NICK North and Jenn Arnold have got their Bathurst Triathlon Series off to the best start possible after finding long course success on Sunday.
There were few surprises in the men’s long course as North led the way from start to finish, completing the 500 metre swim, 16.5km bike and 5km run in 49 minutes and 45 seconds.
Luke Gillmer (52:41) enjoyed a runner-up result in his return to racing while Stephen Jackson (57:45) fought back on the bike to win the battle for third.
Arnold (1:08:01) has only just taken up triathlon but is already proving to be a tough competitor to chase down, holding off a late charge from Krsity Powyer (1:08:46) to win the women’s event.
North may have enjoyed a winning margin of almost three minutes but he never dialled back the intensity.
“You can’t ease up at any time during a race like this. Josh is still in good form and Luke Gilmer is on the comeback so you can never discount him,” he said.
“On the short course, thankfully, was Mark Windsor and Richard Hobson so I didn’t have to put up with them today but you can’t take your foot off the pedal because anyone could sneak up on you.”
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North’s win came after his victory in the Inter Club Series opener at Cowra the previous weekend.
“I felt much better at Cowra last week, actually. The swim today felt really comfortable but on the bike and the run, being a little bit colder, it took a while for the legs to warm up,” North said.
“I’m not training for anything this season so I’m coming to these races for a bit of fun and supporting the local club.
“It’s fantastic to see so many people out and about, having a go and enjoying it.”
Over 50 triathletes got involved in the Bathurst Wallabies Triathlon Club’s opener, split evenly between the long and short course events.
The short course events (300m swim, 16.5km bike and 2.5km run) were hotly contested.
Windsor was pushed all the way by Hobson, who was making his return to the triathlon fray.
The pair went into the run leg virtually level after Windsor had pulled back ahead of Hobson over the bike leg.
It was on a dominant run where Windsor pulled clear. He came home in 38:11 while Hobson crossed in 40:26.
Mitch Nelson (47:22) was the third man home.
The women’s race was one way traffic as Kirsten Howard blew the field away in 45:39.
Howard, typically, made her charge over the bike and run legs. Her time was strong enough for third overall in the short course behind Windsor and Hobson.
The Wallabies’ second round of racing will be November 25.