Clanwilliam Freshpak Fitness Festival – 4 October
With Clanwilliam being such a popular getaway destination – with its superb dam and surrounding campsite, and add in the fact that October brings in the start of summer, with invariably some very warm conditions, who wouldn’t have wanted to head for Clanwilliam for the weekend? Better yet, the folks at Freshpak and Tridusport have excelled themselves at organizing and running the Clanwilliam fitness festival, offering open water swims, a “fit kids” competition, as well as triathlon, duathlon and biathlon events.
The Freshpak Fitness Festival, held on the 4th of October this year, attracted athletes from all over South Africa, ranging from novice to elite. This yearly event provides a big economic boost to the beautiful town of Clanwilliam (celebrating its 200th anniversary this year), the home of our beloved Rooibos. Friday night saw the arrival of participants wishing to have a bit of fun before the action starts on the Saturday morning. The Campsite at the Clanwilliam dam was quickly packed with tents, bicycles, wetsuits hanging from tent ropes, braai fires and a general abundance of good spirits as everyone settled in for the night.
Saturday morning saw the arrival of more athletes eager to stretch their legs. After a quick registration at the main tent, a quick coffee was in order from the ever-present Café Pronto. Participants and supporters had the opportunity to see the open water swim (securely watched over by the stand-up paddlers and rescue boats) and “fit kids” competition while enjoying their breakfast. The afternoon marked the start of the duathlon, biathlon and triathlon events. The triathlon, duathlon and biathlon were done over sprint distances:
· Triathlon: 800m swim, 20km cycle, 5km Run
· Duathlon: 5km Run, 20km Bike, 2.5km Run
· Biathlon: 5km Run, 20km Bike
The Freshpak Fitness Festival is the perfect event for runners and cyclists to try their hand at Multisport. This year in particular was a testing race, as conditions were extremely warm at 35 degrees Celsius. The routes prepared for the events were not too tough technically or elevation-wise, but offered up enough resistance to make for a good challenge for everyone, especially with the heat!! A sandy section at the start of the running legs also serve to challenge those core muscles.
A fun aspect (especially for the supporters and viewers,) was on the cycling leg: there was the added challenge of starting uphill right after leaving transition. For the participants who forgot to down-gear before docking their bikes prior to the race, this provided quite a challenge and on more than one occasion a cyclist could be seen stalling and doing a slow fall. But being the tough fitness junkies they are, all climbed back on the bike and went on their merry way. All finishers received a well-earned Erdinger and refreshing Freshpak tea.
The event was very well organised, with food and beverage stands and a big tent at the centre of the festivities. All the routes were marked out clearly and the VERY important water points were placed in all the right places. Once all the events were done and dusted, all the hot and tired athletes had a chance to grab a drink and watch the All Blacks vs Springboks rugby match in the main tent on Saturday evening. Everyone forgot their sore legs and leaped to support the winning Boks to the end. Once the happy crowd was calmed again, the prize giving took place, where the main prizes were given out, as well as awesome sponsored gear for the lucky draw from Skins, Mizuno, Speedo, Erdinger, ProNutro and Freshpak.
All in all, a great weekend away for anyone interested in trying their hand at multisport. Outpost Running would definitely recommend giving it a go next year. Not only is it super fun but a percentage of the proceeds raised from entry fees will be donated to CANSA’s West Coast region. See you there next year!
Gombie (@MichaelGombart on twitter)
@OutpostRunning on twitter or Outpost Running on Facebook
*All photo credit goes to Chris Hitchcock (https://www.facebook.com/chris.hitchcock1)