RSAWEB sponsored Stuart Marais did South Africa proud when he took the gold in his first Ironman 70.3 in Pescara, Italy. Marais finished the Ironman 70.3 in an amazing 3:48:49, with Victor del Corral Morales (Spain) finishing second in 3:49:53, and Albert Moreno Molins (Spain) coming in third in 3:51:26.
On 1st June, participating athletes had to face three challenges in the Ironman 70.3; a swim, cycle and run. This year the challenges consisted of a 1.9km swim close to the downtown beach area, near the Adriatic Sea, a 90km cycle through the foothills of the Abruzzo Mountains (with scenic views of the vineyards and olive trees), and a 21km run that took the athletes all along the beach promenade, through downtown Pescara to the finish-line in the heart of the city.
While local Italian pro, Jonathan Ciavattella was first out of the swim (15:11), it wasn’t long before Domenico Passeullo (Italy), Johannes Moldan (Germany) and Marais took the lead in the bike ride. Moldan took control in the second half of the ride, dismounting 5 second in front of Passuello, while Marais was 2:25 behind them.
Moldan dominated the first 9km of the run, but Marais pulled a decisive move while surging to the front. Marais finally managed to pass Passuello and Moldan at the 10km mark, going on to win the Ironman 70.3 Italy title.
“To win an Ironman 70.3 is one of my dreams coming true. Crossing that finish line with cheering crowds, in a country passionate about cycling and triathlon,” says Marais, “It is always important to select courses suited to your strengths, and this course played well in my favour. I will definitely stick it back onto my race calendar for next year.”