2010 Spec-Savers Ironman
Thousands of supporters cheered as miracle athlete Raynard Tissink beat the odds to win the 2010 Spec-Savers Ironman in South Africa after dramatically pulling out of last year’s event due to an asthma attack.
The Spec-Savers Ironman in South Africa consists of a 3.8km swim, 180km bike ride and a 42km marathon and it’s one of the biggest sporting events on Nelson Mandela Bay’s calendar, with athletes from all over the world taking part. Nelson Mandela Bay is located in Port Elizabeth, one of the biggest cities in Africa.
Temperatures soared to 27°C with thousands of supporters taking advantage of the weather and enjoy the race as a fun family day out.
Raynard beat 1860 other athletes to reach the finishing line in a time of 8 hours, 23 minutes and 28 seconds. At one stage he was lying seventh, but he managed to claw his way to the front.
Last year Raynard was forced to pull out of the race in the last leg after struggling to breathe and he was later diagnosed with asthma. Test results showed he used less than half the lung capacity of an average person.
Swiss professional tri-athlete Mathius Hecht came in second 5 minutes after Raynard in 8:28:53 and Italy’s Daniel Fontana was third, finishing in 8:33:48.
Germany’s Sonja Tajsich claimed the women’s title in 9:16:55. Caroline Steffen of Switzerland came in second in the women’s event with a time of in 9:22:00 and Tine Deckers of Belgium finished third in 9:29:58.
The Vodacom Pros team won the event in a time of 46:60 while Rudolf Naude took the individual event in 46:13.
Special guests who attended the event in the blistering heat and congratulated the winning athletes as they finished included Miss South Africa 2009 Nicole Flint and Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Zanoxolo Wayile.