When Wian Sullwald competed in the International World Triathlon Gold Coast event during the past weekend, he came to the realisation that it is just not worthwhile trying to race when you are not feeling well. The Tuks/HPC triathlete started out quite well by finishing the 1.5km swim in a time of 17 minutes and 30 seconds. Only seven athletes were able to swim a time faster than his.
But when Sullwald got on his bike he knew that he was fighting a losing battle. He says: ‘As luck would have it, I became ill a few days before the event. I was really hoping that I would rid myself of the virus before race day, but no such luck. In spite of realizing that it would be foolish to compete I decided to give it a go. It felt like such a waste of time and money to fly all the way to Australia and not at least give it a try. So against my better judgement I started. My swim surprised me, but I would lie if I said I did not suffer. After the first lap I could already feel that I was not firing on all cylinders. During the second lap I battled at times to stay within the lines. By the time I started cycling I was coughing, had a bad headache and was beginning to feel disoriented as well. Still I pressed on, hoping against all odds that I would somehow miraculously recover. But when I was not even able to draft in the slipstream of the rider in front of me, I knew that it was time to give up. To summarize, I was feeling very frustrated but I realize that it will not help to keep on wondering about what could have been. I just have to put this experience down to bad luck. My main focus now is to make sure that I recover before the next World Series event in Cape Town.’