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 > Home Page > About > Latest News > GENTLE DOES IN BATTLE ROYLE AS JOHN MACLEAN INSPIRES AT NATION AT NEPEAN TRIATHLON

GENTLE DOES IN BATTLE ROYLE AS JOHN MACLEAN INSPIRES AT NATION AT NEPEAN TRIATHLON


GENTLE DOES IN BATTLE ROYLE AS JOHN MACLEAN INSPIRES AT NATION AT NEPEAN TRIATHLON

 

The Gold Coast’s Commonwealth Games representative Ashleigh Gentle has continued the girl’s domination in today’s Atmosphere Health and Fitness Club “Battle of the Sexes” Nepean Triathlon.

The unique Female v Male Handicap Challenge in Australia’s oldest triathlon saw the Elite females given 10 minutes 18 seconds start on the Elite Males and as hard as the boys tried they couldn't match it with the fairer sex.

Gentle admitted she didn’t really think about the chase behind her until she saw leading male Aaron Royle around the back on the final run course –  hanging n to win by 44 seconds.

Nepean 2014_Delly Carr SportshootNepean 2014_Delly Carr Sportshoot Aaron Royle 

But while the "Battle Royle" in the Elites opened up proceedings at Penrith Lakes, the extraordinary feat of one of Australia's most inspirational triathletes, Paralympian John Maclean captured the imagination and the hearts of the sporting world later in the day when he climbed from his wheelchair to swim, ride and run his way around his favourite Nepean course in one of Australian sport's miracle moments.

More than 25 years after becoming a Paraplegic from an horrific truck accident Mclean tossed his wheelchair aside and walked across the line, completing the 10km run leg with the aid of walking poles, in an amazing show of Aussie spirit and true grit, admitting it was the hardest thing he had ever done, before he was awarded with the inaugural President's Award by an emotional Triathlon Australia president David Ferrier.

Nepean 2014_Delly Carr Sportshoot John Maclean 

It was a golden day all-round for triathlon with Australia’s future Olympians on show in a 7am start on the track that Maclean has made his own over the years with Gentle claiming bragging rights for the girls for the fifth time in six years as she joined previous handicap winners: Barbara Riveros (2008); Melissa Vandewater (2009), Michelle Wu (2010), Melissa Rollison (2011) and Emma Moffatt (2013) on the honour role.

“I thought towards the back end of the course that I had a bit of gap on them and maybe I could relax a bit with the Noosa Triathlon coming up next weekend but then again I knew Aaron Royle was a pretty good runner,” said Gentle, who won the handicap by 44 seconds, adding a $2000 bonus to her $14,000 winners cheque.

Former ITU Under 23 World Champion and Glasgow Teams Relay bronze medallist Royle set off after Gentle on the final 10km run but ran out of road – with both athletes admitting they had “The Noosa Triathlon on their minds” next weekend.

The $74,000 Nepean Triathlon attracted red-hot fields with Gentle proving too slick in the Elite women’s field for Brisbane-based training partners, Commonwealth Games Teams Relay bronze medallist and last week’s Tongyeong World Cup winner Emma Jackson and 2014 ITU Under 23 World Championship silver medallist Gillian Backhouse.

Nepean 2014_Delly Carr Sportshoot Emma Jackson 

Royle was pushed along in the 1km swim by 70.3 star Josh Armberger who worked hard on the 30km bike in and around Penrith Lakes, with Royle hanging on to his every move before embarking on the final 10km run.

Fresh from his victory in the Fernleigh 15km trail run win in Newcastle last weekend, Royle knew he was in good form but he also knew he had to keep pushing to keep his fellow Wollongong Wizard training partners Jacob Birtwhistle and fellow Glasgow Teams Relay bronze medallist Ryan Bailie at bay.


Nepean 2014_Delly Carr Sportshoot Jacob Birtwhislte

Tasmanian Birtwhistle, the silver medallist in the ITU Junior World Championship in Edmonton this year, stepped up to the plate to split his more experienced rivals in a show of strength by Australia’s next generation of Elite Males.

In the end it was Royle (1:25.32), who snatched the $14,000 winners cheque from Birtwhistle (1:26.20) and Bailie (1:26.34) while the women’s saw Gentle first in 1:35.06, followed by Jackson (1:37.19) and Backhouse (1:37.44).

Royle, like Gentle was delighted with the chance to race in Sydney in what will be an ideal hit out for their Noosa race next weekend.

“We started out quickly in the swim and Josh Armberger went out pretty hard and gapped me a bit at the start,” said Royle.

“Once we got out of the water Josh and I had a bit of a gap….I knew Josh was a pretty good rider and I had to get on with him and hopefully work together.

“He did most of the hard work; I tried to come through when I could and I was pretty tired and when I knew I was five minutes behind Ashleigh it was always going to be hard to peg her back.

“It got to the point where I did have Noosa on my mind and I didn’t want to wake up tomorrow and not be able to walk for a week.

“But it’s great to win back-to-back here at Australia’s oldest triathlon in front of my family and (like Ashleigh) a huge thanks to everyone for making it happen, the Nepean Triathlon organisers, sponsors and volunteers.”

It was a day that everyone witnessed the next generation of Olympic triathletes in full cry and an Australian man named John Maclean who showed them all you can follow your dreams no matter what hurdles are sent to try and stop you.

Everyone in the triathlon world is inspired by John Maclean – a truly remarkable Australian.

Nepean 2014_Delly Carr Sportshoot John Maclean bike 

Nepean 2014_Delly Carr Sportshoot John Maclean walk 

 

ATMOSPHERE HEALTH AND FITNESS CLUB NEPEAN TRIATHLON RESULTS

TOP TEN MEN

1

Aaron ROYLE

01:25:32

2

Jacob BIRTWHISTLE

01:26:20

3

Ryan BAILIE

01:26:34

4

Peter KERR

01:26:48

5

Cameron GOOD

01:26:57

6

Jesse FEATONBY

01:27:49

7

Nicholas KASTELEIN

1:28:23

8

Josh AMBERGER

01:29:32

9

Sam APPLETON

01:30:01

10

Nuru SOMI

01:30:58

 

 

TOP TEN WOMEN

1

Ashleigh GENTLE

01:35:06

2

Emma JACKSON

01:37:19

3

Gillian BACKHOUSE

01:37:44

4

Felicity SHEEDY-RYAN

01:38:44

5

Sarah CROWLEY

01:40:32

6

Andrea FORREST

01:42:13

7

Grace DEVESON

01:42:50

8

Lisa MARANGON

01:45:25

9

Georgia STOTT

01:46:40

10

Christine WOLFSON

01:47:31

 

 

 

 

PRIZEMONEY

  • 1st Male and Female – $14,000
  • 2nd Male and Female – $8,000
  • 3rd Male and Female – $4,000
  • 4th Male and Female – $3,000
  • 5th Male and Female – $2,500
  • 6th Male and Female – $2,000
  • 7th Male and Female – $1,500
  • 8th Male and Female – $1,000
  • 9th Male and Female – $750
  • 10th Male and Female – $500

 

Images courtesy of Delly Carr/Sportshoot