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Reported on:
23 June 2017 - 6:00am

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Dirt Fest

The dirt fest weekend long event was a good one, looked forward to by young and old alike.

This year hubby did the short triathlon course (350m swim, 10km mountain bike ride, 4km run), I did the 2km fun/trail run as did my second oldest daughter, while the younger two did the mud rats run. My eldest babysat our spot (read most of the day) and did enjoy the atmosphere despite what she would tell you.

There was mud this year, and lots of it. You could not avoid it, but this was just part of the fun and every athlete who came in, from the mud rats to the veterans, were splattered with it. No one cared though as it made the course more challenging and interesting.

Throughout the event there were people who were worth taking notice of, and they weren’t just the winners. There were those who were doing their first triathlon, those who came from interstate, from the dusty dry outback, those who laughed, those who got lost on the course and those who finished despite the personal challenges they faced. It was inspirational, the atmosphere was great and no one was made to feel like a looser.

Some of those worth mentioning are

- The guy who was on the short triathlon course and he broke something on his bike during the first circuit of the mountain bike leg so he could not peddle it. He finished the first round using his bike as a scooter and when he was informed that if he couldn’t fix his bike himself, with his own gear (triathlon rules) he could either pull out or just keep on going. He kept on going, doing the next 5km circuit on his bike as best he could. Then he went on to finish with the 4km run and eventually ending up on the podium receiving a place.

- There was the girl (about 10yrs) who took the wrong turn on the bike leg of her mini triathlon and ended up completing the 5km adult track instead of the easy 3km kids track. She came in dead last, almost in tears but because she continued, and did not just quit she proved to be a winner that day. Everyone applauded her effort and she was even given a competitors medal and shirt instead of the usual lolly reward for this free event. Hopefully she will continue in her chosen sport.

- The little kids who respected the unspoken rules and played well together, staying out of the way of competitors

 

My part of the weekend was was spent mostly waiting for things to happen.

The actual race itself was a good one and supposed to be only 2km (ended up being close to 3km). There were seven of us at the beginning and when it came time for the medals there were 8! Not sure how that happened.

The track itself was muddy, had lots of exposed tree roots to jump over, and a stinky muddy puddle to wade through while trying not to loose my shoes. Sometimes it felt like you were running up and down stairs, like you were in the middle of nowhere (no people sounds to be heard), and completely lost. I was uncertain on this track and took off too quickly (in order to put on a good show before disappearing into the bush), and wore myself out a little too early on in the race. At one stage during the run I thought I had gotten myself lost because I should be almost finished but then just a couple of hundred meters down the track there was a marshal pointing me in the right direction and i was back on track again. I came in to the cheers of my family, who were waving their ‘go mum’ sign, and despite my slow run was awarded with second place in my age category.

From this weekend I bring back a renewed vigour for wanting to increase my performance so I am not so slow behind everyone else. So I can compete instead of just finish. I don’t plan on being the person who brings home the medal, even though it is nice, but just be able to do, feel strong, and happy with the run. I was not happy with this run and something in me wants to go back and do it again, but I must now wait a year before I can. How much more can I achieve in the next year? A lot more I hope. At least pick up a little speed and endurance anyhow.