Competitors at the second annual Auto & General Cross Triathlon took to the course in stunning conditions, with Shaun Wolfaardt (T:01:53.06) and Nicolette Griffioen (T: 02:11:08) beating a crowd of eager competitors to claim first place in the men’s and women’s races, respectively.

Hosted at Steyn City on Saturday, 25 February, the triathlon enjoyed massive support from a community eager for more opportunities to test their fitness. This is especially true for Gauteng triathletes, who typically incur significant costs travelling to other cities to take part in a race of this stature.

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Something for every triathlete

When race organisers, Advendurance, announced that they were improving accessibility further by introducing half distances – a 300m swim, 15km off-road cycle and 3.5km run – interest increased significantly.

This not only opened up the race to people who are still perfecting their skills, but also created the opportunity for families and corporate teams to enter as team members can limit their participation to their favourite discipline, whether that’s a swim, cycle or run.

“Tickets were sold out a few weeks before the X Tri so this concept clearly appeals to the triathlon community. In fact, we tripled the ticket sales from last year, which is almost unheard of for an event that is only taking place for the second time,” says Ricardo Coetzee, Head of Auto & General Insurance.

“That demonstrates the demand for a new way of racing, as well as the fact that people want to have fun together.”

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Big field with big names

This year’s entrants included numerous celebrities. Carte Blanche presenter Macfarlane Moleli took part to honour a friend who was tragically killed in a cycling accident last year, and to raise awareness for the ‘A promise to Andre’ campaign.

Rozanne McKenzie, co-host of the Drive with Rob and Roz on Jacaranda FM, was also there. “I feel so lucky to have done my first triathlon in the beautiful surrounds of Steyn City. I’m thankful to Auto & General for this incredible experience. I will definitely be back next year!” she said.

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An ideal location to swim, bike and run

Steven Louw, CEO of Steyn City Properties, says that it was an honour to host the triathlon for the second consecutive year.

“We believe that our parklands are the ideal location for an event of this nature, as they allow for training in all disciplines,” he points out.

Louw notes that this is made possible by facilities like Steyn City’s 300m lagoon, 50km MTB track and 45km running track.

This year, entrants that were non-residents were able to train on site, as Steyn City opened its gates to those who wished to use the lagoon, cycling and running tracks, during two morning training sessions.

“It’s been extremely exciting to watch the Auto & General Cross Triathlon grow in magnitude. We can’t wait to see what next year’s event brings,” Coetzee concludes.

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