By Mick Maroney
At the beginning of each year TNSW holds an annual camp. The camp comprises members of the various representative squads (EDS, ITU Junior/Under 23/EAS) gathering at a nominated venue for 4 days of training, technical analysis, and workshops. This year the camp was at The State Sports Centre â€“ Runaway Bay Queensland.
Athletes of note participating included Jack Hickey, Braden Ludlow, Lisa Marangon, Matilda Raynolds, Brooke Langereis, Mel Vandewater, Siobhan McCarthy, Tim Berkel, Ollie Whistler, Tim Reed and Clayton Fettel . The National High Performance Director â€“ Michael Flynn also attended a number of sessions as an interested observer.
The week began with a 5km Time Trial. This event was scheduled to coincide with the validation window that Triathlon Australia mandates ITU Junior and Under 23 athletes must complete in order to qualify to compete in National Series races. Once that was out of the way athletes had an early night before rising for the next day’s activities.
Day 2 began with a group run. The long course athletes completed 25km while the ITU athletes ran 6k and spent the next 90 mins on the track completing running and warm up drills. The group then swam a 4km session and were allowed a couple of hours rest. The afternoon held a fast and furious criterium on a hot dog course with the focus being on acceleration and turning skills. Stephanie Graves took out the women’s race while Jack Hickey and Clayton Fettel had a close sprint finish in the men’s event.
Day 3 started with a road ride â€“ one group managing an easy 2 Â½ hours while the long guys went up to 5 hours in duration. We gathered again mid morning for a skills competition. This involved the group to form into 4 teams â€“ each of which had to complete a station and rotate. The challenges were all transition and race skill based. The winning team was Elyse Foster’s â€œTeam Teal.â€ Athletes completed a 4k threshold swim set that afternoon. Once the work was done many stayed back while the coaches did some intensive one on one work with technique and stroke work. Mel Vandewater held a core work session later in the early evening and spoke about the importance of dry land work for performance triathletes.
Day 4 dawned and everyone was anticipating the final and most important session. The Annual Enduro. The coaches organised a race for all competitors that involved a 300m swim an 8km bike and 1.6k run done twice. The race was split into separate men’s and women’s events â€“ and was handicapped. The Triathlon Queensland team were in town and also came along and competed with their state counterparts. However, all eyes were on the renowned battle that was about to unfold between Lisa Marangon and Mick Maroney. A great deal of smack talk had been spouted leading into this race. Lisa kicked Mick’s butt last year and he was out for revenge. Both were handicapped off 5 minutes.
The women’s race started and the girls were all racing brilliantly trying to catch and pass each other â€“ Kristy Craft was an animal on the bike and Siobhan McCarthy was running through the field like a midget gazelle! Lisa and Mick swam stroke for stroke before transition when it appeared that the coaches had sabotaged Mick’s bike! Indeed, each transition became a matter of looking for hidden obstacles, and missing shoes and goggles â€“ mainly hidden by coach Chris Lang! Not to mention the sledging and â€œOld manâ€ jokes from Michael Flynn and super coach John Hickey! The race ended with Lisa taking it out but not before her arch nemesis had crossed the line!!!
The men’s race was very close and it appeared that young Jackson Ludlow would take it out. Around the back straight of the track on the last lap â€“ Bryce McMaster passed Jackson to take the race win from Jackson and Jack Hickey. Both Jackson and Bryce have huge careers ahead of them in Triathlon.
The team finished the camp with an interesting bus trip to Rainbow Bay and lunch at the surf club. A great ending to a fantastic few days away.
The athletes are now looking to compete at Devonport, Nowra, and Kurnell this weekend. It should be an awesome season for all!!!
Many thanks to Team Manager Kristy Craft, Assistant Manager Donna Hickey and coaches John Hickey, Mick Ludlow, Chris Lang, Rob Hurley, and Mel Vandewater