Paul Humphries and the team at H events put on the 18th running of the Maitland Triathlon last Sunday. The race works it’s way through and around the scenic town of Morpeth with both a sprint, mid-distance and fun run events offering all levels of fitness a competitive challenge.
The sprint race went off early with Alexander Reithmeier winning with a two minute margin over Hugh Bonney while Angie Sharp dominated the women’s field. With a last minute extension to the swim leg athletes had to fight the river current a little longer than they anticipated.
H events are starting to recognise the value enticing several professional athletes can provide, offering up an increased prize purse from 2010 for the Mid-Distance event. This coupled with an increased distance to 2kms/60kms/15kms saw a strong number grind their way through the tough conditions.
In the men’s race Aeromax team member Joey Lampe took his usual swim lead with close to a minute over the chase group of local favourite Nathan Stewart, Tim Reed and Adam Holborrow.
Holborrow proved once again how strong he can be on two wheels soon catching Lampe and jumping off the bike with a one minute advantage over Lampe and a little more over Reed and Stewart.
Lampe’s run is coming along in leaps and bounds and he took the lead by 3kms however fellow Aeromax team member and training buddy, Tim Reed soon closed the gap by 7kms and cruised to the finish with a reasonable margin. Lampe finished soon behind in 2nd with Adam Holborrow a couple of minutes back in 3rd.
Tim Reed used this race to gauge where he is at with the Port Macquarie 70.3 not far away. “My swim is not where it should be and I was tired on the bike. I will most likely pull out of Noosa so I can focus on these areas leading up to Port”.
The women’s race was looking to be a close battle between Matilda Raynolds and Lisa Marangon with Raynolds exiting the water unusually alongside Marangon proving that her off-season swim training has been very effective. Raynolds then showed the down side to having a while between races exiting T1 without her bike shoes losing time as she returned to the rack to retrieve them. Marangon built a small lead only to puncture out of the race with Raynolds winning very comfortably. Monica Dalidowicz came in 2nd with Grace Macpherson 3rd.
Matilda was stoked with the win. The course was fast but the conditions were challenging. “With a strong current for the swim, a head wind on the bike and with the distance being fairly long it was a solid hit out for my first race since April. I am under no illusion that the win would have been far more contested had Lisa Marangon not pulled out – luck was on my side yesterday as I had a shocking transition – you can see it here, where I lost a lot of time, which you can’t afford when your with Lisa on the bike”.
Matilda’s swimming was the big improver. “Spot Anderson and I have been doing a lot of open water training and this really paid off yesterday. Last season I was well off Lisa Marangon, yesterday we came out of the water together.”
“It’s extremely early days. I feel very strong, however am lacking race fitness and speed. I need to be patient as this will come throughout the race season”.
The Maitland Triathlon offers a tough but satisfying wind blown bike course and a run that could almost be considered cross country. In such a beautiful town so relatively close to Newcastle and Sydney this event will surely be a sell out in years to come.