Season 2010-11 has seen Race Directors – Elite Energy – embark upon an admirable quest to resurrect Olympic and Sprint distance racing in NSW. Their latest offering was the Wollongong triathlon festival held over the weekend of December 4th and 5th. People voted with their feet with around 1000 people entering a number of events during the two days.
The Sprint race was held on Sunday morning and incorporated the latest round of the Shimano Protour. A strong field lined up for the race â€“ as well as a number of competitive age groupers â€“ and a few first timers.
The 750 meter swim was held in Wollongong Harbour. Athletes had to negotiate an M shaped course that included features such as swimming through moored yachts, and turning around a concrete pylon. At the end of the swim leg Wollongong’s own Ben Allen had a handy lead from Scott Llewellyn and Michael Fox. In the womens’ race Natalie van Coevorden had a small lead on Lisa Marangon.
The bike course went straight up Cliff Rd. Hill then onto a flat 8km section that was negotiated twice. The mens’ event saw 2 packs form while the turn for the first cycle lap revealed Lisa Marangon powering away on her own as the other female athletes struggled to find any cohesion in their chase.
In the age group event Alexander Price and Uber biker Matt Williams were heading up the under 40s wave while in the dinosaur wave (over 40s) yours truly was trying to hang on for dear life after a fast swim.
The Protour wave made their way into T2 with Ben Allen holding onto his early swim lead while Scott Llewellyn and Shane Farrant from the ACT immediately began asserting their authority. The 5km course wound its way around the picturesque Wollongong beach front – in an out and back configuration. The crowd at the finish line were greeted by Newcastle’s Scott Llewellyn holding on for the win from Shane Farrant (ACT) and Michael Fox (Cronulla).
In the age group event Alexander Price 25-29 (Balmoral) finished in front of Mick Maroney 40-49 (Cronulla) and Matt Williams 16-17 (Cronulla).
Lisa Marangon showed why she has won 6 races already this season by dominating the run and taking the honours over Tamsyn Moana-Veale (Bathurst) and Regina Wright (Newcastle). In the age group event, Lauren Fitzgerald, an ex-professional basketballer and Australian representative, had the second fastest female time of the day and a scintillating bike split. Lauren finished in front of Andrea Longuiera (Chile)and Gillian Backhouse (Armidale).
Congratulations to Emo and the Elite Energy team for another innovative and well run Triathlon! Next round of the Shimano Protour is to be held in Nowra on the 16th of January.