Not so much a race report as a highlights package
Hundy Weekend? WHY THE HELL NOT?
The Hervey Bay 100 race weekend, or ‘the Hundy’ as it is affectionately known is fast becoming a Banker favourite. And it is easy to see why.
For those that haven’t done it, its ostensibly a long course race in Hervey Bay (obvs, der…), run by a fantastic bunch of guys and girls in the local Hervey Bay Tri Club. In 2011, they got together and said “we want to create our own perfect long course event – 100 kilometres. Bang. Done. Simples. Shall we do it? WHY THE HELL NOT?”
Since those innocent times, it has evolved and crawled out of the primordial multi-sport ooze, to become one of the premier events on the calendar, attracting some big name triathletes yet still somehow managing to maintain a chilled-out vibe and a fun event for age group numpties like us.
Part of that evolution has been the Barge to Beach, which, as the name suggests, involves swimmers jumping off a barge and swimming their way back to land through shark infested waters for 2 kilometres, because WHY THE HELL NOT?.
Our beloved former clubbie and committee stalwart Tiff Dahl has made this event her own, doing it many times, including this year. Well done Tiff.
But first, the Fiddy…
The other part of the evolution has been the 50 (‘The Fiddy’). What is The Fiddy? Well it’s exactly half the length of the Hundy (obvs, der – there really is no ambiguity in these names, is there?) and was introduced a few years back as a kind of an enticer event for those that wanted to be a part of the madness but baulked at the triple-digit-ed-ness of it.
In previous years, the Fiddy was something of a side-show Bob to the Hundy’s Krusty. It was run on the Sunday – same day as the Hundy but with a separate “special” transition area, like a leper colony, kept away from the proper triathletes. They also had limited numbers (just under 100 athletes last year), and did not give out age group awards, just 1st, 2nd and 3rd overall.
This was a bit of a problem for yours-truly. I did the Fiddy for the first time last year and I loved it and did rather well, however I still missed out on what (in my humble opinion) is the best thing about the Hundy – the Whale Tail Trophy. This is the coolest little piece of perspex you will ever see. David Witham, Chrissie Bowie, Matt Thompson and probably a few more people that I have forgotten about (soz) have all taken one of these home in the past. I was insanely jelly. And I wanted one. Bad.
Well this year they announced that the Fiddy was so popular (it sold out in minutes last year) it was getting its very own day – Saturday, a massively expanded field of athletes AND, best of all.. Whale Tails for gold silver and bronze in each category. WOOHOO!
To cut a long story short, and because this report is not about me, its about the whole weekend, I set me a goal of gettin’ a Whale Tail and with the help of my long-suffering coach Guru Dunc (cheers mate), I went and got me a Whale Tail
After a bit of a tense period between finishing and pressos, we worked out that everyone’s swim time had been stuffed up somehow, not just mine (I WISH I could swim 1k in 18 minutes Mr Timing Wizard) and the third place was confirmed. Woohoo!
BFG – Scotty Bassett made the Fiddy his come-back event (because WHY THE HELL NOT) and looked the goods –rocking the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air inverted sun-visor look which is now his trade mark. Well done mate.
Special mention to my better half, Tarn Bennett, who also wanted a WT badly, but just missed out on Bronze by a measly thirty seconds. . She did very well to just finish the event let alone come 4th out of 21 girls, after being unable to swim for a month due to a shoulder injury.
The other special mention goes to Kate Morris – who also did the Fiddy, albeit just as a “warm up” apparently, because WHY THE HELL NOT? But more on that later..
And On To the Big Show…
So me and the Tarninator, having done our bit, woke up at a leisurely hour on Sunday and meandered our way to tranny without a care in the world. I can highly recommend racing on a Saturday when everyone else is racing on a Sunday. It’s the best feeling.
Conditions on the Saturday had been okay. Not great, just okay. The swim was a little choppy and it was a bit overcast and windy. By contrast, the swim conditions on Sunday were just picture-postcode-perfect. Sunny and calm, flat waters with nary a slight breeze to speak of. Once again I was jelly. Very. I Actually felt like swimming for once in my life. Until I remembered the poor bastards had to swim 2k.
