A 40TH birthday celebrated with a superb six-pack - the Bathurst Wallabies who tackled Sunday's milestone Nepean Triathlon most certainly impressed.
(min cost $8)
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Like many sporting events across Australia last year, the Nepean Triathlon was unable to go ahead due to COVID-19.
It meant the 40th edition of the Nepean Triathlon - the oldest event of its kind in Australian - went ahead on Sunday and six Bathurst Wallabies were there at the Sydney International Regatta Centre to mark the occasion.
Impressively every one of the Bathurst members placed inside the top 10 for their age division over the one kilometre swim, 30km cycle, 10km run course, while both Nick North and Mercede Cornelius-Feltus also ranked inside the top 15 male and female competitors outright.
Backing up from winning Bathurst's season opener a week earlier, North was second in the men's 30-34 years division and 13th of 267 male competitors as he stopped the clock at 1:40.49.
He opened with a brilliant 14:15 for the swim - the fastest time in his age group - followed that with a 47:31 cycle split in which he averaged 38km/hr and brought it home with a 37:26 run.
"As soon as that buzzer went, he was gone, like he was leading that swim within 15 seconds of the race starting. He was out, he was gone," North's fellow Bathurst competitor Candice Falconer said.
Cornelius-Feltus placed fourth in her 14-19 years female age division and was the 12th fastest of the 102 females who raced on Sunday with a 1:58.47 effort.
The efforts of Cornelius-Feltus and North were outstanding, but their fellow Wallabies were strong as well.
Richard Hobson (1:50.10) was fourth in his 50-54 years division, Amelia Coombes (2:21.42) was seventh in the 20-24 years female category, Brigette Evans (2:28.34) eighth in her 35-39 years female race while Falconer (2:31.34) was the 10th 40-44 years female competitor to finish.
It was certainly a good 40th birthday and Falconer, who had contested the 2020 edition of the Nepean Triathlon with Evans, said the atmosphere was excellent.
"We were a bit nervous because it was a 100 percent rain forecast for the whole weekend, but we were so lucky it didn't rain," she said.
"This was their 40th year, it should've been last year but because of COVID it didn't go ahead. We had a really good experience this time because there were heaps of people around.
"Last time it was a bit lonely out on the bike and lonely on the run course, but this time there were people everywhere, which was really nice."
When both Falconer and Evans did Nepean two years ago it was the longest distance triathlon either had contested.
This time around Falconer shaved a massive 13 minutes off her time from her Nepean debut while Evans was over a minute quicker.
"I was really happy, I was like 10 minutes quicker than last time and I was stoked with that, Bridgette was quicker as well, so we were both happy," Falconer said.
"My time was 2:31 so I want to go back again and crack the 2:30, Bridgette cracked the 2:30 so she doesn't have to do it again. But we'll both sign up again and have another go," she added with a laugh.
Though the course was a little different to what that pair had faced two years prior at an event with limited entries due to COVID, they still enjoyed it.
Falconer laughed that the cycle course worked in favour of herself and Evans, but the technical aspect of it meant noted strong riders North and Hobson found it harder to get into a real rhythm.
"Both Hobbo and Nick didn't really like the bike course because there were lot of turns, whereas Brigette and I really like it because we were just cruising around," Falconer chuckled.
"Those guys were flying around so they found the bike really technical because they had to slow down for corners, whereas we liked it because we didn't have people flying past us. Normally we'll be riding along and you can hear people coming, it sounds like a car because they are going that fast.
"We train but we train to enjoy it, we just like the challenge to see what we can do. Those guys like Nick and Hobbo are amazing, they're inspiring."
As well as the impressive efforts from the Bathurst six-pack, former resident Lucy Hobson, Richard Hobson's daughter, had a brilliant day as well.
She won the 25-29 years female division in a time of 2:01.34.
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