It has been four months since our last Club event at Heffron. Like a sleuth of bears emerging from hibernation, 28 grizzlies and a litter of cubs stretch out and prepare to reinvigorate body and mind. But don’t be deceived – bears are fast, and today records will tumble.
The course awaits – a 20.4km spin wedged between a 2.5km dash and 5.0km run. “Ready, set, go” releases an impatient start line accompanied by cheers from families and teammates on the sidelines.
Hungry for action, the front of the pack devours the first leg in no time at all. On his Club debut Michael Hazan clocks an 8:32 (3:25/km) that ends Craig Pager’s 5-year reign by just 10 seconds! In the Male category, Hazan is followed by other sub 4 min/km springboks including Greg Reinhardt (3:37/km), Jarred Shein (3:39/km), Tim Lindop (3:48/km) and Roy Cohen (3:52/km). In the Female category Jana Greenblo hovers into T1 in 11:22 (4:33/km), 11 seconds faster than Tracey Amoils’s record of 7 years! And team entrant Seb Ruiz breaks the sound barrier by concluding the 2.5km sprint in 8:31 (3:24/km).
Soon enough the entire field is looping around Heffron’s semi technical cycle track. It’s ten laps and several critical corners for this segment. Looking like a torpedo, Shein (33:53) accelerates past Hazan into first position. Pager also overtakes Hazan by pulling off the fastest cycle (33:36, 36.4km/h) but is unable to bridge the gap to Shein.
Back on two legs, the final chapter unfolds. Shein starts the 5.0km run about 2 minutes ahead of his rivals Pager (+1:54) and Hazan (+2:14). About the same time, Daniel Bos completes his cycle and unleashes teammate Ruiz into the fray +1:47 after Shein. Ruiz sets a punishing pace of 3:44/km that slingshots Team Ruiz/Bos (1:04:27) across the finish line before all individual entrants demonstrating that it takes a team to beat Shein who finishes first male in 1:04:39, while Hazan (1:06:17) hunts down a still injured Pager (1:08:04) to claim second place.
Not far behind, another battle is underway, Roy Cohen starts the run 11 seconds behind his contemporary Bonne Lee but chips away at the deficit for a ‘photo finish’ win in the 50-59 category (1:08:33) exactly one second ahead of Lee and 48 seconds before Lindop. Among the veterans (60+), Norman Abel leads the charge (1:22:10), followed by Malcolm Kofsky (+7s) and Jeffrey Reinhardt (+1:47), who together with his son Greg made ‘the trek’ from the northern suburbs to participate today. During this leg, only one person – Barry Abkin – set a better pace on the second run than the first, probably because of his affinity for Ironman distances!
In the female division, Greenblo never misses a beat, conquering the course in 1:23:40 followed by Vanessa Levy-Mesman (1:32:22). We continually encourage more women to follow in their fast footsteps and get involved in the Club, so it was great to see Inga Bergman step into the action today as part of a husband-and-wife team.
But it’s away from the spotlight where you’ll find the real champions of the day – the youngsters who shunned a Sunday morning sleep-in in favour of today’s duathlon. High fives to brothers Jeremy and Casey Sher each participating in the kids’ short course and likewise to brother and sister Riley and Rocco Pager who teamed up to tackle the kids’ longer course.
Well done to all involved, both on and off the field.
- Daniel Bos