Iron woman Angela

Angela De Gouveia

“My big dream is to stand on the podium in Ironman competitions and even though I am sure it will take a lot of hard work, I am determined to reach my goal.”

Angela did not start out competing in triathlons. Growing up, she watched her mom run the Comrades marathon and she did some cross-country running while in high school. The running bug bit and she joined the Hartbeespoort Marathon Club. “I ran my first Comrades marathon in 2014. My mother told me to hold my energy back while running so that I do not exhaust myself halfway through the race. When I got to the finish line, I still had so much energy! I can still remember the first thing I said was “This is the best race I have ever done!” That first Comrades was amazing. The feeling of crossing the finish line was something I have never experienced before. It was a feeling of power and achievement and knowing that I did it!.”

Injuries kept her from running after her first Comrades marathon. “I suffered stress fractures but still wanted to exercise. So I started swimming, which I loved. I skipped the 2015 Comrades race to give my body enough time to heal, but completed both the 2016 and 2017 races.” Friends of Angela’s were competing in triathlons and she decided to give it a try.

“I attended my first De Bruin Train triathlon training camp in January 2017. It was extremely intense. I think I cried on four of the seven days of the camp. But afterwards I asked the founder, Gerhard de Bruin to take me on as a triathlon athlete. Since then I have grown tremendously. I did not even cry at the next training camp!”

2018 has been a big year for Angela so far. “I completed my first full Ironman-race earlier this year. And then I qualified to compete in the World Ironman championships.” She describes the experience as surreal. “It was very scary and I was extremely nervous to be in the company of such world-class athletes. But my boyfriend Garth told me that I deserved to be there or I never would have gotten that slot in the competition. He encouraged me to go out there and do what I could.”

Angela did go out there and did what she could. She finished the race. “I struggled with a lot of injuries while preparing for the world championships. It made the race more difficult, but I managed to push through. It was a bit windy during the bike ride and even though I am a strong runner, it was very hot and I had to dig deep to finish the run. I will just have to work harder for the next race. Hard work does pay off. What you put in, you will get out. I currently train twice a day for at least an hour per session.”

She hopes to inspire the community to take up regular exercise like running. She believes that anyone can do it. “Any fitness level and any age can run or walk as exercise. There are lots of people that can offer so much support at the Hartbeespoort Marathon Club. Just try it out. You never know…you might like it! Exercise definitely makes you feel better about yourself and you end up gaining confidence you never knew you had. Running, swimming and biking allow me to look after my body better and live a healthy lifestyle. And that is something everyone should aspire to. When you finish a race or an event, you feel that you have achieved something. And that is one of the most satisfying feelings in the world.”

For more information about the Hartbeespoort Marathon Club and how to join, contact Angela on 082 081 6646.

More about Angela
• Her favourite food is pizza.
• She likes to read inspiring books by triathlon athletes.
• Angela dreams of traveling to Ireland one day.
• She does not have a lot of time for hobbies. but enjoys visiting with friends.

  AUTHOR
Martie van Bavel
Journalist

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