Saturday, January 15, 2011

The 'who?'

Who does this??!!! Is it for the super fit, the super-genetically gifted? Are you born into it?

Nope. Regular Joe Blows and Sheila Smiths sign up and make up the field.

Ok, so there are pro's in this sport and each event usually has a wave start or separate group dedicated to the pro's. They start first and because they're so fast you never run into them on the course - until they lap you on the cycle or run legs. But it's not uncommon for them to offer some words of encouragement when they do ("Keep going, love, you get the same medal as we do" said one pro to Simi's sis-in-law Kirsty when she cracked the Australian IM last year).

So there's no real 'type' of person that makes a triathlete. We've seen people of all shapes and sizes, ages (up to 75!) and the number of women per event is growing.

At the Port Macquarie half ironman in October 2010 I kept passing and being passed by another guy on the bike leg - so we were fairly evenly paced. After a while of this I turned to him as I pulled alongside (not for too long because the roaming technical officials on the back of motorbikes awrd 5-min stop & go penalties for drafting and passing offences) and said "hey mate, what's your name - I think we're going to get to know each other over the next hour and a half".

Cliff from Coffs Harbour - hope you're doing well if you're reading this.

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