NOT much surprises Dean Picken these days, which highlights how taken aback he was by earning Warrnambool Tri Club (WTC) life membership.
“I’m off the committee at the moment. I’m only running Sufferfest and some of the junior stuff. I’m taking a hiatus,” Picken said.
“They snuck that one in very sneakily. I’m not normally surprised but I was when they announced my name.”
Travis Greening was also stunned when he received the same honour at the club’s presentation night on Saturday.
“They got me to present Dean with his life membership. I made a bit of a speech and presented him,” Greening said.
“When I was up there they said ‘while you’re here, stay up here’ and they presented me with one as well.”
Picken and Greening are the inaugural WTC life members. The honours recognise their work transforming the club into what it is today.
Greening and David Fary helped re-form the club in 2008, although races were only occasional and training sessions irregular.
Picken joined soon after and is credited with changing the direction of the club, which this season boasted almost 200 members.
Greening said he had relished his involvement with WTC. He met many of his friends and training partners through the club.
“It’s definitely been an enjoyable journey. I’ve probably got as much out of the tri club as I’ve put in,” he said.
Picken was likewise proud to earn life membership, describing the accolade as “an immense honour”.
“For Travis and myself to receive that, I was pretty dumbfounded to be honest. I still haven’t come to grips with what it means,” he said.
“I guess it’s just acknowledgement from your peers. That’s the main thing. They’ve appreciated the work we’ve all put in.”
The life memberships highlighted WTC’s end-of-season presentation night. Kris McCartney and Natasha Cross were named the 2013-14 club champions.
The evening followed a season-ending reverse triathlon at Albert Park, won by David English and Catherine Clancey.
The pair took out their respective categories in the event — a three-kilometre run, 9.6km ride and 200-metre pool swim.
Club president Claire Farrer said 25 people contested the handicapped competition.
“Everyone was in Lamby’s (Jayson Lamb’s) pool at the same time so there was carnage,” she joked.
“It was a good, fun way to finish the season and we tend to get new people have a go to see if they are interested and we often see them the next year.”
Farrer paid tribute to Picken and Greening.
“They are two people who fired the tri club up again,” she said.