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‘Iron lady’ completes triathlon so a girl child can attend Waldorf school

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Carla Annas completed the triathlon in a time of 06:50:13.
Carla Annas completed the triathlon in a time of 06:50:13.

A carnival atmosphere created by supporters culminated in sweet success for iron lady Carla Annas, who completed her second self-organised triathlon event on Sunday 27 November, this time to raise funds for a full scholarship for a girl child to the Stellenbosch Waldorf School.

Originally organised to take place between Pringle Bay and Gordon’s Bay, the event was relocated to Stellenbosch following weather warnings of strong winds along the coastline ahead of the weekend. And the decision paid off, as supporters – a large contingent of them school learners – found it easier and more accessible to show their support and cheer her on in their home town, and ushered her towards an impressive finish time under seven hours.

“It was an incredible day and fitting to use the Waldorf School as the base,” said Annas, who brushed off any post-event pains due to her increasingly improving athleticism after training for a year.

“The race went well. I mean the mental aspect of the swim was challenging, but people were with me in the water and I settled quickly into a rhythm. The cycle was also great fun. My cycling coach Annchen Clarke and other supporters joined me so it went quicker that I thought and I held a good pace.”

Annas did start to feel some fatigue, though, towards the end during the run, but water and energy drinks did the trick and she managed to stay strong all the way to the finish line.

“The supporters were incredible,” she said, “and the whole school came together to shout and cheer me on, holding up signs, and they made chalk drawings and wrote messages on the road, which really kept me smiling. Some people even drove their cars next to me and ran like 500 m with me, which was so encouraging and motivating. And doing all this for a good cause really elevated everything to mean so much more and with purpose.”

At the finish line a sense of accomplishment engulfed Annas and she felt more committed than ever to reach her fundraising goal of R500 000 for a learner to be given a scholarship to the Waldorf School.

“We raised R71 000 on race day, which is really amazing, and we’re so grateful to everyone who’s contributed,” she said. “Many more people have pledged to support the campaign and we’re also planning more events and fundraisers. At no point will the scholarship be affected as we have enough now at least to get a child started at the Stellenbosch Waldorf School.” Annas hasn’t ruled out more triathlon events after admitting that she still felt a “triathlon bug”.

• Earlier this year Carla competed in her first-ever self-organised ironman 70.3 event at Pringle Bay (“Iron woman creates own challenge”, 22 June) and the experience inspired her to found Community in Action (CIA), a movement to support education in South Africa through sport.

• Carla is also chief stewardess of a yacht overseas and works every alternate three months. She’ll leave again this Friday (9 December) and will return in March next year.

• The fundraising campaign is still open and to contribute find @carla.annas on Instagram, where the link and QR code for donations can be found.

Carla Annas during the cycle leg with her cycling coach Annchen Clarke from 3YO Training Camps.
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