Raynard Tissink Triathlon Coach
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Super Human Pieter du Preez continues with his record breaking achievements

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 To my great disappointment I somehow feel cheated out of not going to Kona, as I know of wheelchair athletes who received a slot without entering through lottery or qualifying at an Ironman race - and on top of that not having a done a 70.3 or full Ironman in the current year. But somehow the Kona organisers decided to give them a slot. I have somehow lost my passion for Kona specifically, but I still believe a sub 12 hour Ironman is still possible and I will therefor go and race IMWA in December again.

 

Luckily qualifying to go to Paracycling World champs went as planned and I managed incredible results at a World Cup in Italy in May to book my ticket to the UCI paracycling World Champs 29 Aug- 1 Sept in Greenville, South Carolina.  

We flew out and only arrived at our hotel only on the 25th August 2014 so I knew acclimatisation was going to be tough for my Time Trial which was up 5 days later, but Ray made sure I did enough training(with the long term focus obviously another IM as well), so I knew even if I was not 100% yet, I should be ok. 

Time Trial race day came and somehow they mixed up our start list. I was supposed to go second last with my world ranking and yet I went first with no one to chase. I was not firing on all cylinders yet but felt solid as I raced on the challenging and hilly course with lots of technical sections and turns.

 As a quadriplegic I also don’t sweat, so racing in temperatures ranging from 30-35 degrees celsius with high humidity also made things tougher. Luckily it is the same for everyone and I ended up with a solid silver - although inside I was a little disappointed as I knew I was much stronger than this.

 

I knew come the road race I had to show these guys that I am the strongest guy here and decided that on the road race I will break up the longer hill on the first lap and try and just race my own race from there. Due to my degenerative bad eye sight, I also struggle in the very technical sections going from sun into shade so decided this would be a the safer bet but obviously I need to be able to hold them off. 

Once again, I just knew with the amount of hard work I put in over the last year, it has to be possible for me to do so. Race day came, I felt great and from the word go I tested the waters up the first drag at the start to see if these guys can stick with me and immediately saw I am going to kick butt today.

 On the first lap, on a shorter steep little drag, I saw the bunch behind was struggling and decided now is the time to make the move and I never looked back again. Needless to say, it was hard and I pushed hard but by the last lap with a lead of more than 5 minutes, I knew I can play the safe game making sure I take my corners properly and just keep my rhythm.

 I finally went over the finish line beating the closest rival by 6 min 42 sec and my average speed over 4 times the TT distance was faster than the winner of the TT.

 It was an absolutely amazing feeling crossing that finish line and becoming bearer of the Rainbow jersey and World Champion!

 I am proudly South African and receiving my medal and listening to our anthem on the podium is always an incredible feeling. 

South Africa as a team did well and it is also the first time we have 2 world champions with both Ernst van Dyk and myself winning in the road race.

 

This is not where it all stopped. I am still out to break the 22 year old world record for the marathon in the racing chair and have been working hard in the chair throughout the year.

 I struggled a bit to find my rhythm in the 3 weeks after world Champs but felt I was getting there in the last week leading up to the Berlin marathon this past weekend.

 It was not to be a world record as I was not completely on fire and struggled through the first 15km but after that I started getting my rhythm and managed to hit a PB by almost 3min, set a new African record, break the T51 Berlin marathon course record by 6min and once again better my own world best T51 marathon time for 2014 to 2:28:04.

 Also winning the Berlin marathon for a third year in a row and what made it extra special is being caught by new World record holder, Dennis Kimetto in the last 100m…almost crossing the line next to him. 

The world record is going down soon and it was not to be at Berlin but it was still an incredible day after a lot of racing this year.

 

A real big thanks to Raynard and Natalie and the TEAM TISSINK coaching academy for great guidance and being willing to coach me even though it is not the standard situation. 

Obviously it is working out pretty well. The results speak for themselves and I really appreciate the professional help I am getting from you guys!

 

I am having my best year ever being world champion and ranked nr 1 for cycling, world best and ranked nr 1 for wheelchair racing in the wheelchair marathon, being the first quad to do the IM (with a semi-broken arm at that) and are hoping to finish it off with a sub 12 IMWA in December. 

On top of this, I am still managing to not get fired at Deloitte and I am getting great support from their side so let’s hold thumbs and watch this space in December.

 I know there are a couple of Team Tissink athletes racing at Kona – all the best you guys! I know you are going to have a great race! Can’t wait for next weekend. Cheers.


Pieetr du Preez

Annah Watkinson - Race Report IM Brazil 2017

After a great first year racing in the professional category in 2016, I was amped for the 2017 season. Feeling stronger and fitter and more in the "right head space" - I had done some great training over December spending many many many (and many more) hours on the bike - I loved it. My swim was starting to click, I was starting to understand the phrase "feel the water", and my running was strong

READ ONAnnah Watkinson - Race Report IM Brazil 2017
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