Evergreen Triathlete Mick Maroney looks at the Nepean Super Sprint Race

Back to the Future – an old man’s perspective on the Nepean Super Sprint

By Mick Maroney

Nepean Mens Super Sprint StartThe Nepean triathlon held on the 15th of November included an exciting new innovation. The top 20 men and women were invited to race a super sprint triathlon in front of the crowd – seated in the regatta centre stadium. The format would be 300m swim 8km bike and 2k run.

The main race was held and the top 20 established. I finished 21st and missed out. The 44 year old legs just weren’t working as well as planned. However, Mitch Robins, the champion triathlete originally from Port Macquarie, had to head back and the 20th slot rolled down to me! The last pro level super sprint I did was 17 years ago at Manly Beach. Nerves were kicking in…

So about 90 mins after the first race the super sprint invitees were called to the bike racks in front of the stadium. By this stage the temperature was hovering around 35 degrees and everyone was drinking litres of water in the hope that would be enough to ward off dehydration and cramps.

Mick Maroney in Nepean Super SprintAs we lined up on the pontoon for the dive start – it occurred to me that I was giving away 20 years to most of the other competitors. The main goal was not to embarrass myself! The swim was a 300m rectangle. The gun went and I swam flat out for about 20 strokes without taking a breath or looking up. Concentrating on finding clean water and not hitting anyone. At the first can I was in the first 5 and feeling ok. The turn around the buoys was a bit of a boxing match but not unlike a night at home with my 5 kids!

We swam to the water’s edge and it was a mad sprint to the bike racks. I had a decent transition and managed to get on the road in good shape. At least there were other competitors behind and I wasn’t last!

There was a stream of riders along the 4k hotdog course. Fettel and Jacobs were pushing the pace up front. We arrived in transition in two groups and Brendan Sexton again looked ominous. The run consisted of 4 x 500m loops with a turnaround Mick Maroney Finishing Nepean Super Sprintsmack bang in front of the crowd. I got off the bike around 5th or 6th. The right calf refused to work so I shouted some abuse at it and it reluctantly started contracting!

Being advanced in age meant that the crowd had some sympathy for the old man! So a wave ensued at each turn much to the delight of team mates and friends.

Brendan Sexton dominated again from Pete Jacobs and Dave Mainwaring. The old bloke managed to sneak into the top 10. A great day and lots of fun!



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Karl Hayes

Karl is a keen age group triathlete who races more than he trains. Good life balance! Karl works in the media industry in Australia and is passionate about the sport of triathlon.