Ben Hoffman Returns to South Africa On A Mission

Friday 05 April 2019
After an injury and disappointing finish at last year's Standard Bank IRONMAN African Championship, the American (and former champion) returns to South Africa this weekend for a redemption race.

Rewind to exactly a year ago… The American from Colorado, Ben Hoffman, was looking to set what would’ve been a hattrick of wins at the Standard Bank IRONMAN African Championship. His confidence was sky high as he looked to first take on the grueling Cape Epic stage race, one of the toughest off-road cycling events, just two weeks before competing in the IRONMAN event. Tackling South Africa’s two most demanding endurance events with that small of a gap between them is absolute madness to say the least, but "The Hoff" was determined—and you would’ve been a brave soul to bet against him.

"Entering my 12th pro season (last year), I was looking for something different to keep things fresh and exciting," says Hoffman. "When the IRONMAN Foundation reached out to me about this opportunity [to race as an ambassador], I immediately knew this would be a perfect way to mix things up. While the timing isn’t typical for an IRONMAN build up, I was looking forward to both the cycling and mental workout which I thought would hopefully bolster my goal of having a great race at the Standard Bank IRONMAN African Championship."

Teaming up with fellow pro Sebastian Kienle, he took to battle, navigating the rugged Cape mountains. "It was both an amazing and extremely painful experience," he says. "I think I underestimated the Epic a little, and it definitely beat me up. Unfortunately, with the level of suffering we experienced, I did not have as much time to enjoy the scenery and experience as I would have liked, but I am proud to have taken the event on and completed it with my partner, Sebastian. I will remember it forever, and that is more than you can say about some races. I am thankful for the opportunity to have raced such an iconic event for a great cause with the support of the IRONMAN Foundation."

With Cape Epic behind him, Hoffman turned his focus to the Standard Bank IRONMAN African Championship, looking to defend his title against a world-class field determined to dethrone him. With Josh Amberger, who is always the first athlete out the water, and uber-biker Cameron Wurf in the same line-up, it promised to be a thriller. However, it was the hometown hero, Kyle Buckingham, who would turn the script on its head, making headlines as he took his first Standard Bank IRONMAN African Championship title. Hoffman crossed the finish line almost four hours behind Buckingham, stopping his watch at 12:06:48, which is a far cry from his 2017 victory in 7:58:40.   

So, what happened? Hoffman explains, "The main problem was that I suffered a crash in the Cape Epic race that caused me lower back problems, which stopped my run training before the race. I hoped for a miracle on race day, but even as I ran into the water to start the swim, I knew it would be an issue. It took several weeks of rest after the event to recuperate and resume normal training."

Despite the excruciating pain he felt on the marathon and seeing age-groupers zoom past him, Hoffman persevered to the finish line, earning rousing cheers from the Nelson Mandela Bay crowds. A DNF was just not an option for The Hoff: "I have tremendous respect for my fellow competitors and participants, the race crew, fans and all of my supporters. To simply quit was not a good option for me, as I wanted to show my appreciation for everyone who was involved in the effort. Finally, I did need to finish to secure my spot for Kona, so I persevered. In the end, I knew that time would pass the same whether I was in the hotel room or on the course, and with all the cheers I received, it kept me going."


This year, Hoffman hopes to tell a personal story of redemption. "I suffered another unfortunate injury at the end of 2018, so needless to say I am happy to put last year behind me and move on to 2019. I am in a good place right now, feeling strong, healthy, and ready for some racing. The time away gave me a fresh perspective on this career and I am hungrier than ever to come back and have some great performances. The big early season goal is to have some redemption and target my third title at the Standard Bank IRONMAN African Championship."
With a deep field this weekend that includes defending champion and hometown hero Kyle Buckingham, Hoffman has his work cut out for him. But with a healthy body and a gracious spirit, you can count on him giving it his all.  

You can follow all the live pro action on the IRONMAN Now Facebook Watch page.

MALE PRO:
1 Kyle Buckingham SOUTH AFRICA
2 Ben Hoffman UNITED STATES
3 Josh Amberger AUSTRALIA
4 Maurice Clavel GERMANY
5 Bart Aernouts BELGIUM
6 David McNamee UNITED KINGDOM
7 Tim Don UNITED KINGDOM
8 Nils Frommhold GERMANY
9 Matt Trautman SOUTH AFRICA
10 James Cunnama SOUTH AFRICA
11 Tim Van Berkel AUSTRALIA
12 Patrik Nilsson SWEDEN
13 Eneko Llanos SPAIN
14 Andreas Dreitz GERMANY
15 Michael Weiss AUSTRIA
16 Jan van Berkel SWITZERLAND
17 Giulio Molinari ITALY
18 Johann Ackermann GERMANY
19 Alessandro Degasperi ITALY
20 Gerhard de Bruin SOUTH AFRICA
21 Peru Alfaro San Ildefonso SPAIN
22 Victor Arroyo bugallo SPAIN
23 Reece Barclay UNITED KINGDOM
24 Vinicius Canhedo BRAZIL
25 Karl-Johan Danielsson SWEDEN
26 Eneko Elosegui Armendariz SPAIN
27 Samuel Huerzeler SWITZERLAND
28 Philippe Lamberty LUXEMBOURG
29 Markus Liebelt GERMANY
30 Urs Müller SWITZERLAND
31 Sebastian Norberg SWEDEN
32 Jonas Örarbäck SWEDEN
33 Gustavo Rodríguez Iglesias SPAIN
34 Paul Ruttmann AUSTRIA
35 Evert Scheltinga NETHERLANDS
36 Markus Thomschke GERMANY
37 Clinton Gravett SOUTH AFRICA

