Caveman tries to remember Durban Ultra Triathlon 1994 #ThrowbackThursday

Conrad Stoltz Caveman Durban Ultra Triathlon 1994

The year was 1994. In a time before the internets. The year  Apartheid crumbled. The year I had “Mark Allen hair” Nowadays its called a mullet.

“Ironman” was nothing but one race on a more-distant-than-the-moon volcanic island full of “Scotts” or, closer to home, “Ironman” was a Boere style triathlon: 20km K1 paddle, 120k  bike, run around Harties- dominated by hard hard men with tough names like Rockley and Bester.

To us, the “Durban Ultra” was the pinnacle of endurance triathlon. 4k ocean swim with sometimes huge swell, 120km hot & hilly bike and I cant remember much about the 30km run. I’m pretty sure I walked a lot.

My idea of “race nutrition” was “eat an energy bar on the bike”  and some sugar cubes wrapped in tin foil for the run. No wonder I cant remember anything.

Those were the pre internets days, so  if you were there, or remember who won (Phillip Oosthuizen?) or where I finished, feel free to comment below.

In 94 I lived in PE on a mattress on the balcony of a 5th floor flat in Central with Kevin Richards. I think Kevin rented so high up, so that he could see over the surrounding buildings what the surf at “Fence” was looking like. There were friendly prostitutes on the steps to the front door, and sometimes you’d share the lift with them as they take their clients to the rooftop.

Kevin was the big dog in SA at the time and I felt privileged to learn straight from the pro..  The insiders respectfully called him “Bergie” – in part because he lived a very simple life on a shoe string budget and rode the same black Lejeune for maybe 8 years. Spending much time with no frills “Bergie” is probably where some of my “caveman” roots took hold.

“Sponsorship” comprised of a free Bodyglove wetsuit and free Adidas running shoes. With T-shirts, a track suit and a kit bag thrown in on the deal. At this time, my bike was either a 2nd had LOOK KG96 bought from Simon Lessing for too much, or a purple and black 3rd hand (via Simon then Kevin) Cannondale R600 “Tri bike” with 26″ wheels.

With the Sporting Sanctions against South Africa lifted, we spent the winters racing in France and the summers racing in South Africa. Dreamy Endless Summers with endless racing. With no coach, no off season, up to 33 races a year, and a propensity for smashing  every training session- I had the recipe for overtraining pretty much dialed. In the pic one can see the tell tale signs of chronic overtraining-  a “fit fat” athlete- where the body goes into “man on the island” preservation mode caused by rising cortisol levels which suppresses testosterone production.

In hind sight, “rest” is not a sign of weakness, but of strength.

 

 

Comments

Rick and Pam Fulton 13-07-2015, 20:24

Rick raced 6 years in a row from 1992-1997. 2 top 10s and a permanent number 114. Pam raced from 1995-1997. Fattis and Monis was the long term sponsor and Ray Thorne was the organiser. He now lives in Brisbane.

Reply
Conrad 14-07-2015, 10:30

Thanks Rick!

Reply
Alec Riddle 13-07-2015, 18:12

Caveman what a great blog. Yes, the Durban Ultra was a race from yesteryear, although my 5 finisher medals had already been packed away for a few years by ’94. My first Durban Ultra in ’85 was raced on a R450 brand new Le Turbo and the nutrition (boiled potatoes, grapes, coke & bar ones ) probably contributed to one of the world’s most spectacular bonks. Remember the Caveman & Bergie days well, with Jaco Loots thrown in for good measure. I think I exited the Tri ranks when 3 juniors started surfacing (Stoltz, Lessing, Tissink) and perhaps just as well.

Reply
Gary simpson 13-07-2015, 18:03

I did the early ones. 3.2km surf swim. 180 cycle and 420 run. Winners in my day were Dave Mcarney and Manfried Fuhs. Got some pics…

Reply
Tim Ziehl 20-02-2015, 11:08

Those were the days…. – I competed in 6 of them. My last one – the 32km run (please don’t ever rob me of the 2 extra km’s) took me 2 hrs.23 minutes…. That’s when I decided the “long stuff” is not for me. C, in hindsight – there are a few “Special” bikes we should never have let go… Fond memories!

Reply

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