It was a stand out day in terms of conditions on Sunday which resulted in fast racing. With athletes in good form and combining that with favorable conditions the personal best times flowed for many athletes including the MEC contingent.
Sarah Hardy was the sole MEC athlete in the 700/30/7 sprint format and made another step in the right direction getting home in 3rd female overall and 2nd in her age group. With a recent world championship qualification for September this year we now get to work getting that run leg back to where it once was.
While in the half distance event the run course was short (approx. 800m) there were great improvements across the board.
Ang Bonacci was the first of the MEC home in 4hr 36min for the half distance event. A late call up at the beginning of the week as we work towards his next Ironman event shortly. He did well and took some important learnings away from the day.
Another late call up was Sam Elliot as we gear towards Cairns Ironman. Last year was a breakthrough year of learning for Sam of how to race long course triathlon and now gaining more experience he is executing his races well.
A great 2017 of training and racing for Pete Smith had him lower his best time that he set in Geelong back in February by just over 20mins coming home in 4hrs 40mins. Being able to build on his year last year and starting to fine tune the execution of the half distance Pete took the bull by the horns and nailed the back end of the run which was the key he was after.
Simon Miller joined his training partner in the sub 5hr club coming home in 4hrs 46min with a significantly improved swim to start the day well. A seasons worth of specific open water focus that Simon was very diligent on, set up a great day and finished with his trademark strong run.
Adrian Polidano is having a consolidating season and getting out enjoying his training with less racing. He took the start line in good shape and showed the carefree attitude that works for him so much putting together his best half distance race getting after it on the bike and finishing with a 1hr 28min run split and ducking under the 5hr mark for the first time.
Kerri Thomas walked away with her 2nd best half distance event and more importantly some valuable lessons in piecing together a good half distance race.
While many would be expecting it to be slowing in the 55-59 age group, David Lloyd keeps proving he is doing the right work lowering his best half distance best by over 20mins. A big year ahead of racing has seen a conservative start to the year for David so it was pleasing to see such an improvement before things ramp up later in the year.
A breakthrough race for Leanne Keating with many attempts of this distance over the last 3 years and she made full use of not only the great conditions but her strength and fitness as well. A significant pb coming in just under 5hrs 30mins and 6th place in her age group. It was a big step towards the things we have been working towards in training.
Travis Hill has spaced out the half distance events he has done over his years in the sport and again significantly lowered his previous mark by an incredible 41mins coming in right on 5hrs 30mins. Short run course a side this is a huge improvement and testament to the work he has done so consistently over the years. He showed his experience holding it together whilst being unwell on the bike to come good and finish with a strong run.
In his second outing at the half distance David Cunningham joined those in lowering their best times taking off 35mins from his time set in Shepp last year. A wonderful story that will get told in full later in the year David has overcome much and it is fantastic to see him out there getting it done and enjoying a new lease on the sport and life.
A mention also for a great race from Les Toth who lowered his best time from Shepparton in 2016. Les is a analyst of the sport and has already picking apart where the improvements will come from next. But for now well done on the pb Les!
The longer races continue over the coming weeks with athletes heading to Port Mac, Noosa for Ultraman and then Cairns in June. Keep up the great work crew!