I just had the best first triathlon I could have ever Imagined! I had my own big race tent that I shared with the best people! It had bean bags, warm up spin bikes, Masseurs from Lakeside, a safe place to put my belongings and a fast cook. Everyone was there, I even meet an Olympic Medalist Erin Densham. I will be joining Tri Alliance and enjoying my triathlons for years to come. Thank you!” David Osborne. David was part of our 6 Week Coaching Clinic leading into the first race of the Gatorade / Active Feet Tri Series and was one of 98 Tri Alliance athletes who raced on Sunday 24 November.Gatorade Race1

The first Race of the Gatorade Active Feet Tri Series is always much anticipated. Athletes have been training solidly all winter, and apart for a few lower key races and duathlons, most are ready for their first test of the season and we always have our biggest group of beginners starting out and ready to take on their first race. With Long Course races Shepparton and Busselton so close to this race, this one tends to be left to the pure short course enthusiasts with our Long Course Athletes enjoying watching and cheering from the sidelines. So thanks to those who gave up their Sunday morning sleep in to came along and cheer.

Everyone was pumped for the day ahead even with the looming clouds, and after meeting and chatting with Olympic Medalist Erin Densham the day prior, athletes couldn’t wait to get out, enjoy the race and give it everything on the day. One experience that Erin learnt during her career and shared with our athletes, was to learn how to always give 100% in a race, “At times I may have only been feeling 80% on the day, but I would give 100% of that 80%” she shared. A great lesson to put into play.

Race morning, we didn’t know who was more nervous and excited – Coach Bernadette or her 50+ new Beginner Athletes racing their first race! Well done to each of you – we can’t wait to continue the journey into the remainder of the season! Coach Bdette shares their journey with us:Race 1 Gatorade

“Over the past 5 weeks, the Tri Alliance Coaching Clinic has been running with around 50 participants who have signed up for the Gatorade/Active Feet Triathlon series. The group of enthusiastic athletes have battled some tough weather conditions over the last 5 weeks, so were prepared for the cold and rough conditions they faced at Race 1 on the weekend.

A big congratulations to all of our participants who participated in the program, putting their heart and soul into learning new skills and achieving big goals. Well done!”

Jelly Belly Kids Tri
To start the morning, the day kicked off with the new event the Jelly Belly Kids Tri. The chance for young kids to get out and have fun and learn the sport of triathlon. Tri Alliance had a handful of eager kids race including Sonia Gregoul Son Oscar and Ambassador Lance Willies Son Xander. How cool it was watching each of them sprint to the finishing line with huge smiles on their faces!

Active Feet Fun Tri
Next up was the Active Feet Tri and we can safely say that these guys had the roughest conditions of the day! The wind was horrible, the rain started to fall and the waves were huge – made even bigger knowing that most of those lining u on the beach were knew to triathlon! So a huge well done to everyone in the Active Feet Races – including our 12 starters. Top work also goes to our podium finishers:

  • Carolyn Browne 1st F50+
  • Francine Clancy 1st F30-39
  • Brad Marsh – fastest TA Athlete and 2nd M40-49 (did we also mention he did the whole run with his helmet on?) 😉
  • Eamon Kean 3rd M30-39GatoradeRace1

Gatorade Sprint Distance
Overall we had 86 athletes race in the Gatorade Sprint Distance (there were probably more, but unless you choose Tri Alliance as your Club we may not find you!). We had a number of podium finishers, big PB’s already from the same race last year and first time sprint athletes amongst them too. Plus there were a few lessons learnt and a couple of hard luck stories as well. But overall a super race – well done to everyone on a great first race of the season – we look forward to seeing you all refuel, reset and refocus for Race 2 of the Gatorade Series at StKilda in the New Year!

Crunching the numbers

  • 86 Tri Alliance athletes raced the Gatorade Sprint Race, with:
  • 8 podium finishers including two 1sts, two 2nds, three 3rds.
  • 1 4th place getter to just miss podium honors, and another
  • 8 top 10 place getters overall
  • Tri Alliance Male numbers outweighed the TA females 50 to 36
  • In the males, the M35-39 was our most popular age group with 14. M30-34 not far behind with 10.
  • In the females, the F30-34 was well stacked with 10 TA females, with F25-29 next with 8.
  • We had 2 male and 2 female Open Representatives, finishing with a 1st, two 3rds and a 5th!
  • We also had another 12 newbies race the Active Feet, with 4 podium finishers.