Everyone looked appropriately happy as they exited the swim and jumped on to their carbon fibre steeds for the bike leg.
A few of us, including Gillian Thomas and Liz Cussans (who both did the Fiddy too – well done) then took up some seats by the roadside opposite the Beach House Hotel. Liz was doing the run leg as part of a team with Fabio Spescha. At one point, when Fabio approached on his bike, inbound, naturally we all gave him a big cheer, which kind of drowned out what he was trying to say to Liz. We worked out that this might have been along the lines of “I’m finished this bike leg, so get your ass to transition tut suite!”.
Tarn relayed this to Liz, who said “shit!!”, dropped her bottle (literally) and promptly broke Usain Bolt’s 100m dash record, high-tailing it to transition for the changeover.
As it turns out, Fabio was actually saying that he was retiring due to injury (sorry to hear that Fabio, better luck next time mate), but it was still bloody funny seeing Liz in a panic for a bit. To her credit, she did the run anyway because WHY THE HELL NOT?
The only person who was quicker than Liz over the 100m was a pocket rocket wearing the St Andrews flag and more zinc in her hair than a Teck Resources miner. She flew down the finish chute screaming something about “freedoomm!”
The cheer squad cheered all the bankers loudly and heartily at every stage of the tri of course, but the most reciprocation we probably got was from the cyclists. None more so than Heather Farrell. In response to our whoops of “Go Heather!!” she very loudly announced:
“MY GINEEE HURTS SO BAD!!”
This piece of information appeared to be somewhat interesting to the patrons of the Beach House Hotel who were seated outside enjoying the spectacle and a frothy or two. And somewhat hilarious to her clubbies. Especially me.
When Heather then ran past the tent on her first run lap I delicately enquired as to the status of her nether regions and you will be pleased to know that the response was “not too bad now, thanks for asking”
Hope your landing gear has recovered sufficiently Heather.
Speaking of unmentionables, some call it a friendly tap on the backside, others call it sexual assault, but Tarn Bennett brought back “the tap” on the weekend. Receptions to this level of contact were varied to say the least. Despite her gynaecological isschews, Heather seemed up for it and leaned in, whereas Jess Collins looked positively mortified and leaned out. Not far enough as it happens. This was probably the only time Jess wasn’t wearing her customary Cheshire Cat grin. Seriously, she had to scrape the bugs off her teeth at the end of the race.
Massive kudos/props/shoutouts whatever you want to call it to Kate Morris. I mentioned earlier that she did the Fiddy as a warm up. Yep, you guessed it, she did the Hundy too to make it a Hundy-Fiddy weekend. Kate’s name will go down in history with about 20 other lunatics… er, I mean legends that raced both days, but she is the ONLY one that did it in a fluro green tutu because WHY THE HELL NOT?
Also huge props to the main man BFG for BBQ duties on the day – second or third year in a row I think he’s done this and he does a great job of supporting our clubbies and getting them fed and watered at the end of the race.
Podiums to club stalwart Chrissie Bowie and rising star – Jess Collins – 2nd podium in a row no less after having surprised herself at Yamba the weekend before!
I’m sure you will see the official times in the newsletter, but as I understand it, everyone else did pretty bloody well too. Some huge PBs to Adriana Freeman, Jess Collins, Phil Simpson, Nicolas Bianchi (we MUST get you an SBTC suit, or hat, or a shoe or SOMETHING mate, kept missing you as you ran past!) and Corie Williamson. Sincere apologies if I have missed anyone, like I said it was a HUGE weekend.
They all smashed a – 2k swim course with the last 200m or so AGAINST the current, some very warm and humid conditions, Gataker’s Hill (x4) and dodged grumpy boomers on mobility scooters on the run path. Talk about overcoming adversity.
That was just a few highlights. I wish I had written them all down because there were plenty but l can’t remember because I’m an old fart who can’t remember what he had for breakfast..
So thanks Hervey-Fiddy-Hundy for another great weekend.
Will we all be back next year? No doubt, because… WHY THE HELL NOT?
This race report was written by Steve Bennett.
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