After a year long Covid postponement the sport of Triathlon is back. The Australian summer has been blessed with the return of swim-bike-run events including the return of the Ironman Triathlon series.
This is a blessing because Ironman races continue to be cancelled all around the world because of ongoing Covid concern. Yet, in Australia racing has resumed full throttle.
Many of the professional triathletes had spent lockdown in Australia hoping for an early opportunity to race as restrictions eased around the world. And it paid off with the starting race in Geelong in March.
This half-Ironman event (1.9km swim, 90km bike, 21km run) saw solid racing in both men’s and women’s fields with similar times to pre-covid race on that course. This is an indication that athletes are fit and ready to go for the big Ironman races later this season.
Next up is the big one: Ironman Australia. The national championship again is set for its Port Macquarie relaunch on 2nd May. Despite a lack of international athletes due to Covid restrictions the Australian and New Zealand professionals are ready to go judging from their Geelong performances. This race is already sold out for age-groupers which reflects the passion athletes have to get back out on course after such a difficult year.
Cairns hosts the Asia-Pacific Championships on 6th June, which will may see some international competitors as vaccinations kick in and travel restrictions ease. The Cairns Ironman was hit hard by Covid last year with overseas athletes barred and many southern Australian states also unable to head north to Queensland to race.
Cairns is often used by overseas athletes as preparation for the World Ironman Championships in Kona, Hawaii in October. This all means Cairns will be a big event on the international race calendar this year.
Australian athletes should be pleased with the return to triathlon racing. With a year of training indoors and away from others, this year promises to be a full year of racing. For more information on races see www.ironman.com/races
Jeremy Dover is a former sports scientist and Pastor
Jeremy Dover's previous articles may be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/jeremy-dover1.html