A team of four South African photographers were sent by Sportograf to cover the historical and inaugural Iron Man Rwanda 70.3 event at Giyesni which overlooks the pristine Lake Kivu, approximately 1.5km from the DRC. Together, as a team, we have covered several international events for them.
There was a great atmosphere and buzz in the air leading up to the event. Contestants, visitors, tourists, media and locals alike were all excited about the upcoming event. Even the Rwandan Minister of Sport was present. The Iron Man event was a first for Rwanda and will be back next year. There were 37 countries represented and Fritz Sitte rode from Cape Town to the event on his bicycle to take part; he is on his way home back to Cape Town and is expected to arrive in October! He did not have professional gear, rode his bike in slip slops and ran the 21km barefoot, what an achievement!
Known for its stunning scenery and warm, friendly people – Rwanda offers a unique experience in one of the most impressive countries in the world. Rwanda has incredible biodiversity, including wildlife living amongst volcanoes, mountainous rainforests, magnificent gorillas, and scenic plains. You just have to experience this astounding country, the cleanliness of the cities and rural villages, but most of all the friendliness of the people!
A waterfront town on the shores of Lake Kivu, Rubavu is an hour away from the Volcanoes National Park and makes a good stopover on the way to or from Nyungwe, or somewhere to relax after gorilla tracking.
Rubavu, as well as other spots along Lake Kivu, has red sandy beaches, warm, clean water, and an easy-going tropical character. It is a great place to unwind, soak up the tranquil vibe, watch the birds and enjoy various water sports. There were many Palm Nut Vultures and Yellow-billed Kites during our stay which seemed unperturbed by the presence of people.
Inland, old colonial buildings stand on palm-lined avenues, kept company by various banks, hotels and offices.
The city marks the beginning of the Congo Nile Trail, which extends 227km south to Rusizi. The trail can be enjoyed on foot or by mountain bike, with endless lake views, friendly hamlets, fishermen at work and women clothed in striking prints going about their daily lives.
With many tea and coffee plantations around Rubavu, as well as birds and primates to see in the new Gishwati-Mukura National Park, the area has something for everyone.
One of only three countries to see mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park.
Akagera National Park has the Big 5 and the recent introduction of the white rhino.
Nyungwe National Park to see chimpanzees.
Water sports and lake cruises.
It is a 1.9km swim from the waterfront of Gisenyi in Lake Kivu, one of the African Great Lakes. Lake Kivu is just south of the equator and lies at an altitude of 1463 meters above sea level.
The four-lap bike course takes athletes through the rural Rwandan villages and along the spectacular shoreline of Lake Kivu.
The 3 laps 21.1km run course incorporates the shoreline of Lake Kivu and suburban Gisenyi. Athletes can expect a spectator-lined run course all the way to the finish line!
Ilya Slepov 4:25:27 1
Stuart Hayes 4:26:57 2
Maximilien Von Berg 4:32:53 3
Donovan Geldenhuys 4:35:44 4
Joseph Shields 4:49:46 5
Samuel Tuyisenge 4:54:02 6
Filippo Colucci 4:56:38 7
Heritier Ishimwe 4:59:21 8
Daniel Smith 5:02:30 9
Gerjan Looman 5:02:49 10
For more results check out the official Iron Man Rwanda website. Congratulations to all the contestants, you are all champions in your own right!
Images can be purchased from Sportograf, these shown here are from some of my favourites of the day. I also shot two rolls of 35mm film: Kodak Ultramax 400 & Portra 800 at the event, which was a fun thing for me to do, only two images didn’t come out as planned, which is a 70/72 success rate.
Iron Man Rwanda
Iron Man Rwanda
Iron Man Rwanda
Overall I am very happy with how the event went and would certainly want to return to cover next year’s event again. Images that have the Sportograf logo are images that I shot for Sportograf.
From our Sportograf “Best of Gallery” for the Rwanda Iron Man Competition, some of my images feature, scroll down the page to see the gallery, click here.
Visit Rwanda https://www.visitrwanda.com
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Iron Man Rwanda
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