Club pride overruled individual plans, training programs and race goals this weekend at the TriNSW Club Championships in the gorgeous Central West town of Orange.
The wind and rain had been there or there-abouts for the days prior. But sketchy weather was not going to dampen our athlete’s club pride. The Brat Club tent was in prime position at the start of the finish shoot and filled to the brim with anxious members new and old …and eskies with beer …for after. Huge thanks to Rafa Vilar for ensuring the safe transit of the biggest and shiniest club tent in NSW.
It was great seeing all our members prepping together and sharing ideas and transition tactics. The lunchtime start really changing the dynamic of pre-race triathlon. Coffee was a common ingredient.
The 1k swim in Gosling Creek Reservoir would normally be mirror smooth – next year maybe. This year we had a serious chop, playing into the hands of the Bondi roughwater specialists. The swim was fast and furious in all the age waves.
The loudspeaker warnings of the gusting 45km winds out on the bike course were confirmed within the first few meters of the 30km bike leg. The course was undulating and reasonably technical made tougher by cross-winds from all angles.
There would be no respite on the run with an early small uphill then downhill onto the narrow gravel and across a tight little footbridge, uphill gravel on the other side to the u-turn and then back again. The three uphills on the tight 2.5km circuit meant there was no place to hide until the finish shoot.
Every single Brat performed above expectation. That’s what happens when you’re racing for more than just yourself. Every second counts and every place we can take off another club adds to our tally. The first female and male home in each AG earns the club 30 points (first) all the way to 1 point for 29th and above. Everyone else home in that age group will block another club earning points so the more members racing the better.
Huge performances from Brenda Hamill (70-74) and Jimmy Byrne (30-34) both earning the Club maximum 30 points with category wins. Brenda leading from start to strong finish and pipping a few of our boys to the finish. Jimmy was second out of the water in one of the toughest AG’s but his 6th overall bike of 48min earned him the category win and 12th overall for the day.
Fountain of youth elixir holder John Hill snared another podium and 28 points, while new member Solenne Billouinn snared fourth in her AG earning the club a huge 27 points. Awesome effort from both ends of the age spectrum and showing again that the more age groups covered the huge payoff in points.
A welcome return to racing from long-time (early 90’s) Club member Shaun Anderson earned the club 26 points for his 5th place in the 50-54 AG. In his post-race interview Shaun put his great result down to wearing his race number under his wetsuit. Captain Kroney also placed 5th in 45-49 AG with a fly-in-fly-out effort. Kroneys unusually fast swim was the fastest Brat swim of the day, however, his normally snappy run was a little sluggish as he dropped from 3rd off the bike to finish 5th.
Fabulous efforts from across the Club saw some big points being accrued by Karen Moy (22pts), Martin Rosenzweig (21pts), Lucy Terrell (20pts), Peter Zeilic (15pts), Anna Leite (14pts) and Liam O’Grady (14pts). Our girls were a little small in number but all raced hard and between them earned 140 points, nearly half our total.
Special mentions to Ana Yago and Philip Barlin for their volunteer points. Congratulations to everyone who raced and volunteered all earning valuable points for the Club. The net result of everyones efforts was equal THIRD!!! This is our best result in over 5 years.
If we can all diarise the Club Champs for same time and place next year and bring along a few friends and family to help fill the AG categories we had empty this year (juniors, girls, older age groups) we can move even further up the podium in 2018!