Dec 7, 2012
Fujifilm Hamilton Island Triathlon Roundup
The Fujifilm Hamilton Island Triathlon is an annual event that grows in size and stature every year. The event receives a lot of support from Hamilton Island locals and visitors, and 2012 was no exception. It is traditional for Hamilton Island State School to man a water station and free barbecue, and this year they were out in style at Mango Tree corner cheering the riders and runners on as they made their way up the Great North Road Hill.
I can’t report on this first-hand as my family had their own water station opposite the Reef View Hotel. We had a great view of the start of both the cycle and run legs as the transition point was further down Catseye Beach behind the Bougainvillea Marquee. I should probably apologise now to anyone trying to sleep in their Hamilton Island accommodation but we were so impressed with the massive effort being put in by the competitors that we had no choice but to cheer them along. We were also impressed with the number of guests coming out onto their balconies to watch the event, and with the young lad and his Mum who joined us at the water station and helped out, getting a little wet in the process! We also had great fun distributing inflatable clappers to the spectators, as it makes a difference as you’re on the last leg and you’re absolutely exhausted to hear the cheers and the support of everyone watching. It makes you feel a little less alone.
I was full of admiration for the elite athletes as they flew by on their bikes, but I was awed by the sight of the weekend warriors either competing on their own or in teams as they showed their ‘never give up’ attitude. This culminated on the finish line where every competitor was cheered to the rooftops and none more so than the guys at the tail end of the field. And if that wasn’t enough to run 5 kilometers, swim 750 meters and cycle 20 kilometers, the race finish takes you along the sand at Catseye Bay. I truly felt my heart in my mouth as I watched each finisher come down the chute. What a fantastic achievement for all competitors.
For the record Ashleigh Gentle took out the women’s race again in 1:08:41, and Courtney Atkinson took out the men’s race in record time – 1:00:26. Melissa and Josh took out the teams race (presumably with one other person as well)!
Many of the racers doubled up on Sunday at the Whitehaven Beach Ocean Swim, one of the four legs of the Great Australian Swim Series, but not before they had volunteered at the Hamilton Island Junior Triathlon which saw kids aged 4-14 do their swim in the main pool and the run and bike legs around the Resort Centre. It was an awesome effort from the big kids right down to the small ones, still on training wheels. Training for the future, I say.