I’m sure I have mentioned it before, but I love being involved with a brand-new event – being in from the beginning allows both my company and the event to grow (and learn) together, and to develop that special relationship that comes from the shared pain of starting something from scratch.
So it was with T3X Canberra Triathlon Festival weekend, staged by relative newcomers Triple Edge events. Where Triple Edge absolutely got things right was to surround themselves with experienced and knowledgeable people – Race Director Garry Muir, Run Director Keith Hong, Registration Manager Mel Saltiel – are all old hands and familiar names to anyone involved in endurance sports.
The biggest challenge – and not just for Tempus – was the sheer volume of things going on over the weekend.
The initial brief was ambitious in the extreme – Saturday was to see a marathon, half marathon, and 10km runs in the morning. Closely followed by the first round of the Australian Junior Triathlon Series, then a cycling time trial in the morning, and two open water swim events over 4km and 2km. Sunday was the premium event; the Canberra Endurance Triathlon raced over the seldom-seen 4/120/30 distance, and the shorter Canberra Triathlon. This is not to mention the kids’ races on the Friday evening, reduced to duathlons due to the extreme weather conditions.
The difficulties thrown up by such a crowded event list meant that the time trial and the open water swims were casualties of the inevitable thinning-out of events – although all three events resurfaced on the Sunday in various formats; and the hectic timetabling of the run events overlapping the AJTS races meant they didn’t get the care and attention from us they probably deserved, combined with a maiden run of new technology and very little time to eliminate bugs. Some problems with the results from the run events had to be sorted in the motel after hours – not ideal, but the right people went home with the right awards at the end of the day.
Sunday was a much more measured day as far as Tempus was concerned. Taking the lessons we learned from Saturday with the new equipment, and our own triathlon knowledge, we had split points, spotter and finish line working efficiently. The downside was the vagaries of the course were not ideal to use untested side-cast antenna, and mid-course split readings were sketchy to say the least.
The races themselves featured high-quality competitors, some top pros on the Sunday, a host of enthusiastic age groupers over the whole weekend, and some classic Canberra scenery with iconic sights and sounds. The whole weekend was tiring, but fun, with many lessons learned and challenges conquered. Organisers were more than happy with the competitor feedback, and the event is set to re-establish long-course triathlon in the ACT – something that has been sorely missed for a couple of years now.
Full results from all the events can be found here.
Photo credit: Rohan Thompson