FIVE Tablelanders were selected for the Australian Age Group Triathlon Team, which competed at the 2013 ITU World Triathlon Championships in London recently.
Martin Brigden, Carmel Hickey and Libby Thomas with husband Morgan and their 17-year-old son Rhys, were all selected to represent Australia in the team.
Martin Brigden has competed at several triathlon world championships over the past 20 years, consistently placing in the top ten in his age group while Libby Thomas has competed at three. However, for Carmel, Morgan and Rhys it was their debut representation.
“There were about 5000 competitors from over 50 countries competing in London. It was super-exciting and a great honour to be there representing our country,” Carmel Hickey said.
The Tablelanders competed in the 'standard distance' also known as the 'Olympic Distance' triathlon, which involved a 1500m swim, 40km cycle and a 10km run.
“The course was amazing - pretty much the same course as the Olympic triathlon course in 2012 - with the swim being held in the Serpentine in Hyde Park where the temperature is a chilly 15 degrees (not quite as pristine as Lake Eacham); the ride went past Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square and the Tower of London and the run was 3 loops around Hyde Park,” Carmel said.
“The Triathlon World Championships in London was a fantastic experience. The crowd support on the course was amazing on the run - the Aussie supporters were very vocal! The bike course was spectacular. Being there and being part of it was really special,” she said.
Competing in the Triathlon World Championships was certainly a very family affair for Libby Thomas. Her husband Morgan and son Rhys were also selected to be in the Australian Team.
“It’ s always very special to wear green and gold, but to be out there competing as a family is something I’ll cherish forever and very hard to put into words,” Libby said.
“Our daughter Karri, who is also a keen Triathlete but too young yet for the Olympic Distance, was an amazing support for us all during the race (as were the Hickey and Brigden Families),” she said.
“Perhaps there will be a World Championship where the four of us are in the Aussie team together. That would be amazing!!
“Hopefully the strong representation from the Tablelands will continue and flourish with a whole new generation of Triathletes emerging each season.
“Triathlon is one of the fastest growing sports in the world and one of the few where Age Groupers and Elite race side by side on the same courses.
“It is an extremely friendly environment where complete novices right through to the seriously competitive participate with crowd support for all levels. We have a number of local events during our season, which runs from February through to November each year with some very exciting new races being planned for the Tablelands.
“I would urge anyone who is at all interested in trying out the sport either individually or in a team, to just come along and give it a go. You will find it to be a very healthy addiction!!”
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.