Red Dogs conquer Ironman 70.3 World Championships - Mooloolaba, QLD (4 Sept 2016) – by Simon Smale.

Red Dog Triathlon Training have taken on the World, coming away with a host of fantastic performances and medals on what was a beautiful, albeit slightly blustery day on the Sunshine Coast.

Kieran Storch (M18-24) and Rebecca East (F45-49) lead the charge for the 2016 Ironman Australian TriClub Division 1 Champions, with silver medals in their respective age groups, while Briarna Silk (F30-34) and Heidi Sowerby (F45-49) both finished in the top ten of their categories.

With a typically boisterous supporters section basking in the beautiful Mooloolaba sunshine, the eighteen age group racers and two athletes in the professional field were all well supported as they represented themselves on the biggest stage, just a short trip up the road from Brisbane.

Age Group Summary

Kieran Storch picked up the silver medal in the M18-24 age group with a time of 4:10:15 behind New Zealand’s Jason Hall. Storchy backed up an impressive race with a blistering run of 1:19:07, but was unable to catch his Kiwi rival. Also in the M18-24 age group, Tyler Allen came home in 26th place with a time of 4:30:26.

Rebecca East backed up an impressive 2016 by also claiming a silver medal on the day, finishing in 5:01:36 behind fellow Aussie Raeleigh Harris. Heidi Sowerby finished inside the top ten in 8th spot with a hugely impressive 5:11:20, and Sarah Moser claimed an excellent 37th spot with 5:41:03.

James Dimsey lead home Red Dog’s finishers in the hugely competitive M30-34 age group, ending up in 27th spot with a 4:15:55. Christophe Manchon came in 75th with a 4:26.11 while James Anderson ended up in 126th with a 4:38:53.

Tom Beechey claimed 24th in the M35-39 group with a 4:20:15, while in the F35-39, Alison Ryan finished in 135th spot with a time of 7:20:26.

Cameron Hughes secured 15th spot in the M40-44 age group off the back off a stunningly quick 38.81 km/h average ride for a time of 2:19.08, the second fastest in his category. Brett Jenkins finished in 60th with 4:39:14 in the same category.

Matt Boevink recorded a 4:30:17 to finish in 12th spot in his M45-49 age group, while Michael Lennon came home in just under five hours with 4:59:13 to take 119th, and Toshitaka Ishihara came in 160th with a time of 5:13:05 representing Japan.

Briarna Silk agonisingly missed out on a podium spot by just over a minute, claiming position 4th in the F30-34 age group with a time of 4:46:45. Sarah Richmond finished in 32nd spot in the F40-44 category with a time of 5:17:38.

Linda O’Connor managed to claim a top 30 finish in the F50-54 age group by finishing 29th in a time of 5:45:45, despite suffering from a mechanical and being forced to walk for 5km of the bike leg, a fantastic effort.


Congratulations to all athletes who qualified for the World Championships and competed so well on the day.

Phenomenal Professional Races

One of the great joys of triathlon racing is that the age groupers race the same course as the professionals just moments after they set off, and the Ironman 70.3 World Championships is no exception.

This year both men’s and women’s races were absolute thrillers, with the top three in the elite men separated by less than 30 seconds. 

Australia’s Tim Reed emerged victorious after a sensational dog fight with German Sebastian Kienle on the run went right down to the wire, with Switzerland’s Ruedi Wild rounding off the podium in 3rd.

Red Dog’s Josh Amberger lead the field out of the swim by over 100 metres as he flew around the perfectly flat ocean swim course in just under 22 minutes, but was caught by the chasing pack at a round the 45km mark before finishing in 12th spot.

Two time former World 70.3 Champion Kienle averaged 43.29 km/h over the 90km course to make up a 70 second deficit up from the swim and lead the field into T2, where he and Reed swapped the lead throughout the half marathon course.

Reed went on to claim Australia’s first IM70.3 World Championship crown since Craig Alexander won in Nevada in 2011 by just two seconds from the German, and will now head to Kona to contest the Ironman World Championships early next month.

In the women’s race, Welsh pro Holly Lawrence blew the field apart with a scintillating bike leg to claim her first World Championship title.

The 26 year old was second out of the water behind America’s Lauren Brandon, but quickly established a lead on the bike, riding away from a pack that included Leanda Cave, Caroline Steffen and rapidly ascending Mel Hauschildt and Heather Wurtele. 