FEMALE PRO:
40 Lucy Charles-Barclay UNITED KINGDOM
41 Gurutze (Guru) Frades SPAIN
42 Lauren Brandon UNITED STATES
43 Mareen Hufe GERMANY
44 Anja Ippach GERMANY
45 Annah Watkinson SOUTH AFRICA
46 Federica De Nicola ITALY
47 Tessa Kortekaas NETHERLANDS
48 Angela Lindberg GERMANY
49 Ashley Paulson UNITED STATES
50 Antonina Reznikov ISRAEL
51 Natalie Seymour UNITED KINGDOM
52 Angela Naeth CANADA
IRONMAN Triathlon (by Siya Ndzimande)


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Sunday 20 Oct 2019 [Triathlon News]

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Tuesday 22 Oct 2019 Emma-Kate Lidbury

It’s time to work on your cadence—and this session will help you do just that.

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How to Relieve Tight Hamstrings

Monday 21 Oct 2019 Jason Fitzgerald

Don't stretch sore hamstrings. Here’s what you should do instead.

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ITU Stars Shine at 2019 Beijing International Triathlon

Monday 21 Oct 2019

Spain's Mario Mola and Bermuda's Flora Duffy, both former world champions, earned the victories.

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The Monday Round-Up 10.21

Monday 21 Oct 2019
Azevedo, Withrow, Ascenco and Salthouse take wins in Chile and China.

Summer 2019, part I: Festival of 5k’s and a pesky plantar fascia

Tuesday 27 Aug 2019 Jocelyn Wong Neill
Hello, August! Apparently I have been aggressively ignoring my 19 for ‘19 list, as I missed a blog update for June and July (and let’s face it, my May post was really about my April marathon...). Maybe I’ll double up (or double down?) the next few months to play catch-up! ;) It’s been a funky summer. I went on a 5k spree in May for funsies, using my hard-earned winter marathon fitness and some

Tuesday 22 May 2018 Noreply@blogger.com (Luke Bell)

NEXT EVENT:

Ironman 70.3 Japan

Challenge Roth - Germany

Monday 07 May 2018 Noreply@blogger.com (Luke Bell)
Here is just a quick re cap for those of you that were interested in how my race went at Challenge Taiwan full distance. Swim - It was a non wetsuit swim for us as water temps were 24-25C (age group could still wear suits, mainly for safety reasons in Asia) I treated it like a 70.3 swim to hang onto Dylan McNiece who is on exceptional swimmers in our sport (Has led the Hawaii IM out of water) - time 48min.

 Bike - smooth roads and a rolling hilly course along the coast, actually a very nice bike course Dylan and I wanted to keep pace high as #1 we raced last weekend or 6 days ago actually (Challenge Melb half...not ideal but part of a "package" with Challenge) and knew fatigue would set in later no matter what #2 we wanted to hold off the "king of asian racing" Freddie Cronenberg. It rained a little during bike so although there was cloud cover the humidity was quite high, still air temps around 30C... not good coming from Melbourne.
Bike times:
Through 90km - 2.08
180k - 4.20 (wind picked up on second lap)

 Run - Dylan and I ran together for 20km at a steady clip (on track for a 2.55-57 marathon) that we thought was comfortable and manageable in the 'warm, humid' Taiwan conditions.... not record setting but it didn't need to be. However, and I think mainly just due to fatigue (2 races 6 days + travel) I cramped up in left adductors..This has happened a few times before. From there it was trying to manage cramps home so made for a little longer back end of marathon and quite a few stops to stretch it out... humidity didn't help either with incased sweat rates. Anyway Freddie caught me at 32km and I slipped to 3rd where I stayed. Time - blew out to 3.12 (not ideal but best of a bad scenario)

 Lesson from race!
- Back to back races in hard/painful!! or a Half and a Full in 6 days in 2 different countries.
 - The swim is in a man made lake or more like a 1.3km long swimming pool.... water is filled by a fresh spring so clean, see the bottom all the way as 2.5m deep. Amazing.
 - Course was fantastic swim bike and run were all quite nice interesting and never boring.
 - People here are crazy and lover the sport. Over the weekend there are 4k+ athletes racing as there is a Full, Half (Saturday) Olympic and Kids race (300 kids) Sunday,
 - I did see some people riding in Crocs with pedals on $10k bikes
 - I did see some people running in rubber thongs with socks.
- The aid station that I thought had coke on it ended up being Ice Tea!
 - I may now have eaten my weight in Dumplings.....

 Thanks for all the well wishes, It was a blast. Luke



Tri 122 Costa Teguise

Friday 31 Mar 2017 Stephenbayliss
Saturday 24th March the Tri122 triathlon right here in Costa Teguise, next door to Sands Beach Resort. So great to have such a special race right on the doorstep. A really brilliant course, lovely swim in Las Cucharas, then an … Continue reading

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