People sometimes ask me about my role as a Route 67 brand ambassador for Nelson Mandela Bay. They want to know why I’m so keen on promoting a heritage trail through Nelson Mandela Bay.
The fact is, I’m very proud to have the backing and support of my home city, Port Elizabeth (PE), and want to do my bit in putting it on the map as the awesome holiday destination it is.
With my hometown playing host to the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in 2018, it’s a great opportunity to show my colleagues how spoilt I am when it comes to training and general lifestyle here.
When international athletes visit, I always try meet up with them and give them a few pointers. Our beaches are stunning and the water is warm. There's a great selection of restaurants and food markets to choose from when dining out.
I’d definitely recommend seeing the big five at the Addo Elephant Park and go on a game drive (safari) at the Kragga Kamma Game Park to see more African wildlife when you're here.
But also do yourself a favour and spend time stretching your legs and taking in the sights as you walk Route 67.
As a kid, I visited a few of the historical sites that are on Route 67 while on school tours ‒ but I didn't really understand any of it and, to be honest, I was much more interested in playing with my friends than taking anything in. Turning pro has given me the chance to be a tourist in my own home city and, thanks to my role as a Route 67 ambassador, my wife, Lauren, and I have learned so much more about the place I’ve always called home.
If you check out the website, you’ll see that Route 67 takes you on a guided, walking tour through one of Nelson Mandela Bay’s oldest neighbourhoods. Lauren and I did it. It includes the city’s most historical buildings and 67 art pieces that creatively depict some aspects of the history and heritage of the city and country.
Plus you'll learn more about one of the greatest men in history ‒ Nelson Mandela ‒ and the 67 years he spent both in politics and the struggle for freedom against Apartheid in South Africa.
For the guys who are planning to compete in the 2018 World Championships, making a real family trip out of it is totally worth it. I've competed in 20 international IRONMAN races and I can confidently say that IRONMAN South Africa is, hands down, the best.
This is mostly thanks to the huge support you get from the locals during the race. People in Mandela Bay really make a day of it. They come out in crowds, find a spot next to the road to picnic or braai (barbecue) with friends and family while they cheer you on as you run or cycle by. The hardest thing for me is smelling the boerewors as you run past. It’s very tempting to stop mid-race.
So I’d love you to check out: http://route67tours.co.za/ It’s totally worth it.