Lawrence rode 90 seconds faster than anyone else on the course, giving her a sizeable five minute cushion to finish ahead of local girl Hauschildt - who finished two minutes behind despite running a 1:18.43 half marathon. Heather Wurtele of Canada held on to finish third ahead of Swiss pair Daniela Ryf and Caroline Steffen.

Red Dog pro Sarah Crowley finished in 13th spot with 04:22:33 after the bike blew apart due to Lawrence’s surge ahead.

 

Port Macquarie Ironman Review (3 May 2015)– by Simon Smale.

Red Dog conquer Ironman Australia and win a ticket to Kona.

The New South Wales town of Port Macquarie is something of a Mecca for Australian long distance triathletes.  Ironman Australia is the 4th oldest Ironman event in the world, and after being hosted at Forster-Tuncurry since 1985, the baton was passed to Port Macquarie in 2006.

As was befitting the 30th anniversary of the race, plenty of former champions graced the course, including 2012 winner Paul Ambrose – who held off a fast finishing 2013 Champion Luke Bell on the run to win his second Ironman Crown.

Red Dog Triathlon Club added their name to the illustrious roll of honour by taking home the award for best small club last year. While just a small number of athletes contested the event last year, a much healthier number of 19 Doggies made the trip south this year, joining 1800 other athletes and making Red Dog ineligible to defend their title.

Stand out performer of the day was without a doubt Belinda Ward. Storming home in a time of 10:36:23, Wardy won the Australian title in the F45-49 age group. In just her second attempt at the distance, and after shaking off a head cold in the week leading up to the race, Wardy achieved the biggest prize in age group triathlon - the chance to compete at Kona this October, although she professed to being most pleased that her head didn’t explode upon entering the water… For more insights from Red Dog’s Australian Champion, read Wardys interview.

Michelle Gemmell was Red Dog’s other top-ten finisher, this time in the F40-44 age group. Entered by husband Scott in what has to be the most dubious Christmas gift of all time, Michelle embraced the challenge and flew around the course in 11:34:28. Michelle was also agonisingly close to achieving a Kona spot, after 5 of the athletes ahead of her passed up their opportunity to race in Hawai’i. Unfortunately for Michelle, 6th place snapped up the opportunity and the chance went begging. Luckily for her, she has been signed up for Busselton later in the year.

Red Dogs other F40-44 athletes also had excellent races. Fleur Dennis finished in an excellent 16th, just outside of 12 hours in 12:06:48 after struggling with cramps throughout the run. Michelle Perry came home in 14:17:43 – a fantastic effort as her longest previous run was just 30km and longest bike ride was just 140km.

The first Red Dog home was Jon Roper (M40-44) in an exceptional time of 10:19:38 to finish in 32nd position. He lead home a five-man-strong Red Dog contingent in that incredibly competitive age group, ahead of Mark Westaway (58th - 10:51:21), Michael Chandler (100th - 11:34:58), Rob Buntine (113th – 11:44:29) and Richard Phillips (118th – 11:49:09).

Michael Lennon was second Doggie home in 10:29:28, finishing 19th in the M45-49 age group. Also in the M45-49 age group, Kelvin Cheer finished in 60th in 11:32:57 and Phil Moss crept in under the 12 hour mark with a time of 11:50:22 to finish in 80th.

Mark Forward (M50-54) was the first of Red Dogs over 50’s, coming in dead on 11 hours (give or take 2 seconds) to claim 21st, while Ian Fabian - who was instrumental in Red Dogs award winning charge last year – came home in 12:49:34 to take 78th, while Geoffrey Hines (87th) was not far behind in 13:11:35. Maureen Flower (F50-54) was also very pleased with her times, finishing in 15:27:42 in 28th place.

Brendan Campbell (39th - 11:09:27), Kevin Siah (49th – 11:34:58) and Joshua Strickland (81st - 12:48:42) all contested the M30-34 age group. Special mention should go to Kevin, who suffered horribly with punctures on the bike – spending over 45 minutes on the side of the road. Despite that terrible luck, Kevin should take heart with what was still an excellent time under the circumstances.

