Thinking about doing Ironman 70.3 East London?


Take  a quick journey of words and see how ordinary people become triathletes through the guidance and routine offered by the Embark program.

This is our head coaches (STeve Attwell) Dis-Embark speech. The awards evening for all the triathletes that completed the 6 month journey of Ironman 70.3 East London.


“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people’.

Wow, what an AMAZING last 12 months for the ‘beginners’ and then the last 6 months for the 70.3 beginners! Definitely a humbling experience for me as the coach and mentor. I have gained not only more experience working with you all, but I have gained new friends, new memories and thanks to your fees, a BRAND new TT bike!! Jokes aside, this group has been an incredible diverse bunch of athletes and I am super proud to have been part of your journey that started last year.

On the flip side, I have been offered bags of advice on growing Embark to become an even better social experiment! And my first fine for the evening goes to my self-proclaimed Business Manager, Alon Sachs, or as he is known in Nigeria, ‘Alone Sex’. Alon has, through various forms of mentoring shown me how to charge more for everything I do. Thanks to Alon the Embark fees now increase to R900/month. The water bottles are now R95 and if you are caught not training in Embark kit (which is now increased in price too), you will be issued an increase in subs. So I would like to call Alon up to receive the first shot. It’s a shot of tequila, R25 from the bar, but Alon for you, R35! Thanks Alon for all the laughs, contributing to the vibe in the group and bringing the energy to every session!

I mentioned social experiment earlier. One of my favourite chirps was when Kevin Anderson told me that he didn’t join Embark to complete 70.3. He joined Embark to meet a girl. He said, ‘don’t worry about sending me the weekly program, just send me when the social is!’. Kev, if you met the gal, then way-to-go!! If you didn’t then please come up and have a shot with Alon. So!!!


Now we begin the more serious awards. These awards are a cauldron of serious and not so serious awards, but each award hold a special place in the Embark Hall of Fame 2015.
Best Performance, Least Attendance.Well this awards is self-explanatory, the laziest more talented athlete that shines on race day! It goes to Ronan Jackson, but believe it or not, he isn’t here!! And then it rolled down to Anne Pao, but she said she had ITB and couldn’t make the awards because she was out running an Ultra marathon in Gaansbaai. So this year’s Best Performance, least attendance, goes to Phil Benoit!

Most Improved Swimmer • Pete McEwan • Robert Obrien• Jade Kannemeyer • Mike Shea• Niel Cilliers • Lauren van Schaik• Jono Bernstein
Winner is Jade Kannemeyer (her secret weapon, well besides the coach, she used to bring her boyfriend down to the swims and force him to swim with her!
Most Improved Biker• Robyn Elford • Jo-Marie Wolfaardt• Christina Hartner• Chantelie Brunner• Leigh White • Kirsten Hopwood• Darrin HoffmeyrWinner, and not only just making huge increases on the bike but overall too, Leigh White
Most Improved Runner• Guy Kaimowitz• Ariel Rubin• Alon Sachs• Russel Deacon• Tammy Wells• Mike Fannin
Winner Ariel Rubin, hard work and dedication to a single discipline showed that vast improvement is so possible with the right mind set.
Most Improved Overall• Freddy Kruger• Pete McEwan• Robin Elford• Darrin Hofmeyr• Jonathan Frick• Guy KaimowitzMy choice is two great guys and now we need to do a group vote on the winner:

• Pete McEwan, could not swim and refused to wear a speedo, never biked  and refused to wear cycle shorts, and only ran a mock as a youngster. Pete not only became a triathlete, not only wears a speedo, not only wears cycle shorts, but he is also an owner of a 70.3 East London medal.

• Darrin Hofmeyr: Darrin is a veteran in the group, and by no ways a beginner. Darrin’s meticulous attention to training has this season earned him a spot on the WP triathlon team, qualifying at WP champs in December last year. Darrin will now represent WP in ELS in March. But Darrin didn’t stop there, as his finishing time at 70.3 also qualified him for a spot in the 70.3 World Champs in Switzerland in September this year. Oh and did I mention Darrin is also going for a Kona slot at IMSA in March!!

Ok so lets vote!! (They tie and share the award)


Double Century Embark Team: Charles Milner Medals 2 years in a row.Despite having a HUGE mechanical at 20kms into the 202km team race, we managed to jimmy Eds bike and take it in turns to ride the single speed bike over 3000m of climbing and the rolling hills to the finish line. The comradery, cohesion and team work shown on the day is a true expression of what Embark really means. Mike Hilda Steve Darrin Dan Steph Justin Jonathan Lourens Morne Chris Ed
Bravery Award – this award doesn’t go to the general sporty population, it goes to those that have become athletes through sheer dedication, commitment and perseverance.• Robyn Elford• Kirsten Hopwood• Brad Jocum • Erma Poulet• Russel Deacon• Gordon Rankin

This year we had rough conditions, in fact the worst I have seen in 6 years. And I kinda smiled to myself and new that those that had followed the program over the last 6 months would get through on the day. The bike course is no joke, and the wind helped the no joke course to become a joke to those that hadn’t trained sufficiently for it. To see this lady finishing the bike course and out on the run was the HIGHLIGHT of my year. You came onto the program as an aspiring athlete with a determined focus to get that medal and become a triathlete. You adjusted your lifestyle and made the necessary changes to achieve this. You inspired those around you and gave strength to those that needed it the most. For you, anything is possible. This year’s Bravery Award goes to Robyn Elford.


Shoh, ok time for a comedy break! When you ride your bike it’s quite important to look ahead of you. If you are going to look down then you need to look up every now and then to avoid any obstacles in your path. Pete learned this the hard way. He rode into a rode sign. But he didn’t fall. His front wheel got jammed inside the road sign stand and he was stuck, upright on his bike, motionless. He had to unclip, get out his bike, and kick he front wheel back through the stand to release it!! Pete come up for a shot of the good stuff.


Next Best Thing Award– This Award goes to the up and coming flair, the now discovered talent through the embark program:• Darrin Hoffmeyr• Steph Smit• Luis Fernandez• Taschyana Hurter• Ceejae Miller• Victoria Contat.

Winner and Embark hopeful for the WP slot next year: Luis Fernandez


The New Balance Award (award for balancing social life and training)• Dan Appel• Mike Fannin• Kirsten Hopwood• Trevor Hodgson • Gordon Rankin• Kevin Anderson• Jess Hopley There is no winner here! You all have to some up for a shot!


Embark Dark Horse (This award goes to the athletes that out shone themselves on race day)• Mike Shae• Freddie Kruger• Guy Kaimowitz• Ceejae MillerWinner: Freddy Kruger


Fines: Guy, when I asked the group to send in nominations for fines, almost every athlete send in a nomination for you!! From wearing head to toe lycra for cycling in the rain, to leaving your speedo at home and swimming in a pair of panties you borrowed from Jo-Marie, to snotting on Trevor, spitting on Darren, falling over in the car park and braking off Mikes wing mirror and not telling him, to panicking every session about the next session.  But Guy, you have been an awesome athlete to train, always inquisitive and keeping me on my toes. This shot for you is more of a thanks than a fine! Loved having you part of the 2014/15 journey!


Top Embark Achiever Female: Alice OOSTHUIZEN
Top Embark Achiever: Luis FERNANDES

Thanks to everyone for making this group of 70.3 Embarkers the best one yet!! 🙂



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