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On Saturday 11 November some of the NKH Knight staff participated in the Sufferfest Triathlon event on Rottnest Island. Here is a report from Simon Howard – the CEO’s desk.
A beautiful start to the day followed by an unexpected curveball
The day started well with warm weather and a breathy easterly breeze making the ferry ride to Rottnest about as pleasant as it gets. NKH Knight had 4 teams competing in the Olyfest competition which included a 1500m Swim, 40km bike ride and 10km run. There was an early curveball prior to the start of the Olyfest event when a 2m shark was sighted close to shore thereby cancelling our swim leg and replacing it with a short 600m run. The triathlon had now become a duathlon! This revised format caused chaos just prior to the start as multiple games of ‘rock, paper, scissors’ kicked off to decide who would do the initial 600m run leg. As a result, one of our less organised competitors missed the start of this run leg and gave the competition a significant 30-second head start (sorry guys!).
The real test started with the cycling leg. Mat, Peter, Terryn and James set off close together on the 40km cycle leg (except for Terryn who I sent out miles behind everyone else after the 600m run). The warm weather and the easterly wind (and a big brown snake on track) made for testing conditions. A huge gallery of fans (lead by Tiff) had assembled at the end of the first lap of the 2-lap circuit to cheer on the NKH Knight team. No one could miss Peter Farlie as he flashed by on the reddest bike you’ve ever seen. After about an hour of riding it was Mat in first followed closely by Peter, Terryn and James. The cyclists transitioned to the runners to complete the 10km event.
There were unofficial reports (by me) of it being about 52 degrees when the runners started their part. Simar, me, Peter and Karen set off on the run. Jono (who missed out on doing the swim) volunteered to set the pace for Karen but none of us had even seen the pace being set from behind the person they were pacing for! A strong reliance on vocal encouragement was required by Jono which is a clear strength of his.
The run was a long, slow, hot slog. It was a bit unusual dodging tourists and beaching goers on the narrow paths of Rottnest. There were ups and downs but we all made it back in good time.
Each team made it into the top 3 in their category so there was a HUGE silverware haul from the day.
Our award winners
- ‘Sucker for the Pain’ Award – James – who did a brief 20km (!) warm up on his bike prior to starting the official ride.
- Multinova Award – Mat – was FAST on the bike.
- Teamwork Award – Jono and Karen – really worked well together on the run to get each other home (i.e. Jono yelling at Karen to run faster).
- Freak Award and ‘Reddest Bike on Earth’ Award – Peter – Looked pretty knackered after the cycle but then played on and did the run 10km run himself as well. No one has been able to explain how Peter was able to do this yet.
- Bravery Award – Simar – a hydration issue made his run harder than he expected, but he gutsed it out and made it home.
- Comeback Kid Award– Terryn – was VERY last when I handed to him after the 600m run leg and ended coming in mid-pack.
- Cheerleader Award – joint winners – Tiff and Ross – who gave us great support and reminded us how great Rotto can be if you aren’t riding or swimming around it.
A big thanks to Jono for all the effort he put in to make the event a success. We are odds on to be back again next year. It’s also noting that Jono has now competed in 2 of these but hasn’t yet finished an official leg (injury last year, shark this year). He’ll be going for none from 3 next year!