Wardy's Interview: 

Hawai’i, dark places and exploding heads – Wardy’s Ironman Australia Story

 

Red Dog athlete Belinda Ward – in just her second Ironman race – pulled a fantastic performance out of the hat to win her age group, and with it a ticket to Kona. The new Australian F45-49 Ironman Champion spoke to us about dark places, Kona, her insane forthcoming schedule and the relief that came from having her head not explode…

 

Smale Mail: First of all, congratulations on what was an amazing result. You’ve been training really well recently, did you have an inkling that you could be on the cusp of such a great result and were you hoping to come close to a Kona qualifying spot?

 

Belinda Ward: I knew I was in good form having done a lot of quality training since January, but I was also very well aware that anything can go wrong in the lead-up to a big race or on the day itself. In the couple of weeks beforehand I was confident in my ability to finish near the top of the field and even to win if I had a good performance on the day, but there’s still a big step between knowing you’re capable of winning, and actually going out and doing it.

 

As it turned out, all I could think of at the start line was: I hope the cold water clears my sinuses or my head will explode.

 

SM: Was this your first Ironman?

 

BW: Although I’ve been racing triathlons for over a decade, this was only my second Ironman. My first was at Port Mac 6 years ago, and at the time I swore I would never do another one. Back then I actually found the whole training build and race day experience quite tedious, and decided that I preferred racing hard and often over shorter distances. However in the back of my mind I felt I had let the course at Port Mac defeat me, and part of me wanted to go back and do it properly. But this time I did promise to myself that I would find a way to make training and racing enjoyable. I’m happy to say I mainly found that formula.

 

SM: What part of your race were you most pleased with? And what went right for you on the day? I understand you were a bit coldy in the build up, did that play on your mind at all?

 

BW: Yes absolutely. I’m most pleased that my head didn’t explode! I came down with a head cold in the week before the race, and spent a few days feeling totally miserable and doubting I was going to make the start line at all. It was disappointing to miss a lot of the pre-race excitement, but I tried to stay away from people as much as possible at registration and the welcome dinner, as no-one was going to thank me for passing on my germs in those last few days. I drank a lot of hot water and honey, but didn’t have the appetite to carbo-load.

 

Looking back, I am delighted with my run. Because I was already feeling quite dehydrated and on the verge of cramping, I walked the aid stations right from the beginning, and also deliberately walked up the hill behind the caravan park each lap. Boy did I look forward to those regular walk breaks! But every time I started running again I was immediately passing people and feeling strong. Spectators commented that I looked like I was running really well, and I chose to believe them. I was happy that I never degenerated into doing the Ironman shuffle. And that I made it home before the glow sticks came out.

 

SM: At what point in the race did you realise that you could be in with a shot of winning?

 

BW: Pete Dennis and Scott Gemmell started yelling to me that I was winning my age group half way through the run – and telling me I had it in the bag. But by then I was already cramping a bit and was very conscious that it’s possible to lose a lot of time if you have a melt-down at the back end of a marathon. I also had very vivid memories of being run down in the finishing chute at the Tweed Coast Enduro just weeks ago so I was never really confident I’d hold on for the win. Even though I totally expected the last lap of the run to hurt, I was still a bit shocked by some of the dark and nasty places I had to run through on the road back from Settlement Point.

 

SM: You celebrated your triumph by supporting AK in his Ultraman – did it cross your mind to have a rest before launching into your Kona prep? Will you allow yourself a rest at all to celebrate?

 

BW: Crewing at Ultraman was actually a great way to distract from the post-race blues, and to get re-energised by hanging around some keen and crazy athletes in a different environment. But I did underestimate how mentally challenging and physically exhausting it would turn out to be. I’m celebrating by doing the things I love; riding, running, eating, and swapping stories with interesting and inspiring people.

 

SM: Have you had to change any of your planned races in order to accommodate a Kona trip?

 

BW: I had already committed to race the Duathlon World Championships later this year, and that was going to be my main race. Adelaide’s my home town, and I was keen to try and grab a medal there after failing to defend my World Title in 2007 when I had a flat tyre in Hungary. As it happens, the duathlon is only 7 days after Kona, so I’m going to have a very hectic month of October! Fortunately, I’ve always found my best running form on a base of slow long distance training, so this year I intend to train mainly with Kona in mind, and then just relax and see what happens in Adelaide.

