Triathletes defy tough weather in classic

Headshot of Mitchell Woodcock
Mitchell WoodcockSouth Western Times

Strong winds and overcast conditions did not stop some of Western Australia’s best triathletes from competing in the Bunbury City Classic at Back Beach on Sunday.

The swim leg of the triathlon was cancelled due to dangerous swell, but a beach run was added to test the competitors’ endurance.

Canadian turned Australian Mike Lori won the men’s elite division, claiming the State Standard Distance Championship at the same time.

Lori finished the gruelling race in 1 hour 33 minutes and 7 seconds.

The Perth resident said he had felt good heading into the triathlon.

“I tapered really well this week. Training has been going well and I have been doing a lot of running in particular,” he said.

Mike Lori wins the Male State Standard Distance Triathlon in Bunbury on Sunday.
Camera IconMike Lori wins the Male State Standard Distance Triathlon in Bunbury on Sunday. Credit: South Western Times

“I knew I had that last leg in the bag.

“But knowing these boys, I would have to work hard on the swim and the ride.”

The 27-year-old said the cancellation of the swim changed his strategy.

“I know some of these boys are not good swimmers, but are great runners,” Lori said.

“That was going to make them much harder to beat.

“I knew it was going to change the race up a bit.”

Jonathon Sammut finished just behind Lori to end the race in second.

The 21-year-old was participating in this third race in the past three weekends.

He said despite that he was feeling good.

“I knew I had to put a bit into the bike to take on Mike,” he said.

Perth’s Kirby Diaz won the women’s elite category, finishing the race 1:47.17.

The 20-year-old said it felt awesome to grab the win.

She said the wing had made the entire race tough.

“Normally in the swim I am finding myself trying to catch up,” she said.

“This time I found I was trying to pace myself on the bike.

“I knew I had a strong run, so I got some distance away from the other girls so I had some energy left at the end.”

Diaz said she knew she was going to win when she ran past the pack of other competitors at the top of the hill.

“From here it was downhill and I felt pretty good from there,” she said.

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