By Ben Wright
It was a tale of the young verse the not-so-young in today’s Illawarra Distance Triathlon, with NSW Academy starlets taking part in the well-established Illawarra Triathlon Club's event as part of the 2014 ClubsNSWAcademy Games. Within the diverse field of competitors, the news that the event would be reduced to a ‘Duathlon’early this morning was generally well received with the swim section of the race deemed too dangerous in the rough conditions off Port Kembla beach.
One competitor described the water as “really treacherous”, while Vice President of the Illawarra Triathlon Club, Des, told spectators that this is the first time the swim portion of the event has had to be dropped and that the storm swept conditions were far too dangerous for competitors to compete safely.
Despite the damp conditions, competitors undertook the 17km challenge, with local Ben Bell from the Illawarra Triathlon Club taking out first place – followed closely by Illawarra Academy’s Gus Franks, and North Coast Academy’s Jack Orr and Isaac Hough in 3rd and 5th respectively.
Speaking about the event, 16 year old Isaac Hough discussed the high level of competition after travelling almost 15 hours yesterday from Tweed Heads in North-Eastern NSW to participate.
Highlighting the importance of the social aspect of the Illawarra Triathlon Club, competitors and their friends and families all shared a communal BBQ after the event; with the majority of Academy participants decidedly happy with their individual performances on the sodden field.
While today’s race may be over, these elite competitors are already preparing for their next events; and with their lofty goals and ambitions, the future looks bright for the young talent of the Regional Academies - and perhaps one day, for the mighty Green and Gold.