 

Between now and then, I’ll be doing the Warwick Pentath-run in a couple of weeks, racing Ironman Cairns, and running the Coastal High 50km trail run. I’ll also aim to ride a few Audax 200 and 300km events, maybe even a 400km. Which that schedule may sound a little crazy, I’m really doing most of it for fun. I enjoy being fit, exercising in beautiful places, and taking off on big adventures.

 

SM: Kona will be a fantastic experience – have you ever been? What are you looking forward to most?

 

BW: I was lucky enough to be in Kona as a spectator in 2005. One of my idols Michellie Jones came second to the incredible Natascha Badman that year, and I remember the men’s winner Faris Al Sultan turning up with his bike in a cardboard box, and being very relaxed at the after party to the consternation of his very serious, very German minder.

 

I’m most looking forward to riding my bike on the Queen K. And perhaps to the after party – although I have toned down a bit in the last decade.

 

SM: Seeing as training for an Ironman is so full on and all encompassing, was it even a consideration to be happy with coming first and being Australian Champion and not accept the prize of Kona by having to dedicate yourself to all that pain and dedicated training again so soon?

 

BW: I’m a very competitive person, and it was the win I was chasing rather than the Kona qualifying spot. Racing at Kona has never been the Holy Grail for me, but since I have the opportunity this year I’ve grabbed it and certainly intend to make the most of it. Before that there’s Cairns, which I’m really looking forward to. Hopefully I’ll be able to enjoy the pre-race activities for that one, and also relax and enjoy the race. But of course there is still part of me that wants to win, so I will be pushing myself all the way to the line.

 

SM: Thanks Belinda, congratulations again and best of luck in your busy year ahead!

 

 

Tweed Coast Enduro Review (29 March 2015) – by Simon Smale.

 

A small contingent of Red Dogs ventured south of the boarder to compete in the inaugural Tweed Coast Enduro on the Northern New South Wales Coast last weekend.

 

The long course race, over typical half ironman distance of 1.9km swim, 90km bike and 21.1km run around the picturesque town of Pottsville Beach, was organised by QSM Sport, who bought us the immensely popular races in Kingscliff and Byron Bay. And it looks like they could be on to a winner here as well.

 

This race clearly has plenty of potential - and with a real sense of positive involvement from the local community and a successful first event, there is no reason to think this will not become a favourite amongst athletes from the region.

 

In spectacular clear, sunny conditions, eighteen Red Dogs started the race, and sixteen finished with Sarah Crealy (F35-39) unfortunate to suffer a puncture on the final lap of the ride. Karin Thompson (FOpen) also unfortunately recorded a DNF.

 

In the F40-44 age group the Red Dogs recorded some fantastic results, with Belinda Ward just missing out on 2nd after being overtaken in the final stages, eventually finishing 3rd in 4:42:58. Michelle Gemmell had an excellent final hit out before Port Macquarie IronMan in 5 weeks, storming home after a brilliant bike/run to finish just behind Belinda in 4:45:25. Fleur Dennis also put in an excellent effort in her last race before IronMan Port Mac, finishing in 5th in what was close to a PB time of 5:08:31. Michelle Perry came home in 16th position with 6:06:23.

 

Kate Fryer (F35-39) didn’t let an unfamiliar bike slow her down and did superbly well to get 8th place in 5:09:01, in what was a decent recovery after a nasty accident just under a month ago wrote off her usual bike. Cath Healy (F35-39) shrugged off a back injury to finish 12th in a time of 5:36:25, just behind Rachael Khoo (F25-29) who finished 5th in 5:35:56.

 

Jo Cochrane (F45-49) had a great race, recording her longest niggle-free run since June last year to record a time of 5:32:33 to finish 9th, as the heat from the sun started to affect those still out on course.

 

Darren Lockhart (M40-44) was the fastest Red Dog on the day, and picked up 3rd place for his efforts with a 4:25:58. Just behind him was Dallas Adams (M35-39), finishing with 4:28:31 to get 14th in the age group. In what was a super competitive age group, Ralph Dehlen came 21st just 10 minutes behind in 4:38:29. Damien Thompson (M30-34) came 19th with a solid 4:42:36, just ahead of Brendan Campbell (M30-34) who finished in just under 5 hours to take 23rd place with a time of 4:54:54.

