The countdown is on!
After a great couple of weeks of training ending with a long run and ride it was time for a road trip Bunbury and the annual BunBerri Classic. I hadn’t competed in this event for a couple of years but couldn’t wait for Sunday as the Bunbury Triathlon club put on such a great race. 2010 was to be no different and although the rain threatened early it ended up being the perfect day for racing with a quality local field recording some quick times.
I have attached the Bunbury Tri Club race report below
BunBerri Classic Triathlon 2010
2010 Bun”Berri” Classic Triathlon
The BunBerri Classic 2010 was run in near perfect triathlon conditions today with nearly 240 people
crossing the finish line. Competitors were split across sprint distance (750/20/5) and Olympic
distance (1.5/40/10) courses in open and age group categories. Transition was abuzz prior to race
briefing with anticipation of the 1st serious event for the season and Triathlon Western Australia
Triathlete of the Year (TOTY) points up for grabs. The looming thunder clouds also added to the
atmosphere while the very light sprinkling of rain help to keep conditions cool.
The Orca Swim leg was held in the near glassy waters of Koombana Bay, the 21.5C temperature
allowing the Tech Officials to rule it wet suit legal swim, much to the relief of the age groupers. The
Triathlon Excellence Program (an elite junior development program) squad members were the 1st
hit the water, led out by the strong swimming of Kenji Nener. Kenji zoomed through the water and
was well clear into the 1st transition. His fellow competitors never saw his back again until after the
race, Kenji finishing well clear, some 5 minutes ahead of his nearest rival and breaking the 1 hour
barrier by 47 seconds for the 750m Swim, 20km Cycle and 5km run.
The open field were next away, and as expected they dusted the swim leg in quick time, with James
Lewin leading the men out of the water, closely followed by Guy Crawford from New Zealand with
Nick Murray a further minute behind. Local Young Gun Ash Bailie in her debut Olympic Distance
event was the first open female competitor out of the water, followed by stalwart competitors
Katrina Mercer and Kate Bevilaqua.
Flying through transition 1 it was then time to get down to serious business of the 40km Shotz Sports
Nutrition Ride cycle leg for the open competitors before the flood of age group competitors hit the
road. All that shimmers and shines in triathlon was to be seen on the bike leg of the event and the
open competitors pushed their bikes hard around the 6.8 km circuit, enjoying the light breeze at
their back as they returned from the Eastern end of the course along Koombana Drive. There were
some handy times to go along with the flash machinery, some athletes posting 40km/hr + averages
for the distance, which included Transition 1 and Transition 2 times.
Guy Crawford, warming up for Busselton Ironman in 2 weeks time pulled back some time on the bike
to be the 1st athlete to return to transition, overtaking early leader James Lewin. At the pointy end
of the womens open field, Ash Bailie had surrendered her early lead by the smallest of margins to
Katrina Mercer as they moved through transition 2 together, while the long distance ability of Kate
Bevilaqua saw her lurking in 3rd place, only 15 seconds behind and ready to pounce.
The Athletes Foot run took in the scenic path around the inner Leschenault Inlet, with Guy Crawford
setting the pace early. Guy was only to be seen in the distance as Ben Lyons & James Lewin exited
transition some 40 seconds behind, but the youngsters had the Kiwi in their sights. It was going to
be anyone’s race in the open women’s field as the top 3 hit the footpath within a minute of each
other. Would Ash “The Flash” Bailie win on debut against her more seasoned rivals?
Having to complete 2 laps of the run course would see the athletes come past transition and allow
the large crowd of onlookers to see how they were travelling. Lewin had put in some hard yards to
catch Crawford as they passed transition together for the final lap. Ash Bailie had run off Katrina
Mercer, but looked uncomfortable, while the long distance legs of Kate Bevilaqua were proving their
worth as she had now taken the lead. Ash Bailie fought hard on the final lap but was finding the
increased distance of the Olympic discipline to be a race that could not be run at Sprint Distance
speed throughout, and she could not hold out Katrina Mercer who eventually took second behind
Kate Bevilaqua. Ash Bailie took 3rd place in the open women’s in her debut race.
The younger legs of Lewin were too good on the day and James crossed the line 1st in 1:54.37 ahead
of Guy Crawford and Nick Murray. The strength of the field was shown on the results table with 5
athletes in the open men’s division posting times under the 2 hour psychological barrier. Four of
those times would have won them the event in 2007.