Dis-Embark awards evening, 70.3 Buffalo City 2017

January 30, 2017

Hello triathletes, and welcome to the Dis-Embark awards evening at the Raddison Hotel in Sea Point. Its our  Atlantic seaboard branches graduation party for 6 months of training for the one of the hardest IRONMAN 70.3 races in the brand.

This group has had the most injuries of any group over the past 9 years. Poor Kevin, 2 blisters on his thumbs from typing too much in the EMERGENCY whats app group. Claire- 19 headaches from hang overs. Nicola, 17 head aches from hang overs. David, 1 stubbed toe from late night drinking. Elzane, 2 fingers slammed in car door after long ride reward drinking. Scrap, a broken heart from one of the ladies and Wickers 1 times sleepless night after passing out in the container after the ATC social.  But I think it’s been very worth it, all work and no play makes jack a dull boy! And those injuries were all looked after by our super physio Gen! 

We celebrate tonight not only the medal, but the friendships forged, the good times and a new found fitness! (Oh and don’t forget to sign up for the next program… It’s called IRONMAN!) 

I am glad it turned out to be such a great 6 months after the initial false start. Yip that first session, the bike workshop and 1h ride? The first group training session?  Well that was just me and Kelly. NO ONE ELSE! I don’t know who was more nervous, me the coach or kelly at her first session ALONE with the coach? Her boyfriend came along that session to have a look and I think everyone was a little uneasy as Kelly and I rode off hand in hand, with James just looking bemused at the ‘group training’! But it got better, Kelly and I started holding more than hands… soon we were holding 30km/h averages on the bike, and Kelly is a VIRGIN on her bike! I could see the potential in that first session!  The 6 months have flown past, and it’s been really great getting to know you all, making friends and seeing you all integrating yourselves into the Embark family, and that’s purely coming from a commercial stand, I don’t really like any of you, I only like your money. (So don’t forget to sign up for the next program… It’s called IRONMAN! Full, 70.3 Durban or 70.3 Portugal, or Scrap there are a few hot girl in the new beginners program?  I don’t mind which one your choice). 

I was stopped in the gym after a spin class a few months back by a female member of the club. She asked me if you had to be a really good looking girl to join Embark. I was quite taken aback. I had never really thought about this, to me- triathlon and Embark is a sport and an opportunity for everyone. So I consulted one of my best friends, my accountant, and advisor, Scrap (Paul). He assured me that only the hottest girls are allowed onto the program. I am j

ust not sure how Nix, Kelly and Elzane slipped through the cracks. What? Oh ya…… and Gen too….. 

So tonight we have to recognise and acknowledge the determination, the willpower, the self-discipline, the fortitude, the grit the resilience and those that didn’t give a  shit and still got the medal… so the first award category of the evening is the:


Best Performance, Least Attendance.In 9 years, the winner of this award has not been in attendance to collect the award, so thank goodness there isn’t actually a trophy for this category.  This year’s winner, and I would like to bet Kevin a shot of tequila that no one knows this guy, (although he competed in Embark kit, attended 5 sessions and got a personalised tee shirt!. Frank Drebin, are you here? If no one knows Frank, then Kev takes the shot…

• Robs bunked 90% of the training and still made the cut off with lotsa time to spare! Yay for muscle memory!

• Mark Horn, he was so absent that he never even made the race! 

• Kelsey, I think the least attendance, but had a very solid race

• Leigh, she forgot to train and then forgot to sw

im the entire route

• Trev, how do you do it?? 

Winner: Trev



Most Improved Swimmer 

• Feroz, enters Durban and doesn’t pitch up, then enters East London and does only the swim. Feroz has lots of money and gets a hall pass if he does a 70,3.. so he is using it to slowly complete a 70.3

• Serge, the expression a duck out of water comes to mind when I think about you and your swimming in the first month. Now, if I swim next to you, I just duck in the water!! Just kidding, watching your improvement over the 6 months has been an inspiring experie

nce for me as a coach and I know you will continue to improve!  (once you sign up for the next program!) 

• Madelein, your big smile and contagious laugh bought a lot of fun and laughter to the late night pool sessions. You made huge improvements through being consistent!  

This year’s award goes to Serge: you are our most improved swimmer for 2016/17!  


Most Improved Biker:

I have never EVER had a year where EVERYONE finished the bike!! 1st year in 9… I normally ear mark the athletes I am worried about and watch carefully on the run route to see who has made it into transition 2! So Nominations for this category: (feel free to clap and cheer as I read out the names) 

• Claire• Mirella 

• Kevin…ere.. I mean  Bevan! 

• Logan• Kelly• Elena 


Most improved Biker: Claire (just proves t

hat you can miss all the long runs, drink every night)


Most Improved Runner

• Gary

• Sean G

• Kevin.. ere… sorry I mean Devon

• Wickers 



Winner: Gary: seeing the TT results every week, you made the most improvement percentage wise than any athlete on the program, taking your 5km t

ime trial down from 29 minutes to 24 minutes over the 6 months

Most Improved Overall:

• Kelly

• Christo 

• Gavin 

• Mario

• Kevin..ere… I mean Evan 


And winner of most improved overall goes to Kelly! 

Double Century Embark Team:

Charles Milner Medals:

For 3 years in a row the Embark team has managed to get all 12 riders over the line, every year facing big challenges that could have stopped all their chances. But great teamwork and coordination got the team through again this year,, but not only one team this year, 2 teams!! 24 riders, all completing 202kms!! Those that are here please come up and do a twerk! 


Bravery Award:

Every year I battle with this award.

It’s an award that goes to the athlete with the biggest heart. The athlete that is on the border line of making it. But it goes to the athlete that says Yes I can, back themselves, puts in the time and shines on the journey. This year I am sharing this award between 2 athletes. One lady that decided only to join to because she saw what a jol it was to be part of the group, and then buckled down, Followed The Program (well maybe) but ending up getting the medal. The other athlete joined us as a beginner, and took his time learning the skills through the beginners program before he joined the 70.3 in August. He is helpful, respectful and a real modern day gentleman.  The more time I spent with him, and then better I got to know him, I realised that this guy is gold. Going forward Mario I don’t ONLY want to be your coach, I also want to be your friend! 

Bravery award is shared between Mirella and Mario 

Next Best Thing Award: (The talent award) (Award for upcoming talent found through the Embark program)

• Genine 

• Christo

• Elena

• Kelly

• Nicola

Winner Genine 


The New Balance Award: (Juggling training and socialising)

This year it’s a team award, because the nominations seem to work in pairs!

 • Mirella and Claire

• Hansel and Gretel

•Nix and Elzane 

•David and Allister

•Marco and Marco

Winner: All have to come up for a shot! 

Embark Dark Horse (biggest surp

rise on race day)


•Kev: very good performance on race day 

• Logan: for our taper ride he said it was too easy so he went and rode the Glen! 

• Dawn: one of our more ‘mature’ athletes, performs in her age group at every race! 


Winner: Kev



Top Embark Achiever Female:

Genine Manchip

Jacus Engelbreght Award:

(for beating the coach on race day)

Rudi Oosthuizen 



Top Embark Achiever Male:

For 3 years in a row, no one can touch this man, (besides Alice, and the girl from Mavericks) 

Rudi Oosthuizen 


About The Author


Post Comment