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Kakadu Triathlon back on track for 2014

15 April 2014

Jabiru's Phil and Belinda Maunder and Anthony and Jill Reid are encouraging competitors to go all out for their personal best in this year's Kakadu Triathlon. Registrations open Tuesday 1 April. Will you take the plunge?

OUR triathletes are hard at it once again, preparing to take the plunge, ride it out, and do the hard yards in the build-up to the 2014 Kakadu Triathlon.

Potential competitors are now swimming, cycling and running their way to fitness in readiness for the big event. And this year’s triathlon is shaping up to be bigger and better than before. Interest has grown not only among locals, but among hardcore triathletes around the country, following the runaway success of the inaugural event.

The triathlon, which won Community Event of the Year in this year’s Australia Day awards, is one of the biggest events on the Jabiru community calendar. This year there is a new category for kids to compete in, as well as the men’s, women’s and team events. Jabiru Area School Principal Phil Maunder said he was expecting “a fair few students” to enter the event.

“Juniors from 14 to 18 can enter individually, or as a team, and I would encourage them to do so,” Mr Maunder said.

The Juniors category is separate from the adults, and any juniors team must be juniors only. All entrants will take on a 250m swim, a 10km bike, and a 2.5km run. Last year, Phil Maunder and his wife Belinda came in third in the team category, with Phil cycling and Belinda taking on the running and swimming. But he draws the line at talking up his chances. “We are just hoping to finish this year,” Phil said.

Whoever crosses the finish line first will have their name put on the brand new Kakadu Triathlon perpetual trophy. The first name to be inscribed on that plaque will be former editor of The Wire, Chris Piggott, who took the honours at the finish line in last year’s event. Rumours have it the 2013 champion may be back in Kakadu in May to defend his title. When contacted via facebook, Mr Piggott would not be drawn on the speculation.

“Can’t confirm definitely back to defend just yet will keep you posted though,” Chris wrote.

Jabiru competitor Anthony Reid has nonetheless thrown down the gauntlet to Chris, saying his goal is to break the reigning champ’s record.

"I’ll iron that off just to rub it in,” Anthony said.

It’s hard to tell whether this tall, impassive athlete is serious, or merely trying to psych out the opposition. But when pressed, Anthony does admit to having prior experience in triathlons.

“Yes, I did one, and I finished 71st in a field of 100,” he says with a straight face.

Anthony, who has just finished a season with the Jabiru Bombers, said he was looking to regain “a bit of aerobic capacity” with his training regime.

“Swimming is probably my weakest leg, so I will be getting in the pool,” he said. “I enjoy my long-distance running – anywhere you are, you’ve got all the equipment you need to run.”

Anthony’s wife Jill said she probably wouldn’t compete in this year’s event at the end of May.

“I’m expecting a baby in July,” she said. “I could complete the event, but it wouldn’t be in record time.”

On Saturday 31 May the Jabiru Pool will be awash with competitors, and spectators will line Jabiru’s streets to cheer their favourite triathletes home. For those wanting to get in on the ground floor, registrations open 1 April. Be quick, because there are a limited number of places.

Follow the Kakadu Triathlon facebook page to keep up with the latest info.

If you want to get involved, but without all the huff and puff, organisers are also looking for
volunteers. Contact Pat Carrick on 0437 426 451 or email for details.

For competitors, The Wire will help you hit the ground running with an 8-week training program,
starting in this fortnight’s edition.

The Kakadu Triathlon would like to thank sponsors Gagadju Lodge Cooinda and Crocodile Holiday Inn, West Arnhem College, West Arnhem Regional Council, ERA, Jabiru Police, and Jabiru Fire Station for their assistance.