Racing underway at Mooloolaba Tri

13 March 2021

Racing is underway at the 2021 Mooloolaba Triathlon with close to 750 athletes taking part in Saturday’s Sprint Non-Drafting event.

Almost 70% of athletes were racing at Mooloolaba Triathlon for the first time, with ideal conditions greeting them for their debut at the event.

Athletes took on a 750m swim, 20km ride and 5km run, before crossing the finish line on Beach Terrace.

Cooper Carswell took the win in 1:04:49, ahead of Benjamin Rudd and Ethan Brelsford. Ellie Hoitink was the first female in 1:07:14, with Paige O’Connor second and Caroline Lean third.

Amongst the first-timers to Mooloolaba Triathlon were Brett Ridley and Liam Johnston, with the pair enjoying their first foray into triathlon.

“It was my first Mooloolaba Triathlon, I was worried about the swim but smashed it out, went too hard on the bike and then just made it on the run,” said Ridley. “I was told by a mate at work that it’s the best triathlon to do so I thought I’d give it a go for some different fitness and had a blast. Next year I’m going to step up and do the standard distance.”

Johnston said he was keen to take part in another triathlon.

“It was my first ever triathlon, the swim was tough but once I got back onto land I was much more comfortable, it wasn’t too bad,” said Johnston. “I thought it would be a tough challenge, and I was right, but I’ve ticked off the first one and I’ll be keen to give another one a go.”

Casey Simon was also taking part in her first ever triathlon, having made the trip up from Brisbane for this weekend’s Mooloolaba Triathlon.

“It was a good day, this was my first triathlon and the goal was to finish it and I did,” she said. “I decided to get into triathlon to motivate myself to exercise more and get healthier and I really enjoyed it.”

Australian Paratriathlete Lauren Parker is using the event as preparation for the upcoming Tokyo Paralympics, with the 2019 World Champion and 2018 Commonwealth Games Bronze medallist impressing across the sprint distance.

“It was good to be out there on the start line with everyone and it’s perfect weather today at beautiful Mooloolaba,” said Parker. “I’m just happy to be out there racing, it was a tough run course and I’m racing again tomorrow which I’m looking forward to.

“Every time that I get to race it’s always a huge benefit for my preparations, there’s nothing better than getting a good race done, it’s a great training session and they’re all good race practice for Tokyo,” she said. “I’ll rest up this afternoon, maybe have a massage and a bit of a swim and then back on the start line tomorrow.”

David Jackman and Max Reiner were returning to Mooloolaba for the second time, after first competing in 2020, with triathlon proving to be the perfect pre-season training for rugby.

“It was pretty hot conditions, the swim was nice, the water was flat and good for swimming and made for a good start,” said Jackman. “The run was tough, the first two legs were ok but once we got to the run, the legs were jelly. We’re trying to get fit before the rugby season and this definitely helps.”

Reiner said they were enjoying the challenge of taking part in an event like the Mooloolaba Triathlon.

“It’s our second sprint triathlon, we’re working our way up to the standard distance in a couple of years,” said Reiner. “We’ll see how the training goes over the rest of the year for 2022.”

Sunday will see almost 3,300 athletes compete in the Standard event, taking on a 1.5km swim, 40km ride and 10km run.