Noosa 2016 tri report

This one has been on our ‘to-do’/bucket list for some time. As Australia’s largest standard/Olympic triathlon (1.5km swim; 40km bike; 10km run) it usually sells out and entries open a year before the actual race (for 2017 entries open on 17-11-2016). So you have to be pretty organised if you want to do this one!

We reckon it pretty much lives up to the label of the ‘City to Surf of Triathlon’ BUT in a good way…masses of people, good vibe and a range of triathlete talent on show from the Pro’s to, well how can we say it, the ’have-a-go-ers’. As old fogies we didn’t take part in any of the after-partying but have heard that the Surf Club ‘do’ is ‘legendary’ as are the associated hangovers/headaches.

First the logistics…..the nearest airport is Sunshine Coast which is approx. 30 minutes drive south of Noosa (we hired a car but there are mini-bus/taxi options). As there were three of us we decided to transfer bikes via one of the several companies who truck them up and back for what we reckon is reasonable fee (around $230). We used Dave’s tri bike transfer, and can highly recommend. Bikes were picked up by Dave on Wed. prior to race from Velofix and returned there the following week. One BIG plus was bikes were available very close to transition, so that was all easy-peasy, no mucking around transporting bikes around. Like all things Noosa-tri related get in early as the truck fills up. Same story with flights, get in early as they sell out.

There are a wide range of accommodation options in Noosa, our pick was Noosa Crest which is on the hill directly above the transition area. Not cheap but with several people sharing it was pretty good value. Most places put restrictions on number of nights, at Crest it was a minimum of 5 nights. The views from the rooftop barbie/pool area are truly stunning (see sunset piccie).

For people who don’t know, Noosa it is a perfect venue for triathlon, stunning beaches, and amazing running opportunities (including in the gorgeous National Park right next to the beach).

With around 4,000 individuals and another 3,000 or so in teams it was with a wee bit of trepidation that we racked our bikes wondering if we would ever find them, but unlike Nepean (where we have all ‘misplaced’ our bikes) it was actually all OK and super organised.

The race….with so many people taking part, the wave starts are spread out over a 3 hour period starting from 6:30. The swim is in the ocean but (thankfully) the main beach at Noosa is relatively calm and only rarely gets big surf. It was, however, a little bit choppy/bumpy and as swimming is not our strong point, we just hung on (and hung our heads in shame at our abysmal times….sorry, coaches Mark & Sarah!) and hoped we could make up some time on the bike and run.

Prior to 2015, the swim was in the river/canal but now with the relocation to the beach there is a looooong (about 400m) run up to transition. Onto the bike, and we were all pleasantly surprised that despite the crowds everyone (including the gung-ho lads & lassies) were all well behaved. The ride is out and back towards Cooroy with one hill (of about 3km) at about the 15km mark. Interestingly the hill goes up along a winding rally car circuit then back down in a different way straight down a very steep road, we had heard anecdotes of said gung-ho bods reaching 70km/hr down the hill while we hit a sedate 50km/hr. Nice mixture of scenery on the ride, some bush and water views (and obligatory bike bling whizzing past).

Off the bike and onto the run, temperatures were heating up to high 20’s and the sun’s rays were ferocious. Run is a flat 5km out and back. Thankfully there were drinks every km, and the friendly locals were out in force with their garden hoses.

We all finished happily and were pretty chuffed with our times. Shout out to other Balance members especially Em Wright who did a PB, and Liz Robinson who triumphantly completed her first standard distance in style and in a smokin’ time.

We stayed on for another few days, indulging in some amazing restaurants and a few runs through the stunning National park circuit which ranks as our favourite run in Oz (we have heard it is Steve Moneghetti’s too, so we are in good company).

Totally recommend this fun event in a stunning location (and no, we aren’t sponsored by Tourism Qld!).

Here are a few useful links/contacts:

Link to Noosa tri

Bike transfer

Noosa Crest

Fiona Horn, Fiona McDonald and Michael Tayar


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