WEARY athletes are steadily making their way back to Warrnambool this week after completing the Shepparton Half Ironman.
All but one of the 30-plus Warrnambool Triathlon Club contingent finished the gruelling event, staged in near-perfect weather.
James Goss was the first WTC member home, finishing the 1.9-kilometre swim, 90km ride and 21.1km run in four hours, 58 minutes and 52 seconds.
Other better-than-expected performances came from Stuart Reeve (5.08.35), Anthony Cook (5.09.01) and Paul Clift (5.14.46), who were all on debut.
“They were some really good efforts, fantastic efforts first up,” WTC secretary Leigh McCarthy said.
“All those boys have taken up triathlon in the last couple of years. They’ve built up slowly with the amount of work they’ve done. Obviously they’ve got a bit of genetic potential but they’ve used that and worked very hard to get there.”
McCarthy said a host of other WTC members — Goss, Andrew Nadaraj and Stephen Bald included — achieved personal best times.
Female competitors Sandy McDonald, Lisa Worden and Shelli Rantall also put in admirable efforts.
“In 2010 we had five competitors. Last year we had in the high 20s, this year it was 30-plus,” McCarthy said.
“And the most pleasing aspect from my point of view is just the support of the number of families and friends and kids that made the effort to come up and stand there from six in the morning until two in the afternoon.
“The kids on the day were fantastic, they got dressed up in club colours and made plenty of noise. It’s a long day for a supporter. For a country club, we would’ve had more supporter numbers and people showing club colours than any other there.”
The Warrnambool Triathlon Club’s next event will be an aquathon criterion on December 28.