 

Ian Fabian (M50-54), Scott Norish (M40-44) and Andrew Smith (M45-49) were engaged in a tight race all morning finishing within 8 minutes of one another, recording times of 5:13:09, 5:17:34 and 5:21:40 to finish 18th, 31st and 26th respectively.

 

Speaking to most of the Red Dogs afterwards, the overwhelming impression of the new event was positive, however that wasn’t the case for everyone. Big name pro Clayton Fettell did not finish after falling off his bike, resulting not only in a lot of bark off and some stitches for Fettell, but a huge disappointment to the event’s MC, who continued to mention the stricken pro throughout the afternoon.

 

Special mention should also go to Pete Dennis, who in his capacity as a super-supporter, helped out an age-grouper who snapped his goggles at the swim start. The fortuitous beneficiary, Shane Hunt, was able to use the power of Facebook to thank Pete (and Fleur) by sending them a copy of his wife’s excellent book, Multisport Dreaming: The Foundations of Triathlon in Australia.

 

All in all, a great day for the Red Dogs both in and out of competition, in what promises to be a popular and well supported race in the coming years.

 

 


 

TQ Sprint Championships Review – Redcliffe (29 March 2015) – by Simon Smale.

Red Dog Triathlon came away from the Triathlon Queensland Sprint Championships with six State Champions and four other podium finishers as the State’s Champion Club once again proved their dominance despite a depleted line up for the latest round of the series.

Kieran Storch (M20-24), James Dimsey (M30-34), Andrew Fuller (M40-44), Briana Mackie (F30-35), Michael Lennon (M45-49) and Alison Ryan (F35-39) were the title winners, while Rosie McGeoch, Jennifer Veitch (F30-34) and Skye Howie (F45-49) all occupied the second step on the podium with Sarah Menlove (F25-29) the sole bronze medallist.

It was not just the podium finishers who excelled though, with 24 of the 26 Doggies finishing in the top 10, an astonishing return underlying the quality of the club.

In stunning autumn conditions, it was Kieran Storch who lead the Red Dogs home. His time of 58:41 was more than enough for him to lead the field home and showed off his electric recent pace by being the sole Doggie to go under an hour.

In the M30-34 age group, James Dimsey recorded a time of 1:01:46 to get back to winning ways, grabbing yet another title in what has been a stunningly successful season so far. Stuart Harris continued his comeback by finishing just 10 minutes behind in 8th, highlighting how competitive the early 30’s age group is.

Next home for the Doggies was Andrew Fuller, who lead home the early 40’s age group in 1:03:39.

The first female Red Dog home was Briana Mackie, recording a stunning time of 1:07:22 to comfortably win her age group from Jen Veitch in second (1:13:02). In a well populated F30-34 age group for the Red Dogs, newly crowned Athlete of the Month Flick O’Neill came home in 5th with 1:19:29, and Ellen Wayland came home in 7th, just a couple of minutes back in 1:25:43.

Michael Lennon pulled off an excellent win in the M40-44 age group with a time of 1:07:43. Darrell Crimson was just behind, but missed out on the podium in another competitive age group by coming 5th with a time of 1:10:05.

Alison Ryan lead home Rosie McGeoch in the F35-39 age group, finishing just 13 seconds ahead as the two battled all the way, recording times of 1:10:20 and 1:10:33 respectively. Sarah Richmond just missed out on the podium, finishing 4th in 1:13:54 while Janette Manning came home 7th with a time of 1:25:43.

Sarah Menlove was the sole Red Dog in the F25-29 age group, finishing in a time of 1:11:37, just ahead of Neil Parsons-Young, who came 6th in the M50-54 age group in 1:11:56, just beating out Stephen Lindores into 7th in a time of 1:12:07 – exactly the same time as Juan-Carlos Delgado – who came 8th in the M35-39 age group. Dennis Eiszele rounded out the top 10 in the M50-54 age group with a solid time of 1:13:42, while Francis Mahoney came home in 27th with 1:33:53.

Skye Howe picked up a silver medal with a time of 1:17:22 in the F45-49 age group, followed closely by Melissa Chamberlain (1:19:59) and Melinda Lynagh (1:23:30) who came 4th and 6th in the F40-44 age group.

James Scholl was just unable to miss out on the podium in the M60-64, coming 4th in 1:28:01, while Graeme Wood came home 3 minutes behind in 5th. Brett Sweeny (M40-44) had a good hit out in the swim bike but did not start the run and recorded a DNF.

