Ricochet News

Kyle Buckingham makes Ironman history

By Jesica Slabbert - Apr 16, 2018
Kyle Buckingham makes Ironman history

Local Nelson Mandela Bay triathlete, Kyle Buckingham’s dreams came true at Hobie Beach on Sunday, when he ran to victory in the 2018 Ironman African Championship in Port Elizabeth.

It was a tight competition as Kyle had been chasing third for the swim and cycle of the triathlon, but managed to overtake the lead at the time; Cameron Wurf, and secure his first Ironman African Championship victory with a time of 8:12:59.

This marks the second time and African has won the African Championships.

Buckingham was followed by Josh Amberger of Australia, who was three minutes behind him, and Maurice Clavel of Germany who came third.

Buckingham can now add the local title to his growing list of Ironman achievements, which include Ironman Lake Placid 2014 in his first year as a professional and Ironman Vineman in 2016.

He still holds the course record in Ironman Hawaii from 2013 as an age-grouper.

“I still can’t believe it; it’s like a dream come true. I’m the second South African to win the African Champs in 14 years, and through all the hard work and training, all the sacrifices we’ve been making it’s all been totally worth it,” said Buckingham after his victory.

Thousands of spectators came out in the early hours of the morning and throughout the day to support the more than 2000 athletes who competed on Sunday; the crowd only seemed to grow as Buckingham took the lead and made his way to the finish line.

“The South African crowd is absolutely amazing. The cheers and the screams along Marine Drive really gave me that second boost and dig deeper for those last ten kilometres of the run. There were some times where I thought I was going to have to walk, but I just kept on going because I wanted to win,” Buckingham stated.

As for the women, the first to cross the finish line was Lucy Charles of England, who was in the lead in the race the entire time, and had a strong lead throughout the entire race.

Coming in second was Susie Cheethem of England, almost seven minutes behind Charles, and Lindsey Corbin of America came in third.