The 2011 Sparke Helmore NBN Newcastle Triathlon had another weather affected running. This race seems to have been character building recently.
I noticed on the race website that it was the NSW Olympic Distance Champs. Considering this none of the states leading pros were racing and looking through the results many (not all) of the top age groupers were also not there.The lack of prize money would have kept most of the pros away.
However this should not take away from some of the performances on the day and there were some fast times posted.
Darren Quarrell (1:56) and Darren Morton in 40-44 were there and posted very quick times. Quarrell is one of if not the fastest 40-44 age grouper over this distance in the state. Nathan Stewart and winner overall on the day Finnbar Crennan also posted very quick times in the low 1:50s.
Congratulations to Sarah Dunn who finished with a time of 2:15 and also Juliane Lacroix and Shannon Fulwood who did 2:16 to take out their respective age groups.
Sam Purcell reported in on his day and gives a good over view of how the race went. Sam placed 3rd in his age group (M25-29). Sam raced at the Huskisson Long Course the week before with a very handy time of 4:07.
Sparke Helmore NBN Triathlon Race Report – By Sam Purcell
When I woke in the morning it was raining and still pitch black. Arriving at the race site the ground was wet and everyone was huddled under the tents that had been pitched to try and stay warm and dry.
Eventually as the sun came out and the rain cleared we learned that it was going to be a harbour swim, moved from Knobby Beach to the channel due to poor surf conditions. The swim was 2 laps around about 6 different cans with a 100m run in the middle and 300 odd meters from the beach to transition. There was a fair bit of tide so the buoys were quite bunched up.
The bike was 5 laps of a course that headed through King Edward Park. It was a very technical course that saw a lot of triathletes coming off their bikes with a few nasty falls. The first half of the lap was uphill and the rest was downhill. There were some sketchy corners in the middle, the race director sent an ambulance to the corner opposite the cop shop and they acted as a buffer so the riders didn’t slide too far down the hill when they came off. (Interesting)
It was a very tough but fair bike course.
The run was flat and fast. By this time it was starting to heat up. A complete turn around from the start of the day. First onto the breakwall then headed down the harbour, the run was very enjoyable. With a few water stations out of the way I crossed the line and it was done.
All round a great race, plenty of people around to support and some very tough competition to keep everyone honest!! I will be there next year for sure.
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