Gropers at the World Multisport Championships
Congratulations to these Gladstone Gropers who competed at the World Multisport Championships in 2019 – Report by Fran Moroney.
Since coming back to pool swimming and joining the Gropers I’ve also gone back to my love of open water swimming. A couple of other club members and I have participated in quite a few open water swims such as the Noosa Summer Swim, Australia Day Swim at Yeppoon and many others.
As well as training with the Gropers, I also swim with the local triathlon group and have, over the last few years done many triathlons as part of team doing the swim leg. Because this entailed running up the beach and into transition, I also took up regular running training.
A couple of years ago I learned of the Multisport Championships. One of the events was the Aquathlon. The Aquathlon is a swim and run event. It usually consists of a 1km open water swim followed by a 5km run. To qualify to represent Australia you must take part in 2 – 3 qualifying events. I’ve been lucky enough to qualify in both 2018, Denmark and 2019, Spain.
Two other Gropers members, Alison and Paul Green, joined me in qualifying for the World Multisport Championships in Pontevedra Spain last year. All three of us took part in the Aquathlon, while Paul took on the challenge of also participating in the Long Distance Triathlon. The swim was in the River Lerez which was a first for us all. We’d never swum in a river!
The day of the Aquathlon the water temperature was a cold 14 degrees as there was still snow in the mountains nearby. Athletes could wear neoprene caps and boots, but not many of us Aussies had these and we just resorted to wearing double caps for the race. I for one was glad to get out and run and hopefully warm up. The day of Paul’s long distance triathlon started off even colder and the swim leg was shortened from 3.8kms to 1.5km. Paul acquitted himself well in the race and Alison and I were enthusiastic supporters for him and the other Aussies competing.
The atmosphere at the competition was great, it was wonderful to meet lots of athletes from other countries as well as those from Australia. The competition ran for a week with 5 disciplines and about 5,000 competitors. The races were; Sprint Duathlon, Standard Duathlon, Cross Triathlon, Aquathlon and Long Distance Triathlon.
I qualified again this year for the championships which were to be held in Amsterdam. Unfortunately, due to the current crisis this has been cancelled and pushed back to next year. The following year in 2022, these championships will be held in Townsville and I’m hoping to represent Australia in my own country then.