Even though the club racing season has well and truly finished, one of the biggest events on the calendar was on last weekend just up the road in Port Macquarie.
Ironman Australia, now in it’s 33rd year is one of the most popular events on the Triathlon calendar, and these days there are two events for competitors to choose from on the day, either the 70.3 or Ironman.
The Ironman includes a 3.8km swim in the Hastings River, a 180km, bike ride and a 42.2kms marathon. The 70.3 race is exactly half these distances. This time round, Forster had three members competing in the 70.3 and five in the Ironman.
Beau Harper, making a return to triathlon this season after a few years spent cycle racing absolutely crushed the swim and bike course, averaging 37km/h for the ride.
On that course, this is an incredible achievement. Beau finished the 70.3 in a time of 4:38:31 for 31st over all and 10th in his age group.
Ironman regular Adrian Trotter was a last minute addition to the 70.3 after a foot problem for some of this season kept him out of the longer race. With a less training than usual, Trotter showed true grit to get home under the five hour mark, finishing in 4:51:03.
New club member and Port first timer, Tristan Marshall showed that even those new to triathlon can compete in these races covering the challenging course in 6:05:34.
While there were less Forster members competing in the Ironman this year than usual, the quality was certainly not lacking by any means.
Sadly, last year’s Kona competitor, Troy Croker was forced to pull out the night before the race with bad stomach cramps, leaving only five members flying the Forster flag around the course on the day.
Long time member, Mick Farrow, who no longer lives near the coast but still races for Forster finished the day in 13:20:17.
Ironman legend, Pete Camilleri in his 17th Ironman race finished the day in 12:57:32.
Now Ironman regular, Simon Gay had a strong day finishing in 11:20:31.
Cameron Taylor put in a huge amount of training in the lead up to this race. Cam has a young family and a new job so for him and his family this race was the culmination of a lot of hard work and time away from the family.
Cam finished the race in the spectacular time of 10:36:54.
The story of the day however was Cam’s father in law Paul Nixon.
Racing his 11th Ironman, long time member and quiet achiever Nicko finished the Port course in 10:21:23 which was fastest in his age group for the day.
This amazing result has earned Nicko a spot to the World Championships in Kona, Hawaii later this year.
This weekend coming, Forster Triathlon Club has members racing all over the state.
Marg Gordon, Vanessa Croker and Tracey Sewell are competing in the Ultra Trail Australia (UTA) in the Blue Mountains, which is one of the toughest running races on the calendar.
A little closer to home, a number of other members will be racing at the Port Stephens triathlon festival, held at Anna Bay.
The week after that is the new event on the race calendar, the Beach Bums Beach Bash, a cross country run around main beach.
Entries are open now, check the club’s website for more information and to register: www.forstertriclub.com.au.
Congratulations to all the Ironman and 70.3 competitors and good luck to everyone racing this weekend.