As the Noosa Triathlon looms, we uncover a little-known Aussie icon who helps make this event a favourite among pros and age-groupers around the world. Australia’s most iconic race attracts some authentic Aussie athletes but few can boast as many finishes as Ron Acutt. The 51-year-old from Hervey Bay in Queensland has notched up 32 consecutive finishes at Noosa, and his fun outlook is what makes this race a world favourite.
“It was a kind of cold year one year, so I wore the latest in triathlon gear – a custom made Wavelength wetsuit,” Ron says as he remembers a Noosa race from years ago. “The trouble was I forgot to take it off, took me a couple of seconds to figure out why it was so hard to swing the leg over the bike.”
Ron’s funny stories, plenty of laughs and dedication to the sport are quintessentially Australian, and help add to the fun vibe of the event. Plenty of people regard the Noosa Triathlon as a fun, beachside getaway with a mix of swim, bike, run and partying – after the event of course.
It’s not just the nightlife that brings in competitors from around the world every year though. It’s also the views throughout the breathtaking course. Ron Acutt adores the scenery throughout the event and always takes a moment to enjoy the view at the top of Glyndia Drive. Despite the beauty, though, he says nothing compares to the relief of crossing the bridge as he enters the last 150m of the run.
Despite introducing feather-light bikes, changed routes and fancy tracking technologies over the decades, Ron says the race is not hugely different to his first Noosa Triathlon, except for his pre-race accommodation. “My first Noosa in 1984, I slept in my car the night before, under a tree near the public toilets and was most put out when the organising committee showed up at 5 am and started to set up the transition area right next to the car,” he said.
It’s Ron’s dedication to the sport and perseverance through injury that helps make him an icon of the event. “I have never let anything stop me from finishing; from flat tyres (my record is three before the climb), torn shoulders, heat stress, and expectant wives: every time I’ve entered I have finished,” he said.
Ron is aiming to finish a huge 50 consecutive Noosa Triathlons and we truly hope he gets there.
Check back in with Trizone to stay tuned to Ron Acutt, follow number 33’s progress, as well as all the pros next weekend at the Noosa Triathlon.