Along with Lisa Marangon, Mitch Robins is heading to the Triseries in Forster on September 18 and 19 to race in both the Shimano Pro Series and the Olympic distance race on the Sunday. At 22 Mitch is young to be focusing on long distance racing and with this in mind he is starting to look at ITU as a possibility. The Triseries that Elite Energy is staging in NSW could not have come along at a better time for Mitch, and provides the perfect opportunity for Mitch to test himself over the Olympic distance and see what he is capable of. He is looking forward to racing the series.
Forster is Mitch’s first serious tilt at Olympic distance although he has raced the distance before. Based on his success in this series Mitch, under the guidance of Grant Giles from Aeromax Team, will decide whether to go on and compete in the ITU races.
Before Forster Mitch is heading up to Port Douglas to compete in the long course triathlon (2k,80k,20k) on Saturday 11 September. Last year Mitch came 2nd overall.
In 2010 Mitch has raced three races of note but missed his main race Challenge Copenhagen, due to an injury while cycling in Boulder. Last year Mitch finished 2nd overall behind Tim Berkel at the Port Macquarie half ironman and this year he came 7th overall at Huskisson Long Distance and 5th at the Bussleton half ironman. He also competed the first race in the Sydney Duathlon series with a solid win in this fast and furious format.
I caught up with Mitch in Sydney last week to talk about this year, the new series and what his plans are for the future.
How did you get in to triathlons? “I was a fairly decent runner at high school and competed nationally in cross country covering 6 and 8km distances. Mostly though I surfed, mainly with Adam Holborow. I thought I was a bit too cool for sports at school but eventually I got caught up in the buzz that surrounds Ironman each year. Growing up in Port Macquarie long distance triathlons seemed normal”.
“I have only been doing triathlons for three years so I still don’t know where I am going to end up or what I can achieve”. At 22 and with only three years of triathlon it seems that Mitch Robins has massive potential. I was impressed with his maturity and the way he handled himself. With a serious focus on Olympic distance Mitch has huge potential considering the base he has built with his long distance training and racing.
What were your experiences at Huskisson and Busselton this year? “Things were going well in Husky until the run. I felt really crook and ended up walking a bit. I just love that Husky weekend and will always go back. Emo runs a great event and weekend. In Busselton I learnt a very big lesson. I was busted for drafting. Of course it was unfair (aren’t they all?). I was having problems with my seat. It had come loose and I was focused on trying to fix it while riding and had moved to close to the guys in front. I got busted and tried to explain my way out of it but no luck. They gave me 5mins. I got angry and rode hard to try to get some advantage knowing that I was going to have to spend 5mins in the penalty box. This seemed like a good idea at the time. It caught up with me on the run and I ended up 5th overall. In hindsight this was a good result and I took some really good lessons from this race”.
How far off the Olympic distance pace do you think you are? “I am not sure. As Forster will be my first serious race at this distance and also my first draft legal race on the Pro Series, so I have no idea how fast I am. I am confident of my swim pace and also bike pace but do not know how I will go in the 10km run”.
I have spoken to a number of pro triathletes and coaches who almost always remark that they wish there were some top triathlon series in Australia where they could earn some reasonable prizes and also provide regular competition. I asked Mitch for his thoughts on this. “I am really excited about this new Triseries that Elite Energy has organised. I want to support it and will do everything I can to get to all the races in this seasons series. The USA has so many great races. I would also love to see some sort of team sets up here in Australia. I like to race and train in a full time team situation. That would be exciting. The Aeromax development team that Grant Giles has is great. Having Tim Berkel, Tim Reed and Adam Holborow around is a dream. We really feed off each other and push each other”.
How was Boulder this year? “Boulder was a lot of fun. Matty White in particular was really generous with his time and advice. He really looked after me and made Boulder a great experience. Living and training with Matty and Tim Berkel was a great experience”.
What happened that stopped you from going to Challenge Copenhagen? “I damaged my shoulder really badly when racing with Lachlan Morton (Lachlan is on the Garmin team). I was going around a corner when I got a flat tyre and slid out. I missed four weeks of swimming and only started back last week. I feel totally refreshed and after spending time in Boulder training at altitude over the last few months I am feeling like superman. If done right and managed well altitude training has many benefits”.
What does you training consist of right now? “Currently I am doing around 50-60kms of running each week with 300-400kms of cycling and about 25kms of swimming. I am doing a lot of trail running up around Bobbin Head and swimming at Hornsby Pool and Abbotsleigh. I would love to find a good swim squad here in Sydney. I still need to find some good groups in Sydney”.
Can you tell us some more about your run training. “I have two favourite sessions. One is a fast two hour training run where I like to really push myself. The other is 800m intervals. I do these on the road and really go fast”. What do you miss about Port Macquarie? “I really miss the option of being able to go for long rides in the country with hardly any cars on the road. I really love training in Port Macqaurie”.
What brought you to Sydney? “I am doing Exercise Science at UTS Lindfield. I have one year to go. I am really passionate about nutrition and would like to get in to that field. Not just sports nutrition but nutrition in general. I see what people eat in society and a lot of it is awful. I am hoping to get some work next year in this area. At this stage I don’t know what I will do but it would be great to get some experience while I am finishing the degree”.
How are you juggling triathlon and Uni? “I am really struggling with time management but I know the importance of getting an education. In saying that triathlon is number one but Uni seems to work itself out. However over the next six months I will be having a really good crack at triathlons. Once I sit down with Gilesy and work on a plan and get some focus I will be able to manage things better”
In the meantime I am also looking for some part time work to help pay the bills. Ideally it would be good to work for a potential sponsor so I can combine triathlon and work.