THE PE Express held a competition for one lucky athlete to be awarded a free entry into this year’s Standard Bank IRONMAN African Championship held in Port Elizabeth recently. This year’s winner was Heine Deysel, who was entered into the competition by his wife, after she wrote a letter explaining a little bit about her husband and why he deserved to win an entry into the IRONMAN. This was after he found out no entries were left, after months of training he thought he would just be a spectator, but his luck was about to strike. He has competed in a full IRONMAN before in 2012 as well as a half IRONMAN, and was looking to improve his previous performance. “My finish time was 13h05 and almost an hour faster than my first IRONMAN in 2012,” he said after crossing the finish line at this year’s event. When asked about how his race went, Deysel seemed to have a smooth day without too many troubles. “It went really well and dare I say according to plan. I had an above average swim with a good bike leg, but unfortunately started to cramp on the run. It was still an amazing journey and experience to take part in the IRONMAN African Championship 2018.” Deysel’s achievement made the past seven months of training more than worth the effort. He took part in this year’s event with his long-time close friend and neighbour, Niel Louw. Deysel describes the highlight of this year’s event as “Most definitely running down the red carpet with the Red Cross on my chest and hearing the words ‘You are an IRONMAN’.”Deysel said he became quite emotional when he heard that he had won the competition after thinking that he would be just a spectator on the sidelines. “I firstly decided to do it with one of my best friends and neighbour, Niel Louw, which did it for the first time ever. Another reason that motivated him was to compete for the Race of Faith team, which is led by Brink Eksteen. “He (Eksteen) started this ministry in 2009 with seven ordinary people to get the cross of Jesus out there and to be ‘witnesses through fitness’.” Deysel describes the team as a family who are learning and growing “through each other’s stories and testimonies”.