Richard's rollercoaster | SASCOC - SASCOC

Richard’s rollercoaster

By Mark Etheridge

Our in-form international triathlete Richard Murray went from a career-high moment in Mexico to a truly flat moment in Potchefstroom at the weekend.

The high came in the form of his second spot behind Matt Chrabot of America at the ITU World Cup event in Huatulco, the flat was quite literally that, a puncture ruling him out soon after the start of the cycling leg of the third race in the BSG-Energade Series.

Young Murray, 22, has been making a name for himself on the world circuit, moving up the rankings as he chases his dream of competing at next year’s Olympic Games in London.

Murray took time off from what he describes as an “insanely busy” schedule to describe his Huatulco highlights.

“I decided to do Huatulco, as my fitness was still up and it would be my last real push of the season if i did wellÔǪ and did things did go well… I managed to get second place, and I am the only South African to stand on the podium since Hendrik De Villiers back in 2007 in RIchard’s Bay and I’m not sure but I may even be the first SA guy to get a second place in a World Cup outside Africa.”

He arrived in a hot and humid Huatulco after 40 hours of traveling and faced with a demanding bike ride that included a daunting hill with up to 20% gradient.

“I had a great swim and managed to hit the second pack about 30sec +- behind the front pack of about 20 guys. On the bike of eight laps I managed to close the gap and there was then one big bunch till last lap. On the last lap there was a huge attack by Rudie Wild and about 15 guys managed to get away, with myself being one of themÔǪ”

Then it all came down to the final 10km run, Murray’s speciality. “I knew i would get a top fiveÔǪ. all I needed to do, was run like I usually do!”

But then the impetuosity of youth took over and Murray made his move too soon. “I went out, like a 400m athlete and was soon looking at a 30sec lead on lap two, something of┬á a rookie mistake as I started to get very dehydrated and was almost passing out on lap threeÔǪ I slowed down just so I could complete the event… and held on for the best performance of my career. This was my last ITU event of 2011 and my last chance for 2011 at getting Olympic Ranking points and a chance to represent SA at the Olympic games in 2012.”

Murray currently enjoys an Olympic ranking of 61st and a world ranking of 48th place. He’s enjoyed a phenomenal climb up the points list, from 156th spot in June.

Murray now looks to compete in the rest of the BSG Energade Series till early December and then takes it easy for a month or so until January. Then the hard works starts again.

“I will be training in Stellenbosch for January and February next year, with the Olympic champion Jan Frodeno!”

Germany’s Frodeno won the Olympic triathlon in Beijing in 2008 and is a regular visitor to South Africa for training during the off-season.

To keep up with Murray’s movements on the triathlon scene check out his blog on

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  1. Pingback: Richard’s rollercoaster « Road to London 2012 « Richardmurray's Blog

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