The Byron Bay Triathlon, 9 May 2015

Team Crouch Amirbeaggi tackles the Byron Bay tri as preparation for the journey to the Noosa triathlon. T minus 176 days until the real race day – that’s only 253,440 minutes!

In a land far far away, our intrepid wanna-be Olympic course triathletes, Shabby, Bags and me, ‘Crouchy’, attacked the inappropriately named ‘sprint course’ at Byron Bay with vigour and aggression and, as noted by others, glamour and style.

Like Cathy Freeman in Sydney 2000, Shabby unveiled her new tightly fitting professional onesie tri suit. Few responded to her questions regarding the appearance of her gluteus maximus in such tight fitting attire. Bags chose to wear his extra small lycra shorts and no shirt from 8am, citing a strong desire to be ready for the lunchtime start.

The course comprised:
750 metre ocean swim
20 km bike ride;
5 km run to the ice bath.

Sounds simple enough.

But … Shabby can’t swim.

The ocean was heaving, the current swift and the water dirty. The day before the race, a shark had bitten the leg rope off the surf board of one of my mates while surfing just in front of his beachfront shack (no, seriously, it’s true). So Shabby vocalise her panic every time she saw a rock, a fish or another swimmer in a wetsuit.

I had double-booked the weekend and had long abandoned the idea of training for a triathlon and instead focused on a holiday in Nepal (again, it’s true).

Bags was clearly suffering pre-race jitters. He had shed 10kg since training commenced at the start of the year, and was so confident of winning his division that he had flown his Brazilian girlfriend to Byron Bay and demanded his parents also be in attendance to witness him fulfilling his destiny and claim a little blue ribbon. With this sort of family pressure it was understandable he was getting all antsy pre-race. Whereas your favourite liquidators were a bit relieved when he put on his headphones, an old tie die t-shirt to seamlessly fit in with the smelly local hippies and started entered a deep tantric trance enabling him to visualise his success.

At precisely 12:08, the gun sounded and Bags pushed over a skinny 16-year-old unsuspecting kid, stepping on his back as he charged into the water with arms swinging like the incredible hulk. We have no idea what happened next in Bags’s race. Bags was gone like grease lightning. Two hours later we did find him looking fresh as a daisy, smelling a treat and hanging out with his girlfriend and family with the coveted blue ribbon around his neck.

Wisely, I avoided starting with Bags and all the other men doing the sprint race. I was to swim beside Shabby… but doubt was cast on my intentions as I mingled with the women athletes handing out newly waterproofed business card to all and sundry.

The race highlights follow:

Watching Shabby dead last at the first swimmer marker, stop to abuse me after I pointed out to her that over150 male triathletes, who started 5 minutes behind the women, were about to swim over the top of her.

Shabby, who has Persian cultural origins, swearing Farsi –  a difficult language. It turns out that sentences filled with swear words sound beautiful and take amazing amounts of time to conclude. Thus a half dozen elite male swimmers swum over Shabby before she decided to continue her swim leg towards the safety of the first marker.

Final results:

Bags finished 9th in his group of 14 and 74th from the 101 male starters with a time of 1.35.

Shabby finished 8th in her age group of 10 and 60th in the chicks’ group of 73 with a time of 1.52.

I finished last in my age group and 94th overall (yes 7th last) with a time of 1.55.

It is noted that leading insolvency lawyer James Marshall briefly shared an ice bath with our favourite liquidators. He finished 10 minutes ahead of me but cites this was solely due to a flat tire which cost him 20 minutes … sure, the ‘flat tyre’ gambit.

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