One of the pre-race favourites Simon Hearn executed a near perfect race to take an unassailable lead early in the second of two run laps. Hearn did not let the early fast pace lure him away from his race plan. He kept a lid on it and slowly picked the guys ahead off one buy one.
The swim didn’t yield any surprises and in near perfect conditions with calm, flat water Australian based Kiwi, Trent Thorpe lead out as expected. The former short course triathlete is one of the best swimmers in the game (a sub 4min 400 apparently) and he used that to get an early lead out on to the bike.
Breathing down his neck was a group of 12 guys who were all hot on his heels in T1. It didn’t take the group long to swallow Thorpe on the bike. By the 19km timing mark Thorpe was in the bunch. The lead group of guys consisted of Steven Mckenna, Leigh Anderson, Caleb Noble, Sam Betten, Tim Reed, Scott Bayvel, Simon Hearn, David Mainwaring, Tim Van Berkel, Joel Wooldridge and twin brother Joshua Wooldridge with Lachlan Kerin the last of that big group on to the bike.
By the 60km mark there were 10 guys in the lead group with Mainwaring having succumbed to back spasms and a Lachie Kerin having fallen off the pack.
Coming in to T2 there was less than 15 seconds covering the top ten men. The pace was possibly too hot as the lead pack was now at 6 with Mckenna and Noble pushing the pace at the front. Behind them were two guys who would finish 1-2 smartly letting the front early leaders on the run push themselves slightly faster than the guys behind were comfortable with early on.
From my position on the spotters bike right alongside the leaders it seemed that Reed was struggling with wanting to stay in touch but feeling like that pace was just too hot early on. He wisely let the younger guys take it to each other which he and Hearn sat and waited.
Well before the 5km mark it was a 4 man race. At 7.5km Reed the gap between 1-2 and 3-4 had stretched slightly. Heading back to the halfway mark Caleb Noble had turned the screws and stretched his lead over the three chasers. Hearn had passed Mckenna and there was a 20 second gap as Noble turned at the halfway mark to head back out on the second lap. This is when things got interesting. From from 10-11.5km Hearn had almost reduced Noble’s lead to nothing and was about to pass him. Also in the 2kms from the turn around Reed passed Mckenna.
Reed now had his tail up and was laser focused on Noble ahead sensing that he was starting to fade. Hearn meanwhile was running smoothly and was labouring less than the other three lead guys. This did not change for the rest of the race.
Meanwhile Reed was now hunting Noble down and I was lucky to have a ring side seat to watch him steadily reel him in. At the far turnaround it was only a matter of time. Reed passed Noble at around the 16.5km mark and surged to make sure that Noble could not hang on.
With about 2-2.5km to go Noble had not given up and was gaining some ground on Reed. Reed had enough in the tank to hold him off.
Up ahead Simon Hearn had executed a near perfect race and never waivered on the run as he ran across the finish line to take out the 2021 Shimano Husky Australian Triathlon Championship. Reed finished second with Noble having closed the gap after finding a second wind to come in third.
|Simon HEARN (#27)||3:48:27|
|Tim REED (#17)||3:49:06|
|Caleb NOBLE (#29)||3:49:31|
|Steven MCKENNA (#16)||3:51:27|
|Tim VAN BERKEL (#18)||3:51:46|
|Scott BAYVEL (#25)||3:52:06|
|Trent THORPE (#23)||3:53:03|
|Sam BETTEN (#30)||3:53:37|
|Joel WOOLDRIDGE (#36)||3:57:29|
|Levi MAXWELL (#20)||3:57:52|
|Joshua WOOLDRIDGE (#37)||3:58:49|
|Adam RUDGLEY (#34)||3:59:34|
|Matt LEWIS (#31)||4:00:48|
|Edward VINING (#22)||4:02:40|
|Kieran STORCH (#35)||4:06:32|
|Harry WILES (#38)||4:09:08|
|Quentin SCHNEIDER (#39)||4:15:48|
|Blake KAPPLER (#33)||4:15:56|
|George MILLER (#41)||4:17:12|
|Levi HAUWERT (#26)||4:26:37|