Tri-Corner | 14/11/14

ImageMartin Reynolds | Triathlon Director

Away from the fun at Tour de Bintan, there was a bit of multi sport action, including a couple of podiums for ANZA members

Mandurah 70.3
Huge congratulations to Francesca Occhipinti who completed her first Ironman 70.3 at the inaugural half ironman at Manurah, Western Australia with a very strong time of 5hr 56mins

2XU Ultra Biathlon
For those of you who remember the NUS Triathlon a few years ago where athletes on the bike course had to observe the traffic lights (which were aggressively enforced by security guards!) you would of loved this race.

Pleasant skies and a flat sea welcomed a strong gathering of Biathletes who congregated at changi ferry park for the inaugural 2XU Biathlon last Sunday.

Fears over the quality of organization were raised on entering transition – which were just a few hooks on stands – resembling more of a busy primary schools cloakroom once loaded up with athletes transition bags.

Doubts further increased  upon viewing the swim course which consisted of 3 buoys which appeared to be made up of a series of inflated black rubbish bags.  The 3 lap course looked long for the 2k swim – but we were all sure that the organisers had done their job and it was correctly marked out

The 7.30am start time came and went – no announcements, no-one appeared to be in charge.  Then a man popped up at the start line and tried to brief the crowd – no mic/megaphone – so to all but those on the front line he could have been saying anything. 7.50am comes and – bingo! – a horn sounds and that probably means we are off.

Into the swim and all starts off well with the normal washing machine of arms and legs of athletes jostling for position.  After a couple of laps it was very apparent that the course was getting longer and longer. The reason for this (unbeknown to most people at the time) was that the ‘bin bag buoys’ weren’t correctly secured into position and started to wander out to sea. Swimmers – not being able to sight correctly – were all over the place – causing a number of head on collisions.

Having targeted a sub 40 min swim I was somewhat cursing my swimming skills when I exited the water at 58 mins!  But looking back at the water and seeing the ‘bin bag buoys’ heading off to Pulau Ubin and swimmers staggering around exhausted, it was all becoming clear! Consensus from those wearing GPS watches was the swim was 3.3k!!!

Dash to transition and fortunately found my transition bag in the ‘carnage cloakroom’  and onto the run. Run was flat and was a 2 looper down change straight and then into the Changi park. Although the distance was accurately marked for the run, the organisers made up for this with no distance markers and very few and poorly staffed drinks stations.  At the end of the run even the inflatable finish line ‘banner’ had gone the way of the bin bags….

A few unhappy campers also had issues with a  lack of canoe for leading swimmers; poor plastic medals; no prize giving ceremony.

In summary, variable distances may be a novel addition to the race scene, but the organisers need to step up significantly to regain their reputation, particularly to address the swim which could of led to significant safety issues.

Results and age group positions
Standard (1.5k Swim/10k run)

Colin O’Shea – 1st 1hr 10 mins

Ultra  (2k Swim/21k run)
Martin Reynolds – 2nd  2hrs 40 mins

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