Twas the night before race day and PB's were in the air! Auckland had delivered its promise of warm calm waters, clear skies and barely enough wind to tickle the flags.
The tent had been expertly erected the day before and stood proud ready to host our athletes for the day. 7am soon arrived and it was time to don the most flattering items of apparel, the swim cap and goggles and head to the shore.
First up, Ben Gillies took to the water for his first Tri a Try! No stranger to the Black Sands tent and beanbag it was good to see Ben finally decide to take part in a triathlon. In a time of 43:27 Ben came dead last in his age group. I like your style Ben, why start your triathlon career with a time that’s difficult to beat? You have a long road of PB’s ahead of you, and this is your first!
Ben must have taken note from another member with much the same philosophy. Scylla de (surname that’s difficult to pronounce but quite nasally) tactically shaved only a few minutes from her first ever triathlon with a time of 1:32:57. Despite zero training she somehow got quicker with another PB in the bag.
Maia Barclay, another of our youth members, took part in the Sprint finishing the line in a time of 1:17:24 in a really tough AG. The winner of this Age Group coming in in under an hour!
Other competitors in the Sprint included Mike Carden with a 1:11:03, Bryan Woolridge with a 1:18:08, Scott McClaren at 1:07:30 earning 10th in his AG, Jon Flatley at 1:03:18 putting him 11th in his AG. “The race went good, a lot of chaffing and suffering to get that PB”. Thanks Jon, probably more info that we needed to know.
Craig Neale completed his race in 1:00:58 putting him at 5th in his AG. “I had a good race, I killed it, third time training this season, I’ll be dangerous when I start training” Craig remarked. We all love those type of athletes that don’t train and still perform well. Honestly.
Pip Tuckey however has been training and this was evident by her being the only individual athlete to bring home a medal, 1:05:26 for the Sprint. When asked about her race she answered “It was good, I got stuck in a bunch of men, it was dodgy but fast”. It’s really good seeing Pip doing whatever it takes to bring home a medal for the club.
Team Knock Knock, Who’s There also achieved a few personal PB’s with Claudine Gillies in the swim, Sandi Woolridge on the bike and Chris Woodward on the run. Claudine was very proud of her team remarking “Sandi could have gone quicker!”
In the Standard Distance race Lee Ornsby was warming up for a heavy month of racing. “I’m here to just take it easy and inspire others to hit their PB’s, it’s not about me, triathlon is the real winner here today” Lee finished in 2:18:56 which was a PB.
A minute and a half in front of Lee, Neil Griffiths also finished with a huge PB. 2:17:15. “I really owe my time to Lee and want to thank him for pushing me, he’s a top bloke”
Julian Hart despite being pessimistic of breaking the 2hr 30 time came home in 2:29:10. “I’m too buggered to speak” exclaimed Julian. Thanks for those wise words. I think if Julian had time to catch his breath he would have explained that he owed his time to Lee’s faith and encouragement before the race ensuring Julian he could PB.
Smashing the Team Race to pieces was the Black Sands team, Far Canal, compromising of Ben Chidgey, Andy Granger and Dave Musson. Not only did they take 1st place, they also got the fastest bike time of the day. Awesome work gents!
Many thanks to all supporters, Regan for the pics and Craig for manning the BBQ, you Legends!
Congrats to all participants – see you at Race 3.