Magda swims, pedals and runs to the podium in Mossel Bay

Henry

Regardless of her success in the East or the West; for this South African, a home competition remains the very best.

Magda Nieuwoudt is a talented triathlete who has competed worldwide. This year, she tasted gold in Davos and Sanremo, among other places, while she ran second over the finish line in London.

This past weekend she finished second among the professional athletes in the Ironman adventure in Mossel Bay.

Swimming 1.9 km, cycling 90 km and jogging 21.1 km is undoubtedly a fitness challenge – even in a picturesque Western Cape town – but Nieuwoudt believes the local supporters provide a better boost than any energy potion.

“Triathlon is like one big family – already at the airport you see all the athletes with their Ironman bags and everyone greets each other,” she told RNews.

She finished the race just a few minutes after Emma Pallant from Great Britain.

Yes, for a professional athlete a silver medal is not necessarily the best result, but to experience the spectators’ enthusiastic encouragement first hand is definitely a golden experience.

“At no other races do you feel as welcome as in South Africa. I want to say thank you to everyone who shouted at me during the run. Even though I frowned then, I heard you for sure!”

Nieuwoudt was first out of the water (32:34), but confesses that the bike pedaling session (2:25:48) hampered her a bit.

“I didn’t feel too good on the bike and I had to run after it (1:25:46) to prevent Emma from winning too far.”

First, forget about a smooth swimming technique or a fast jogging pace: Psychological muscle strength is what makes this former student of the Christiana Combined School a formidable triathlete.

“I was diagnosed with a heart defect a few years ago and I had to train for three months in such a way that my heart did not beat faster than 120 beats per minute. It was a big challenge, but it’s amazing to see how one’s body can adapt to any situation.”

However, she is now healthy and these days she can – in her own words – “just race“.

“It’s the most fun to push yourself to greater heights and to beat your negative thoughts, as it were.”

On the second weekend in December, Nieuwoudt will participate in a competition in Bahrain for the very last time this year, after which she will relax a bit on a golf course and promise not to train too hard.

After all, the 2024 triathlon season is just around the corner.

  • Results of the Ironman 70.3 in Mossel Bay (elite division):

Men:

  1. Francisco Javier Gómez Noya (Spain): 3:51:46
  2. Matt Trautman (South Africa): 3:54:22
  3. Nicholas Quenet (South Africa): 4:00:09

Women:

  1. Emma Pallant (Great Britain): 4:21:24
  2. Magda Nieuwoudt (South Africa): 4:28:02
  3. Eloise du Luart (France): 4:45:02