In wet and challenging conditions, Australia’s Tokyo Paratriathlon hopefuls took to the streets of Newcastle on Saturday morning for their first dedicated paratriathlon in 12 months.
Despite a demanding harbour current and intermittent rain, athletes savoured the opportunity to be back racing with the City of Newcastle Paratriathlon doubling as a chance to run their race plans and execute key skills in preparation for the upcoming Games.
Speaking to Triathlon Australia, Newcastle’s own Lauren Parker said that she was thrilled to be back racing in Newcastle.
“It was so great to be back on the start line after a year of no racing and to have the first race of the season in my hometown makes me really proud that we could put a great event together,” Parker said.
Parker faced her fair share of challenges on the course today, with her swim splint breaking early in the swim followed by a flat on the first lap of the bike. However, the reigning World Champion refused to let it phase her.
“There were a few hiccups…so I had to mentally get through that and just focus on the job I had to do.”
“I like a more challenging swim, so I really enjoyed it and got a big lead, bigger than I normally get, so I was super happy [with the swim].”
“Again [on the bike], I couldn’t stop so I just had to push through that and focus on going easier on the corners and stuff so that the tyre wouldn’t come off the rim. But I put it all together and I felt great all day in all three legs.”
She wasn’t the only one with bike troubles with Nic Beveridge and Emily Tapp also finding themselves dealing with flat tyres on the bike.
Beveridge pushed on to take home the Men’s PTWC title in 01:28.41. While Parker blitzed the Women’s PTWC field to claim line honours in 01:21.15. Tapp put up a strong performance to overcome the challenges of Newcastle and finish in second, with Sara Tait taking home third.
Victoria’s Liam Twomey put together solid performances across all three legs today to take the Men’s PTS4 title. With Clint Pickin chasing hard all morning, Twomey was forced to keep the pace up and lay down a blistering run to secure a considerable lead and the win. Pickin worked hard right to the end to finish a mere 25 seconds behind the Victorian, with newcomer James Parr completing the podium.
Jonathan Goerlach and Guide Sam Douglas set the course alight with fast and attacking racing throughout the morning to take home the Men’s PTVI title in a speedy 01:05.20. Trevor Murphy and Daniel Searle rounded out the PTVI podium with 2nd and 3rd, respectively.
Katie Kelly and Guide Briarna Silk were in top condition as they pulled together a sleek and fast race to claim the Women’s PTVI win, with newcomer Maggie Sandles and Guide Kate Bramley putting together a valiant performance to take second place in their first triathlon together.
Glen Jarvis (PTS2), Jeremy Peacock (PTS3) and Andrew Wilkinson (PTS5) all put together solid performances to finish in 01:28.47, 01:07.32 and 01:08.13, respectively.
The paratriathlon cohort will now turn their focus towards next weekend’s Australian Paratriathlon Championships in Devonport.
1st Lauren Parker – 01:21.15
2nd Emily Tapp – 01:38.39
3rd Sara Tait – 01:51.29
1st Nic Beveridge – 01:28.41
1st Katie Kelly – 01:12:57
2nd Maggie Sandles – 01:29.49
1st Jonathan Goerlach – 01:05.20
2nd Trevor Murphy – 01:19.51
3rd Daniel Searle – 01:27.58
1st Glen Jarvis – 01:28.47
1st Jeremy Peacock – 01:07.32
1st Liam Twomey – 01:09.09
2nd Clint Pickin – 01:09.34
3rd James Parr – 01:55.15
1st Andrew Wilkinson – 01:08.13