By Jaime Uranovsky
24-year-old Jonathan Benjamin came first in his age group in the South African Triathlon Championships in Bloemfontein this year.
The race was Jonathan’s sixth Olympic/standard distance triathlon, where he completed the 1.5 km swim, 40 km cycle and 10 km run in an impressive two hours and seven minutes.
The win qualifies him to represent South Africa at the World Championships in Edmonton, Canada in August (COVID dependent). Currently, Jonathan trains between 12 and 16 hours a week and is competing in as many races as possible, all while studying towards his master’s degree in Environmental Sciences at Rhodes University.
He also recently placed third overall in the Provincial Championships in Cape Town where he was given his first elite start — an honour generally given to professional athletes.
“My dad did triathlons back in the day… so I’ve always been around and exposed to these sorts of sports — running, cycling and swimming. My sister was a big swimmer and water polo player at school, so naturally I started doing cross country and cycling.”
Although training has sometimes been difficult during the pandemic, Jonathan made a plan. During the hard lockdown he cycled on an indoor trainer and received permission to use a local school’s pool.
For Jonathan, training is about more than the competitions. “Running and cycling have always been my passions, so I enjoy getting out and living a healthy active lifestyle.”
Jonathan’s first ‘triathlon’ dates back to grade two at Herzlia Constantia, where pupils “did a quick circuit around the field and swam in the pool.”
• Published in the PDF edition of the June 2021 issue – Download here.
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