Fisher and Thomas claim Hamilton Island Triathlon victory
TRIATHLON: A myriad of triathletes put both mental and physical resilience to the test on the 10th anniversary of the Hamilton Island Triathlon last weekend.
More than 200 athletes participated in the event which attracted competitors from all over Queensland, including Australian eight-time Olympic medallist Susie O'Neill (Madame Butterfly) and 2016 Olympic triathlete Ryan Fisher.
Fisher claimed his second men's title over Jason Crowther and Hunter McGovern following a 750m swim in Catseye Bay, 20km bike ride and a 5km run around the marina and resort sides of the island.
The 27-year-old participated in the inaugural Hamilton Island Triathlon in 2008 and returned in 2010, placing second both years.
But he struck gold in 2012, securing his first Hamilton Island title when he attended the event as an ambassador.
After numerous worldwide triathlon encounters, Fisher said there are still aspects of the Hamilton Island course he has never experienced at any other location.
"Visually the course is very different. Having competed around the world, you swim in some pretty average locations. But at Whitehaven you can see the bottom the whole time and fish swimming around,” he said.
"The ride on the airport tarmac was definitely a highlight. I don't think there's any race in the world I've done that before.”
Fisher said the steep terrain posed an unusual challenge rarely faced on average triathlon courses.
"The run was challenging because it was sprint distance, 5km, but the hills were pretty steep. Just when you think it's done, there's another one,” he said.
"Then you come out on the white sand for the last 300m or so and you're slipping on the white sand with jelly legs.
"If you can do that, you can probably do the Olympic distance in any triathlon. I've never really done tri's like that, but that's what makes it so much fun.”
Fisher's partner, Brianna Thomas, made her mark during her Hamilton Island Triathlon debut prevailing as the female champion, edging out competitors Stephanie Albert and Tenille Galea.
The win came as a shock to the 22-year-old who said she was oblivious to her placing during the final leg of the 5km run.
"I was actually running up the beach and didn't know where I was coming. I thought someone had passed me on the bike earlier in the race,” she said.
"It was a surprise when I got to the end and everyone was telling me I had come in first.”
Thomas said the Hamilton Island Triathlon would be among her most memorable experiences.
"It's a very unique destination especially when it came to the bike component. It's not everyday you get to ride down the middle of an airstrip on an island,” she said.
"I'd definitely love to come back here. You can't beat the destination and I think it's one of those triathlons where you can go and really challenge yourself.”
Team Challenge Accepted dominated the male sprint relay ahead of Your Legs Are Lying To You (YLALTY) and Team BAS.
Pun-Demonium came out on top of Three Blind Mice and the Old Chooks in the female category and Mackay Cycles claimed victory over The Gun Show and Splash, Dash and Flash in the mixed teams.
Zane Reid was named champion of the short Junior Triathlon (50m swim, 1km bike, 500m run) ahead of Jake Staddon and Taj Peacock, while Mikaela Guilfoyle topped the girl's category leading Lucy Mansfield and Daijha Kupfer.
Luke Guilfoyle claimed victory over Tyler Greenhill and Joshua King in the medium Junior Triathlon (150m swim, 3km bike, 1km run) alongside female champion Isabella Debrincat and runners-up Adeleine Young and Alison Dale.
Cameron Wonnocott led Tom Stielow and Toby Hannan in the long Junior Triathlon (250m swim, 5km bike, 2km run) while Jessica Harris represented the females in the girl's category.