The TriF1 in Penrith on the long weekend was a huge hit with everyone that took part. Aaron Royle once again has shown his class against a field who had nothing to lose and everything to gain from beating the world number 10. Some young juniors were excited to be in the same race as Royle and relished the opportunity to ride with him even though it was sometimes upon being lapped.
This was the first TriF1 event and for all accounts it was about testing the format and the 90 odd athletes that took part in the heats and finals format was probably a good number to get this format back on the calendar. The next event in NSW is in Cronulla and will be a sellout based on everyone’s experiences on the weekend. TAKE NOTE: This was the best fun we have had racing triathlon in a long time. There was a teams triathlon a few years ago in Penrith and a mixed teams race in Forster about three years ago. These were also a lot of fun. It is not often age groupers gets to take part in shorter heat and finals format. We all loved it!
Royle didn’t have it all his own way with housemate David Mainwaring determined to throw everything but the kitchen sink at Royle to try to win the ultimate prize of not doing the dishes or rubbish for the next couple of weeks. Mainwaring took the first race easy making sure that he was well within the cutoff but saving plently for the second round and ultimately the final.
In the women’s elite race Emma Jesscoat proved to strong for the field dominating from the first race. Ulitmately Jeffcoat won and Bree Jones finished second after controlling her first two heats extremely well.
The format of the elite races meant that the crowd was able to get up close and personal. 6 x 1km laps on the bike and a 500m run course meant there was plenty of opportunities to watch the entire race unfold.
The Age Groupers did not bike the tight 1km circuit that the elite triathletes rode on and instead did 2 x 5km laps around the lake on the bike in the two heats. Their race was a non-drafting race and the field had some quick athletes.
Like the elite race the final for the age groupers was an enduro format with a 200m swim, 5km bike, 1km run x 2.
These formats were a huge hit with everyone and comments such as ‘the best fun I have had in years’ were common. I raced in the age group race and whilst it was off only a few weeks of getting back in to racing and virtually no swimming I had a blast. I will definitely be on the start line at Cronulla and encourage Victorians to take part in the upcoming races in their state.
Back to the Penrith race and we saw 2014 Commonwealth Games triathlete Aaron Royle take out the elite race with David Mainwaring 2nd and Nuru Somi 3rd. We saw a blast from the past with Jack Llewellyn make an impromptu appearance along with Alex Reithmeier having a hitout and a host of young guys wanting to test themselves against Aaron Royle.
In the women’s elite race Emma Jeffcoat took out the overall title ahead of Bree Jones and Grace Hoitink.