Another great weekend for Red Dog as they look to compete the three-peat of State Team Titles.

 


 

 

Red Dogs sweep all aside at MooTri – by Simon Smale.

 

Red Dog Triathlon Training athletes had another stellar day at the Mooloolaba Triathlon Festival last weekend. In perfect conditions under cobalt-blue skies, the Sunshine Coast put on a show and banished memories of last year’s choppy conditions which forced the ocean swim into the canal.

 

In Sunday’s Olympic distance race, Red Dog athletes won an incredible 8 gold medals with a further 6 athletes finishing on the podium. Add to that an incredible sixteen other top 10 finishers from 87 individual starters and you have the ingredients for a very successful day at the office.

 

Sarah Crowley dominated her opposition in the Open category, destroying the field to win by seven minutes in a time of 2:07:26. Sarah exited the surf with the leaders and never looked back, recording the fastest bike split of 1:02:28 and then hammering home her advantage with a 37:51 10km to finish.

 

Red Dog’s other Open athlete Kieran Storch also had a ripping race, finishing in 7th place with an electric time of 1:59:49. Despite a flying sub-hour effort on the bike and an incredible 34:29 run, Kieran couldn’t catch his (professional) fellow competitors, Casey Munro and Tim van Berkel – the three time Iron distance champion using this race as a final tune up before Ironman Melbourne this weekend.

 

Red Dog recorded a 1-2 in the M30-34 category. Damien Bulters (2:05:20) just held off James Dimsey (2:06:11) for the age group win. James was coming at Damien at a rate of knots in the closing stages, recording a 58:54 bike spilt and a 36:45 run to get within a minute of Damien, however Damien’s superior swim of 19:32 meant James couldn’t quite make up the 5 minute deficit he conceded onto the bike. Red Dog Luke Trickett recorded a top-10 finish, coming in 8 minutes back in 9th with a 2:13:33.

 

Simon Nash recorded an age-group win of his own in the M35-40, finishing in 2:08:00 – a comfortable 4 and a half minutes ahead of second place. Tom Beechey just missed out on a podium by a minute, finishing 4th in 2:16:10.

 

Dallas Adams pulled off a sensational win in the Clydesdales 90-99, finishing in 2:20:43 – just 42 seconds clear of second place. Greg Bush also recorded a victory in the M60-64 age group, claiming victory by a clear 10 minutes.

 

As for the Red Dog Chicks, in addition to Sarah’s dominant display they continued where they left off in Goondiwindi, tearing apart the competition with a series of fantastic performances.

 

Briana Mackie continued her recent dominant form with a 3 minute victory in the F30-34 age-group. Bri lead out the surf after a sensational swim and maintained her lead right the way through to the finish, recording a phenomenal time of 2:15:08 – one that would have seen her on the podium in the Opens.

 

Rosie McGeoch also dominated the F35-39 age-group, winning in a time of 2:20:31. Rosie did the damage on the bike with a 1:04:09, blowing away her opponents to comfortably come home 4 minutes clear of second place.

 

Sarah Menlove (F25-29) and Alison Ryan (F35-39) both performed brilliantly to achieve second place in their respective age-groups, Sarah in particular coming off a long month of racing finished just 30 second back after trailing her opponent onto the bike leg.

 

In what was flagged as one of the performances of the day, Felicity O’Neill - who’s been tearing it up in training this year – recorded a first place in the Athenas with a time of 2:39:50. Flick dominated in the surf, and nobody ever came close to overhauling her lead as she backed up impressively on the bike and run.

 

There were plenty of other notable performances, as Stuart Harris came third in the mates wave – beating out Ben McCormick into 4th. Cameron Hughes (5th - 2:15:23) and Raleigh Wallace (6th - 2:15:37) just missed out on the podium in the hugely tight M40-44 age-group – where the top 8 were separated by just 5 minutes.

 

Neil Parsons-Young (6th M50-54), Kevin Halse (7th M45-49), Rupert Macknight (9th M45-49), Stephen Mann (10th M55-59) and Rex McCormack (9th M60-64) all recorded top-10 finishes for the men, while Sky Howie (4th F45-49), Michelle Gemmell (8th F40-44), Karina Kirkpatrick (10th F25-29), Karin Thompson (9th F50-54) and Nikki White (7th Athenas) picked up top-10 finishes for the girls.

