Club Championships Wrap-up Report
A VERY BIG THANK YOU to all of our Hills members, family and friends who raced and volunteered last weekend at the Triathlon NSW Club Championships in Forster. Our Hills Triathlon Club came 2nd place overall in the club distance race competition, equalling our previous best placing in Forster. Our juniors also had another solid performance coming 3rd place in their first ever Championships located in Forster.
The weather conditions on race day were near perfection. There were only a handful of puddles still on the bike course from a storm the day before. The 2 lap swim course was very flat and you could see the bottom of the ocean floor practically the entire swim. Thank you to the local Surf Life Saving Club for the extra inflatable rescue boats, jet-skis and life savers on their boards in the water.
It was a fantastic team effort on the day with so many stories to share. Here are just a few that stood out for me.
The Men of Steel
Ross Salmon was our most experienced Hills triathlete on the course at the young age of 76. For those who don’t know Ross, he is a true gentleman. Ross has been a Hills member for the last 5 years and absolutely loves racing at Club Champs. This year was his fourth year participating in the event. When it comes to demonstrating dedication, spirit and commitment then Ross is your man. He drove all the way down from Queensland by himself and placed 3rd in his age group. It was over a 9 hour drive for him (each way) with a few siestas on the way. We literally can’t thank you enough.
Rob Gordon had a tyre blow out whilst on the bike course. Instead of just throwing in the towel, Rob showed true grit and determination. He picked up his bike and ran with it for 1km back to a tent near the transition area selling bike parts. After buying a new tyre and tube he then got back out onto the bike course to finish his remaining bike laps. Whilst Rob was disappointed he didn’t finish at the pointy end of his age group, this story is far bigger than any result. It shows that you should never give up and just keep moving forward. That, right there, is the stuff of legends. Well done Rob.
Emir Mujcinovic was the quickest Hills male to cross the line. He must have been training hard these past number of months as he finished 26th overall (from a field of 643 competitors taking part in the club distance race). This is an outstanding result considering the strong contingency of triathletes taking part.
The below males rounded out our top 10 Hills males home. Cameron Wilson, Bryce Morley, Jason Howie, Shannon Lum, Paul Macfarlane, Scott Hayward, Tommy Morwood, Mark Strathern and Dave O’Brien.
The Legendary Ladies
Rosie Langley placed 4th in her 65-69 age group and never gave up. On the day before club championships Rosie walked the bike course to do some homework and assess where the steep hills were. It was at these steep hills on race day where Rosie would hop off her bike and push it up each of the hills for 3 laps. Many others may have given up or said it was too hard, but not our Rosie. She simply rolled up her sleeves and got the job done. A very well earned 4th place and with a beautiful smile on your face at the end of the race.
Madison Hayward was our fastest Hills female on the day finishing 19th out of a field of 218 females. For those who don’t know Madi, she is a quiet achiever who just goes about her work. This awesome result comes off the back of her hard training sessions she does week in week out. Congratulations and all the best for your upcoming races.
Jessica Vickers – at the 11th hour Jess answered the call to represent Hills as our 30-34 female. Jess had not completed a club distance race in a very long time after becoming a mum. With no club distance training under her belt, Jess smashed it and completed the challenge! She also managed to convince her husband to volunteer for our club!
There were a number of other outstanding performances in the club distance race from Julie Howle, Julie-Anne Roche, Tricia Finkbeiner, Donna McGrath, Julie Ashwood, Joanne Lum, Sarah Dickson and Nicole Mueller. Thank you ladies.
Our Hills juniors were amazing (as they always are) and placed 3rd overall in their championship. Just seeing them participate and have a blast at the same time was truly rewarding. Here are a number of photos of some of the kids having fun out there and dominating. Congratulations to Shell Harbour Triathlon Club who turned up in force to win their first Junior championship.
Our Duathlon Dynamites
I take my hat off to our members who participated in the duathlon which ran on the same day. Running an extra 4km instead of doing the swim is hard core! The points you accumulated for finishing the race helped contribute to our club’s 2nd overall place in the championship. Well done to all.
The Mighty Hills Volunteers
These events simply aren’t possible without you being there. There were early morning starts for a number of TO’s and volleys. Not only did you help earn valuable volunteer points but you all cheered your hearts out. We literally have the best supporters in the state. We could hear you from everywhere on the course shouting words of encouragement all day! It really makes you realise what a great group we have. Below are the names of our awesome volleys:
Leanne Herrett, Lexi Finkbeiner, Robyn Wilkinson, Pamela Green, Murry Reynolds, Jessica Hussein, Michael Vickers, Richard Burnand, Karen Tallis, Deborah Preston, Michelle Arnold, Frank Fenech, Gina Fenech, Wendy Lum, Joanne O’Callaghan, Jaime O’Callaghan, Bruce Dayment, Kathy Dayment.
Extra thanks goes to:
Buddy Lum – helped with setup on Friday, volunteered on the bike course, then helped pack up.
Scott Warren – volunteered on both shifts on the bike course
Tricia Finkbeiner – raced and volunteered on the pack up crew
Don McArthur – raced and volunteered on the pack up crew
It was an absolute privilege being a part of this year’s Hills team. We have such a great club. Thank you once again to everyone who participated. Thank you also to your family and friends at home who supported and made it possible for you to attend.
We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming Hills duathlons at the Sydney International Regatta Centre, Penrith which are taking place in July and August.
Hills Triathlon Club
Club Championships Co-ordinator
Mobile: 0458 469 143