MICHELLE Patton might laugh that she’s “not an athlete at all” but on Sunday she was good enough to claim the female long course honours in the Bathurst Wallabies Triathlon Club’s event.
Though given an assist by the handicapping system adopted for the fifth round of the club’s season, Patton’s effort was still one to admire.
That a 45-year-old who was contesting just her third triathlon made the finish line of the 500 metres swim, 16 kilometre cycle, 5km run event with a smile on her face and claps from spectators highlights why triathlon is one of Bathurst’s growth sports.
“Anna Blackie got me into it, she’s just been recruiting, recruiting. She’s recruited a lot of people actually, she’s very quite, but she’s very persuasive,” Patton laughed.
“I missed the women’s triathlon, so I started on the 16th of December and I’ve done the last two since then.
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“I don’t have a sporting background at all. I’ve done one half marathon a two years ago, but apart from that no, so I’m starting at 45.”
The format which saw long and short course competitors starting alongside each other made it difficult for Patton to work out exactly where she ranked throughout the race.
So she was delighted when she discovered she was the female winner with a handicap time of 1:15.34. It gave her a comfortable buffer over second-placed Donna Scott (1:17.37) and Katie Prior (1:18.57) in third.
“I loved that format. I was trying to work out who was short course, who was long course, but then it was ‘There you go’,” she said. “It’s fantastic, I certainly will be back and do more.”