2016 ITU cross Triathlon world championships Lake Crackenback was the biggest off-road triathlon Australia has ever hosted. Athletes from all over the globe competed across three days of exciting off-road racing.
Friday saw the female age group Athletes battle it out over a 1500 meter swim, 30 km mountain bike and a 10 km ‘very’ off-road run.
Of particular interest for me was my daughter Maddison competing in the 20-24 age group. Her first international event was quite a success improving 20 minutes from her race time in February on the same course and placing fifth in the world.
Penny Slater of Australia was the 20 to 24 age group winner with a dominating all the way win.
Some other fantastic performance on the day came from Kim Beckinsale Who took out the age group wave over all and the 45to 49 world championship. Fellow Gold Coaster Jenny Alcorn coach of the surfers Paradise triathlon club also won gold in the 55 to 59 age category to add to her recent gold medal at the Kona ironman world championships.
Brisbane athlete Leela Hancox won the 35-39 category while Kate Bramley from Melbourne took out the 25 to 29’s
Naantali Marshall former iron woman champion won the 40 to 44 with an all the away win after a dominant swim.
Other gold medalists were Amanda Richards 50 to 54 and Anne Alford 30-34
Saturday was my race day against all Male age group athletes.
Ahead of the race my main rival was Aussie Tim Lang who won the Australian championship religating me to 2nd back in February over the same course.
Our strengths and weaknesses are pole opposite with me a fast swimmer Tim a great runner. Neither of us are particularly weak at any of the triathlon disciplines but our strengths lie in different areas therefore our race strategies are different.
My plan was to lead the swim ride hard and run scared however the 2015 world 45 to 49 Champion Italian and former professional Triahtlete Gianpietro De Faveri had other plans.
Later the Italian would confess to me his personal best 1500 meter freestyle was 15 minutes all be it 30 years ago this guy could still move through the water posting a 17.45 swim taking 45 seconds lead over me going on to the mountain bike leg.
Tim laying a further two minutes 10 behind would soon make up ground when I had an unusually slow transition.
Feeling pretty strong on the bike I set about my work happy with the pace. Coming off the bike I was faced with the prospect of being some four minutes down on the Italian world champion.
It appeared my fear of running tired had cost me some time on the bike leg. It was only halfway into lap one of three that Lang would pass me for second spot.
Knowing that Tim had the legs to go on with it I quickly advised Him that the itallian was three minutes ahead. I think he was surprised as much as I was.
I continued to run quite good happy with my pace passing a lot of back markers.
As I ran the finishing straight in 3rd place enjoying the crowd and the high-fives I spotted my baby daughter Alex being held up by my lovely wife Alana and suddenly I became that guy who carries his kid over the line! I couldn’t help it she was just too cute!
In the end Tim Lang stole the victory by 30 seconds and only three minutes covered the top three in the age group placing 9th, 12th and 15th against all other age categories.
An amazing weekend well organised by In2Adventure and Triathlon Australia
Lake Crackenback was simply stunning and I can’t wait to return in March for the Australian champs.
Other male winners of note. Brisbane-based George Tamblyn first place mail 30-34 a well-deserved win to an unassuming champion.
Rowan Beggs-French 25-29
Ian Martin 50-54 and Richard Jeffrey 60-64