IT is no secret Kirsten Howard’s best discipline in a triathlon is on the bike, but on Sunday her cycle leg was so strong it helped her to a Bathurst Wallabies Triathlon Club first.
She took out the overall honours for the 300 metres swim, 16.5km cycle, 2.5km short course. Not only did Howard easily account for her female rivals, but only two of the 18 male competitors got within a minute of her.
“I’ve never done that before,” Howard said of her outright success.
“It wasn’t too bad on the bike today, it wasn’t windy, it was actually really nice. It’s good to be able to get a rhythm when it’s nice conditions like that.
“I’m just doing it for a bit of fun, my partner’s [Alex Weal] family does it, and he does it. They are both really good swimmers and yeah, it does make me push hard.
“You do have that level of competition between us all.”
Howard’s weakest leg – the swim – came first and after she emerged from the pool she had work to do. Only one short course competitor took longer while she had conceded 2:39 to Mitch Nelson, the quickest in the water.
“It couldn’t get much worse,” she laughed.
However, on the cycle leg Howard quickly caught her rivals with a 25:01 split.
So impressive was her effort that for the entire event – the long course competitors also do a 16.5km cycle leg – that only three people clocked a faster time on the bike. They were the outright podium getters in that event, Nick North, Josh Stapley and Tom Hanrahan.
On the back of that stellar split, Howard powered through her 2.5km run as well in 11.30. Only one short course competitor – Henry Palmer (11:04) – went quicker.
Howard’s effort saw her as the clear female short course winner, but runner-up Morgan Watts (49.04) and third-placed Danielle Patterson (50.23), who is overcoming ankle issues, also did well.
Behind them Jane Bennett completed her maiden triathlon in less than an hour, clocking a 56.05, while a host of competitors lowered their times from the opening round.
Meanwhile, in the women’s long course race it was Orange’s Alison Broughton who took the honours as she works towards the Western Sydney Ironman 70.3 event.
She was the last of the three female competitors out of water after the 500m swim, but clocked a cycle split which was 99 seconds faster than her rivals.
Broughton went on to win in one hour, 12 minutes, 36 seconds, with Kate Prior (1:13.40) second and Isabelle Ward (1:14.37) third.
The next race of the King Cain Bathurst Wallabies Triathlon Club season will be on December 17.