 

Not content with dominating in the multi-sport event, Red Dogs showed similar success in the festival events. Clare Geraghty came second in the 5km Elite Twilight run with a time of 16:32, while special mention should go to the entire White family, who also competed in Saturday night’s run.

 

In Saturday’s 1km Ocean Swim event, Trent Grimsey won the MSeniors title in a rapid 11:58 and Meegan Hoare won the WSenior in 14:28, while Sarah Menlove picked up 4th with a time of 15:11. Wayne Thrupp picked up second in the MFossils (16:43), and Damien Bulters came third in the MVeterans (13:31).

 

All in all, another dominant weekend for Red Dog athletes across the board.

 


 

Red Dog Results Wrap: Cyclone Marcia washes out South East Queensland’s weekend but Red Dog’s travel far and wide to record impressive results – by Simon Smale.

Cyclone Marcia was the big enemy on the weekend as both the Triathlon Queensland Aquathlon (incorporating the Australian National Aquathlon Championships) and the Mooloolaba Mile ocean swim - all due to feature numerous Red Dogs - were both cancelled due to the extremely wet weather associated with the tropical low.

So despite the vast majority being left without a race for the weekend, there were several notable performances interstate and overseas.

Across the ditch at Challenge Wanaka in New Zealand, three Red Dogs raced in one of the most beautiful races on the calendar. Set amongst the stunning Mount Aspiring National Park on New Zealand’s South Island, this race is a favourite of the pros and comprised of full and half iron-distance races.

In the standout performance of the weekend, Sarah Menlove (F25-29), fresh from her age group success at Hell of the West, backed up to produce a fantastic race to not only win her age group, but also to finish as the third female overall.


Sarah was involved in a close battle with Emma Van Opzeeland up until the run, where the Kiwi Red Dog stormed home with an excellent run split of 1:38.12 – the fastest female run split of the day. The run took the heart out of her age group opposition and Sarah finished in an excellent time of 5:08.22.

Sarah Crealy (F35-39) also took part in the half distance race, finishing 24th in her age group with a time of 6:45.18.

Just one Red Dog athlete competed in the full iron-distance race, and picked up a 3rd place in her age group to boot. Melissa Speare (F40-49) beat the 15 hour mark to finish in 14:57.27.

In the Pro race, the locals took home the prizes again, with New Zealand’s own Dylan McNiece winning his 3rd Challenge Wanaka in a row to back up his Auckland 70.3 win at the start of February. He overcame a strong challenge from Wanaka based Dougal Allan who smashed the bike leg record with a time of 4:30.50 on his way to 2nd (8:40.06). The battle for 3rd was incredibly close, with West Australian Courtney Ogden (8:49.46) just edging out Carl Read (8:50.47) to break the Kiwi 1-2-3.

For the women Gina Crawford (9:31.51) won her 6th Challenge Wanaka fairly comfortably from San Francisco based Aussie/Brit Laura Siddall (9:43.46), leaving Crawford’s fellow Kiwi Michelle Bremer (9:52.16) to round off the podium.

Down in Huskinsson, New South Wales, Red Dog had two athletes competing in the 10th anniversary edition of the Husky Long Course Triathlon Festival.

Ian Fabian (M50-54) and Michelle Perry (F40-44) completed the 2km swim, 83km bike and 20km run course in 5:16.41 and 5:53.44 respectively, finishing 33rd and 37th in their age groups.

Over in Western Australia, a large contingent of five Red Dogs competed in the famous Rottnest Channel Swim – a 19.8km slog from Cottesloe Beach in Perth’s western suburbs, out to the island reserve of Rottnest in the Indian Ocean.

Sabrina Ellis, Meegan Hoare and Anne Pleash all soloed the crossing – Anne for the third successive year - while Scott Lang and Ryan Agnew competed as a duo, alternating 15 minute shifts through the duration of the swim.

Despite the support vessel of one competitor sinking en-route, none of the Red Dogs had to endure such bad luck and all made it across the Channel in good times. Sabrina finished in 6:22.27 to come 20th overall, while Meegan - with English Channel World Record holder Trent Grimsey paddling alongside her – came in 27th place in 6:44.34. Anne completed her third solo crossing in 7:31.08. The boys managed to finish in 3rd place for duo’s in the 50+ category by finishing in a hugely impressive 5:22.28.

