well,” said Trautman.
He said after competing in the Challenge Cape Town event he took some time off just to reset before he went back to training in December. He said that time out helped him to recover nicely for Ironman.
“I used December and the first part of January to try and work on my speed. I had a busy year in 2019. So I had to work on my speed and make sure that I'm ready for this race.
“Because the Ironman 70.3 is just getting faster and faster with the ITU [International Triathlon Union] athletes coming through to the competition.”
In 10 days' time Trautman will be participating in the Ironman 70.3 Dubai 2020 before returning to South Africa for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Port Elizabeth at the end of March.
Trautman thanked his wife Nicole and his son Riley for supporting him.