BCM Hosts 13th IRONMAN 70.3 South Africa
On 26 January 2020, Buffalo City hosted IRONMAN 70.3 at Orient Beach in East London. The excitement leading up to the start of the event was infectious.
The event saw more than 1 500 athletes embark on a 1.9km swim, a 90.1km cycle, and a 21.1km run. The IRONMAN 70.3 South Africa brought a variety of athletes from across the board all with the intent and desire to make it across the finish line and claim their IRONMAN 70.3 status.
The winners for this year’s edition were Matt Trautman and Flora Duffy. In the men’s race, the 34-year-old Trautman finished the grueling 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 women’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.
A famous face appeared within the race. 2007 Springbok Rugby World Cup Winner, Percy Montgomery participated in one of the races which shows the relevance and exposure of IRONMAN SA 70.3 on a local and global scale. Amongst the excitement, fanfare, and expectation of how the athletes fared during their races, there was talk of the economic aspect, and the economic benefits the City would reap from this event.
Jody Bowler from IRONMAN SA 70.3 on the Sponsorship Portfolio gave her views on the economic impact that this event has on Buffalo City Municipality. Bowler states that over 4000 spectators came to watch Iron Man SA in East London.
“For each spectator or athlete that came to take part in the event, they had to pay around R1500 per night for two nights, and play a great part in boosting tourism within BCM. On average, this event usually contributes around R40-Million for Buffalo City.”
Bowler stated “Iron Man SA, to be specific Team Orange donated R500 000 to a charity within BCM. In addition to this, 600 volunteers within BCM were recruited to assist with the organisation of Iron Man SA for this year’s edition.”
Luvuyo Bangazi, Marketing and Communications Manager of Mandela Bay Development Agency offered his thoughts on the importance of events such as IRONMAN SA and its economic impact in a city. Bangazi believes that events of this nature can stimulate the brand of BCMM on a global and social scale, and the promotion of these events does assist in boosting the image of the city.
The Marketing and Communications Manager at MBDA adds that events such as Iron Man SA assist in enhancing the Economic Value Chain: Logistics, Services, Branding Material, and Tourism Enterprise.
“Iron Man is a perfect platform to experiment with an economic value which allows businesses to grow. When this happens, businesses will pay more rates, the more you bring people to the city, the more chances of increasing economic growth”, said Bangazi.
Mayor Councillor Xola Pakati from BCM cites that Iron Man sustains the vibe and interest within the City.
“This Iron Man 13th edition brings economic spinoffs for BCM, especially in the retail and hospitality sector. Adding to this, as a City we have a lot of projects lined up such as the Court Crescent and Beachfront project which will seek to bolster tourism and investment within the Municipality and City.”
Iron Man SA’s programme within the Eastern Cape continues and it will head to Port Elizabeth on 29 March 2020.
25th BUCO Tomato Trot & Cycle
Lilyfontein School hosted its Silver Jubilee Tomato Trot and Cycle (AKA the TROT) on Saturday 1st February. Our idyllic country setting with beautiful vistas of pristine Tomato country hosted 2278 TROTTERS across six different events catering for all fitness and skills levels, namely the ultra-gruelling and mega tough 55km cycle, the enjoyable but not so easy 35km cycle, the original tough, hot and hilly 15km run and cycle, the beginner fun 8km cycle and the most popular event of the day, the 5km fun run and adventure walk.
To host one of the biggest events in East London is by no means an easy task, and so credit and appreciation must be given to the hundreds of volunteers from the Lilyfontein School Community, School Governing Body, Parent Teachers Association, management team, staff, parents, and learners that volunteered hours of their time to make this happen. This community managed three registration venues, seventeen marshal points, nine watering tables across six routes, start and finish line, and the food and beverage tents.
Lilyfontein School is renowned for putting on great events like the TROT, Funduro Funride and the Adventure Race which speaks of the ethos of the school. This also provides a wonderful opportunity to transfer real-life working skills to our learners in the fields of event and race management, brand activation and mass catering.
In 1995 Rocco Kruger, Danie Bessinger, John Brown, Ivan Dewing and the principal at the time, Jeremy Cranna, decided to offer the town folk an opportunity to run in tomato country as a fundraiser for the school. They mapped and plotted a route through neighbouring farms and dubbed the first event as the ‘Tomato Trot’, which attracted 46 participants. Twenty-five years later, the event attracts over 5000 participants and spectators on the day and includes 4 additional cycle events and a 5km fun run.
To celebrate our 25th anniversary we invited our founders to revel, reminisce and commence the signature 15km run. The day was perfect, the sun was shining and the wind was gentle, the humidity was high and it was very ‘shushu’. Part of the TROT challenge is overcoming the heat and pushing through the six difficult courses. The routes are tough and are not to be underestimated. The TROT is not for sissies. Those that finish their races have certainly earned their bag of tomatoes and ice-cold juice at the finish line.
Lilyfontein School is an eco-school, so we run clean and ensure that minimal waste is created. We have recently been awarded our GOLD DECADE status from Wessa. We use recyclable cups at our water stations and this year we invited the DNF PackaCHING truck to recycle the waste from the day. We activated our ECO Club to move around and clear plastic and glass bottles to take to the relevant recycle depots. This worked well to reduce the amount of waste on the day and hopefully impacted positively on the participants and spectators to remember the three R’s – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
Twenty-five years later the TROT is still going strong and very well attended by the people of East London and surrounds. As a school, we would like to extend our gratitude to all our supporters that attended the event on the day. The money raised from this event is pumped back into the school to develop facilities and improve infrastructure.
Thank you to our naming sponsor, BUCO for all their support over the past three years, our event sponsors TWIZZA and Crickley as the official refreshment sponsors on the day, Crossways Spar and Tops for supplying our food tent, Ideal Butchery our official meat sponsor/braai masters on the day, Happy Veg, Packrite, and Rainbow Seedlings, for the use of their farmlands and tomatoes at the finish line topped up by Red Barron Tomatoes and Wild Coast FM our media partner for the event.