Perth based 4x New Zealand Open Water swimming champion Kane Radford comfortably won the event in a time of 4:25.59 – averaging 13:30 minutes per km for his victory. Serial marathon swimming champion, Californian Grace Van Der Byl won the women’s event, finishing just outside of 5 hours with a time of 5:03:17.

 


 

 

Red Dog Conquer Hell of the West.  Again.

Red Dog Triathlon Training completed a hugely successful weekend at the start of February when they ventured out west on their 7th annual trip to Goondiwindi to partake in the ominously named Hell of the West Triathlon.

The event, inaugurated in 1990, is well known as one of Australia’s toughest triathlons. Competitors are subjected to a 2km swim in the murky, muddy water of the MacIntyre River; a pancake flat, yet often brutally windy 80km ride; and a 20km run under the brutal Goondiwindi summer sun.

This year the course lay out was slightly altered due to the heavy rain the region has been subjected to recently, with the swim moved from the swollen MacIntyre River into the no less daunting Goondiwindi Botanic Gardens lake, facilitating the run leg to be split into 3km and 17km sections.

Red Dog have made their presence keenly felt at the event in recent years, and succeeded in retaining the Neil Pagey Award for having the most team and individual entries for the 5th year in succession. Red Dog provided 38 individual athletes and a further 7 teams who made the trip from Brisbane on three busses in what has become the highlight of the year for the majority of club members, and the quantity of athletes was more than matched by the quality of the performances.

The numerous spectators who lined the run course were treated to a phenomenal battle in the women’s race, where the top three ladies – two of whom were Red Dogs - were separated by just 41 seconds over a race lasting more than 4 hours.

Red Dog Briana Mackie was first out of the water and into the first run, but teammate Rosie McGeoch was chasing hard and flew around the bike leg - claiming the fastest female time of the day - to take the lead going into the final, 17km run. Both Red Dogs knew the fast running Emily Donker was sure to be chasing them down, but they both pushed themselves to the limit to stay ahead. It wasn’t until the final lap that Briana finally overtook her gutsy teammate, and even then the result was far from certain, as they flew down the final straight.

It was Briana who crossed the line first in a phenomenal time of 4:11:15, claiming the overall and 30-34 year age group titles to go with the State Long Course Title. McGeoch took solace in being first 35-39 female as she came home just 19 seconds in arrears. Emily Donker ran superbly to get to within touching distance of the two Red Dog athletes, just 22 seconds further back in what was the battle of the day.

It wasn’t just Briana and Rosie who took home State Age Group Titles from the weekend however. Sarah Menlove (F25-29) who finished in 4:22:48, and Belinda Ward (F40-44) who came home in 4:28:08 capped off a fantastic weekend for Red Dogs ladies. Jennifer Veitch battled cramps on the run to claim a well-earned 3rd place in the F30-34 age-group with a time of 4:29:22, and Hannah Staunton rounded out the female place getters by claiming 3rd place in the F25-29 in 4:46:08.

To complete the domination that the ladies showed, the Women’s Team - The Red Dog Sheilas (Felicity O’Neill, Mischa Hartley and Mel Lynagh) also won the women’s team prize with a time of 4:27:09.

The Red Dog men were also successful, Kieran Storch claiming a valiant 4th place in the Men’s Open category with a time of 3:41:50. Michael Lennon (M45-49) claimed 2nd in his age group, completing the course in 4:10:35, while Darrell Crimson (M45-49) and David Savoff (M20-24) both claimed 3rd place in their age groups, recording times of 4:15:14 and 4:15:41.

The Red Dog A Team (Simon Smale, Brett Pidgeon and James Dimsey) claimed first place in the team competition on the back of a blisteringly quick bike leg from Brett Pidgeon, finishing in 3:37:39.

Extra special mention should also go to Red Dog Athlete of the Month, Ned Mott. Ned completed the race in an outstanding 4:55:26, finishing 7th in his 20-24 age-group but more importantly, raced in memory of his close friend Tom Lyons. Tom competed in Hell of the West in 2014 but tragically died after crossing the finish line. Ned’s commitment to make a positive memory for his friend was hugely inspirational to everyone at the club.

Red Dog will surely return next year, looking to further build on their already impressive performances at Hell of the West.

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