What an exciting Club Champs we had this year! Bringing back the trophy to the Northern Beaches for the second year in a row. Nearly 100 club members raced, 15 volunteered and friends and family joined us in support. Thank you to all for being part of the weekend . Below two of our female members talk about their race and enjoyment at being part of the winning club:
Club Champs marked Chrisite Sym's return to triathlon following two years of recovery following an injury - and she was first in her age group. Here she tells us about her day at Club Champs:
Following a two-year hiatus from the sport of triathlon, I made a last minute decision to enter the NSW Club Championships held in Forster. It was at a Saturday afternoon club swim down at Manly Beach that I caught some club spirit, and decided it was time to get involved in the sport once again. My chronic foot injury that had forced my withdrawal from professional competition in 2012 had finally healed, and I was well on the way to regaining fitness.
My first exposure to the sport of triathlon was at the NSW Club Championships back in 2003, where some Warringah members had talked me into joining them on what was known to be the best weekend away each year. They didn’t disappoint, and the Saturday night was definitely the highlight of the weekend. So to join the Warringah crew and relaunch my triathlon career in Forster a few weeks ago seemed fitting, and a fun weekend away!
Besides being in the very last wave, the race went off without a hitch. I was able to watch most club members swim and commence the ride, and the club spirit was well and truly alive. Plenty of friendly sledging, encouragement and support from fellow competitors and supporters is what the weekend is all about.
The course in Forster is a lot of fun, with a surf swim to kick off the race. Leading out of the water by over a minute was honestly the highlight of my race, and created a nice little lead heading out on the bike. The bike course traverses around the coastal streets of Forster, treating competitors to a fun bike ride through some tough little hills and sweeping corners. Not your ordinary triathlon bike course, and in my opinion a lot of fun! Onto the run and I still held the lead, dashing across the Forster/Tuncurry bridge and cheering on fellow club members along the way. The two lap run course allows you to give and receive plenty of support, and keep a close eye on your competition! I was lucky enough to have no problems out on the course, and crossed the line, ok no leaped across the line in first. Yes I was pretty excited to be back racing!
The great thing about club champs is the fact that you are actually competing as a team, in this case being Warringah. Later that night a fun club dinner was followed by the exciting, and a little bit surprising news, that Warringah had in fact won the Club Championships. A solid achievement, with contribution from each and every competitor and volunteer from the club. Many beverages were consumed, and a bit of dirty dancing too I hear, with most staying around for a nice casual Sunday morning breakfast. All in all a fantastic weekend.
Congratulations to all that attended, whether to compete, volunteer, or support. I’d encourage those club members that missed out this year to get involved in 2015, it’s one race you really shouldn’t miss!
Danielle Albertz is a new club member who decided to experience her first Club Champs as a volunteer. She tells her story:
There was a lot of firsts for me this year and the club champs weekend was no exception – first club champs, first time volunteering, first time being part of the WINNING club champs team!
I’d been told by a friend about the vibe at Club Champs, she wasn’t wrong. I decided to volunteer for the weekend for a couple of reasons; I’m trying to save for a big trip later this year, so I could meet some other members and to experience what it was like to volunteer but still be part of the event. So when I saw Bev’s post about being short on volunteers I knew I had to step up.
I drove up from Sydney that morning and my faithful co-pilot, Shannon and I talked about it pretty much the whole way. It was an understatement to say that I was excited. Forster was a hive of activity when we arrived and it was gorgeous out, an awesome start to the weekend. I found out one of my roomies, Andy (Alex Gooch’s other half) was one of the bike course volunteer managers and quickly recruited me as a part of his team. After checking in with the other volunteers and a catch up with some of the other club members, Andy and I headed out for our adventure – I wasn’t even sure we were still in Forster?! We stopped at a corner surrounded by farmland, this is where I met the friendliest horse ever, Mr Ed - he rushed over to greet us as soon as we arrived.
Armed with a lunch pack full of goodies, a daggy hat and trusty steed by my side I prepared for the first of the riders to come round the corner. Our task was to prepare the riders for a sharp turn at the bottom of a slight hill, so asking for them to slow down and showing everyone which way to go. I assumed my position just before the corner and warned all my fellow Warringah team members – slow down, sharp turn to the right and all the other teams to speed up for the left turn ahead. Just kidding (maybe).
Finally at around 4ish we were done for the day, we headed over to the club tent I was excited to hear all the stories, timings and to see how everyone went. From what I saw, everyone did an amazing job. We headed back to the apartment to freshen up for dinner and to relax, I was exhausted! I had underestimated how tiring standing out in the sun all day could be. Volunteering is definitely hard work, but nothing a cold beer couldn’t fix.
At around 6 we all headed over to Forster RSL for some dinner and drinks. Everyone had a great day and I vicariously lived through everyone who had raced. The speeches were awesome and it really reinforced my decision to join this club, everyone is so encouraging, motivating and inspiring - I knew then that we were going to win.
We all headed into the main auditorium and the countdown began. They finally announced us as the winners by a mere three points!! Wow! What an amazing feeling, everyone in the club cheered, whistled and yelled. The fact that we had only won by a few points reiterated that every single one of us had contributed to this win.
This was the perfect ending to an amazing day and one that I’ll never forget…well, at least until next year when I’ll be racing, winning my age group and watching Warringah win another Club Championship title – surely that’s not too much to hope for?
You can view some great photos of club members racing HERE - thanks Champ!