Pacific Games Triathlon 2015
Earlier this July, the job we had been anticipating for almost 12 months had finally arrived – the Pacific Games in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea! Tempus had been awarded the tender to time the triathlon events – men’s and women’s – and Dave and I were determined to do the Games (and Australia) proud by providing the best service we could.
The majority of the technical delegation was from Australia and New Zealand, with a team of local PNG technical officials and team leaders. They had been training for this day for months and were full of enthusiasm for their job.
PNG being what it is, the logistical challenges were many. Just freighting our equipment to POM was a new experience for us, but it got there just fine and was delivered to our ‘headquarters’ at the Lancron Naval Base in good time and order. Our first business the day after arriving and attending a technical briefing was to attach transponders to the bikes. This was actually a redundancy, but as we were recording bike laps as the competitors passed through the transition area on each of their 4 laps, we thought it was worthwhile for the sake of accurate information.
The swim began in the Naval Base and came ashore at the Waterfront Shopping Centre, which was closed for the day. After mounting the bikes, athletes did four 5km laps of the (mostly) flat bike course, before setting out on the run. The run course closely followed the bike course, and the finish line was in the Sir Hubert Murray Stadium, in front of thousands of fun runners who had competed earlier in the morning.
Live streaming and leaderboards for the women’s race worked perfectly, but sadly for us the internet connection to transition went down for the men’s race – never to return. Apparently this problem was not confined to our part of POM, so it was largely unavoidable. Finish line recording was unaffected, and splits were later retrieved from the control box for the men’s results.
The women’s results were enlivened by a protest (which was dismissed) and we eventually had a front-row seat to watch HRH Prince Andrew present the first medals of the Games. The men’s finish was an altogether more subdued affair, as the fun runners had gone home and the atmosphere was much quieter, although the final finisher from Northern Mariana Islands, received a very vocal reception as he completed his lap of the stadium.
After all the stress and rushing around of the event, we were happy to pack our gear away and return to the Holiday Inn for a well-earned rest and a huge dinner. An early start the next morning saw us back in Sydney by lunchtime the day after the event was run.
Race officials and the ITU declared themselves well pleased by the way event was staged, and congratulations must go to the Games organisers and the Technical Delegation for staging a great event. We had a great experience and although not everything went exactly to plan, the results came out just fine, and I personally would not alter anything we did on the day.
Full results can be found on the ITU results page – here.