COMMENTATORS at the Port Macquarie Ironman were asking what’s in the water at Wagga Wagga as seven of 23 Wagga Triathlon Club members competing finished under the benchmark time of 10 hours on Sunday.
Wagga Triathlon Club won the division four Ken Baggs Cup, awarded to Australian triathlon club category four champions.
“It’s a huge achievement by the club, it shows our preparation and training was on the mark,” Wagga Triathlon Club president Chris Waring said.
Entrants battled the elements and came up trumps riding against a 40km long headwind on the bike leg, and dodging stray logs in the flooded river on the swim leg after 80mm of rain on Saturday.
Waring attained a personal best, beating his 2013 time by an hour and five minutes.
He said the secret to success was a more relaxed approach.
“I smiled all the way around, and just soaked it all up,” Waring said.
Ryan Miller finished second in his age division, and eighth overall from 2000 entrants at nine hours and 16 minutes, qualifying for the Ironman World Championships at Hawaii in October.
“Ryan’s effort was just enormous,” Waring said.
Miller praised the collective efforts of his fellow Wagga club members and some 150 supporters who travelled to cheer them on.
“We really put Wagga on the map,” Miller said.
Miller thanked world triathlon champion Brad Kahlefeldt for his assistance leading up to the race.
“Having a triathlete prepare you for the race was a big help,” he said.
Jared Kahlefeldt and Marcus Smith have also qualified for Hawaii and Miller will be working closely with them in upcoming months.
Kahlefeldt finished first in his age division on Sunday, and Smith qualified at the Melbourne Ironman seven weeks ago.
The World Championships will bring a host of challenges for the Wagga triathletes.
“We’ll be training through winter and the race is in the lava fields, with over 40 degrees of heat coming off the road, it’s going to be a huge shock,” Miller said.
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