The Place GettersGatoradeRace

  • 1st – Sarah Grove – FOpen
  • 1st – Belinda Griffiths – F35-39
  • 2nd – Will Pullin – M30-34
  • 2nd Xavier Flynn – M35-39
  • 2nd – Brianna Laugher – Athenas
  • 3rd – Ryan Bourke – MOpen
  • 3rd – Tessa Craig – FOpen
  • 3rd – Julia Hebb – Athenas
  • Just missing out in 4th was Sonia Gregoul Athenas
  • Not far off the pace for top 10 finishes:
    Jeremy Chritchett, Sheridan Brown, Harry Spartels, Jill Sultan, Kristine Hopkins, Allan Couceiro, Caroline Houston, Amy Howard.

The fast and furious

  • Overall: In the boys, Ryan Bourke had a solid hit out post Noosa and being sick for 3 weeks since, but stand out was Xavier Flynn in clocking his first sub-hour sprint race and finishing 2nd (after timing issues originally had him in 4th) in arguably the hardest category M35-39. Coach Sarah continued her post Kona form for the fastest female, while Bel and new young gun Tessa had great results also.
  • Swim: No surprises with Coach Ryan leading from the front in the swim, but Dan Kelly had the most impressive swim improvement with a 8:26 and 2nd in his wave, Will on his heels in 3rd, and Jeremy and Xav setting themselves up for great races also.
    The gals were lead by Kathryn Siddle in a 9:06 bringing her out in the front few in her age group and Sarah came out a strong 2nd out of her wave.
  • T1: Some very slick T1 times coming out of transition including sub 1min15sec to Ryan, Xavier, Kathryn, Jeremy, Harry and Lee. Scott D’Acourt had a ripper considering he just mastered the art in a fast 1:17.
  • Bike: The Bourkey Express train lead the charge on the bike, with Will and Xav showing their hard work is paying off. And Sarah, Bel and Sheridan lead the females on two wheels.
  • T2: Transition was everything on the way out onto the run, and sub 1mins T2 times clocked for Ryan, Xavier, Harry, Scott and Allan. Kathryn, Sarah and Al O’Toole showed they weren’t hanging around in T2 either with 1:10 or less spent dropping off their bikes.
  • Run: Some solid times clocked on the run from our Advanced Short Course crew with Xavier leading from the front in 17:38, Jeremy 17:47, Harry 18:29, Joel 18:30. Ryan and Gordon sub 19 also. For the females young Tessa had the fastest Female Open run time in 19:47 with Sarah 20:03 and Bel 21:45 having solid runs also.

Noteable mentionsGatorade Race

  • Ambassador Anne-Marie Cooke taking 9min off the same race last year and launched herself from 45th to 24th place. Onwards and upwards!
  • Ellie Stubbs in her volunteer work as a guide for a vision impaired athlete. This is not an easy role, with the two tied together in the swim in those waves, riding on a tandem bike over a busy ride course and then pacing each other on the run. Well done Ellie – what an experience. 🙂
  • Daniel Kelly who had a great start to his race only to cop a flat on the bike.
  • Caroline Houston continued her horror weekend with a flat also – this follows pulling a near all nighter at work the two days prior just to rub salt in the wounds!
  • Suzie Latta in stepping up the the Gatorade distance and having to deal with the stress of losing her timing chip in the swim!
  • David Plush on his come back race after 2 years off to get his body right. And you would be forgiven to not recognise him as he’s lost 20+ kgs in weight!
  • Welcome back to Daniel Shap who trained with Tri Alliance as a teenager 5+ years ago and enjoying coming back racing again.
  • Sheridan Brown having a consistent race all round to land in 5th place. We believe with a little focus Sheridan could be a contender with Bel on the podium!
  • Great to see Kristine Hopkins and Alex Angelini back in action too after enjoying a little more ‘relaxed’ winter training schedule.
  • Great to see Sonia Gregoul and Danielle Lacey getting amongst it after challenging years.
  • Andrew Sammons, Todd Peterson, John Giordano, James McNab, Geoff Houston all getting the job done and locking in their first sprint race time for the season.
  • Nice to see Stephen ‘Drakey’ Drake back out racing after he disappointingly had to pull out of Shep to get his injuries under control.
  • Flying under the rador Tim Salt, Gordon Hassett, Scott D’Acourt and Chris Tyas. With some more work on their weaknesses these boys will continue to see big improvements.

 Thanks goes to…

  • All those who helped set-up and pack down the TA TAJ. It is with your help that we are able to provide athletes with such a great set-up on race days. We’ll be looking for new volunteers next race! 🙂
  • Athletes who came along and supported our Short Course guys – including lots of our Long Course athletes repaying the favour!
  • The guys from Lakeside Sports Medicine Centre for their hard work pre and post race. Thanks guys!

Full Race Results
Click here for Tri Alliance Gatorade Athletes Results
Click here for Tri Alliance Active Feet Athlete Results
Click here for full results from the event

Next Race
Race 2 Sunday 12 January, StKilda. Including the Melbourne Olympic Distance Triathlon

View highlights from Sunday’s race below thanks to Aus Sports TV.


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