Brisbane based training partners Max Neumann and Kerry Morris have revelled in perfect race conditions defending their Mooloolaba Triathlon titles in style.
Max was happy to go back to back and was delighted with his early season run form, holding off charging IRONMAN champion Josh Amberger and Canadian Brennen Smith.
“Mooloolaba doesn’t get calmer than this,” Max said. “The swim was solid and group of six of us went at it on the swim and ride. The conditions were perfect but no wind on the bike makes it harder to get away.”
“It came down to a running race. I can’t complain, I love a good running race and I had the legs and got the win, which was good. Back to back is always pretty hard to do because you are targeted but I am really happy to defend it and I will be back for the hat trick next year. I would have loved to race the World Cup yesterday, but everything has to go right and unfortunately I couldn’t get a start.”
Max will be staying around Queensland for the early part of the season racing two ITU Continental Cups in the Gold Coast and at Redcliffe to hopefully improve his ITU ranking.
“I am still unsure what the year will look like so I will pay it by ear for the first couple of months of this season. There are two races an Olympic distance and sprint so depending on how I go there will determine if I can get World Cup starts. They will be extremely good races with lots of internationals. By May I will have an idea, hopefully it all goes well and I can finish the year in Noosa.”
“To go one better at Noosa this year would be a dream come true but being an Olympic year everyone is going to be flying, so it will be tough,” he said.”
Second placed Josh Amberger was in Mooloolaba to support his partner Ash Gentle and to get some much needed race conditioning in preparation for his tilt at the IRONMAN African Championship in April.
“I head to South Africa for the IRONMAN and my eyes are certainly on that race. The field is shaping up to be spectacular so it will be a great start to the IRONMAN season. So I came here for a training race so I spent most of the time on the front of the bike with Max Neumann just trying to put some load through the legs to get that bike to run transition.”
“Being in the middle of an IRONMAN block, when I went out on the run I wasn’t feeling that great but I probably ended up negatively splitting it and made my way back into second. It was a good hit out and I am certainly feeling it now but I am really happy to come away with second.”
“I am super proud of Ash winning yesterday and she was out there supporting me during her morning run. That was awesome because she doesn’t get to see me race every often. It was really good,” Josh said.
After a tough learning curve in 2018, Kerry Morris was also happy to return to Mooloolaba to defend her title and alongside Max, make it two from two for the Brisbane based Cam Watt squad. Kerry was never seriously challenged and in control all morning running, out an easy winner over Kiwi Amelia Watkinson.
“I usually do IRONMAN 70.3 but I got a little bit burnt out at the end of last year. We were based in St Moritz and travel was huge hopping around from race to race. It was the first season blowing out all the cobwebs and I know it will be a lot easier this year. I am looking forward to getting back over there and putting all those lessons I learned into practice.”
“To get me motivated Cam said he wanted to throw in some short stuff to have a bit more fun and I have fallen in love with it. I will stick with it for the aussie season and then see where I go from there.”
“I am racing next week in the Super League qualifier race in Bali and I wasn’t sure going to do Mooloolaba but the closer we got to it my coach Cam Watt said he couldn’t see any reason why not. I am really glad that I did do it. Sometimes you don’t know what you have in you until you are out there.” I am really stoked with the result and to go back to back,” she said.
Buderim’s Jason Crowther was first across the line in the brand new Mooloolaba Sprint race. The former pro, turned coach was full of praise for the addition of the sprint format in the Mooloolaba program.
“I am an ex-elite triathlete and I have been coaching for a few years with Atlas Multisport and I run events like the Sunny Coast Marathon. Racing is more of a hobby for me now and I was happy to be out there, I . The Sprint distance goes off first and it was a great opportunity to race draft legal and then get out there and cheer home the Olympic distance athletes.”
“I really commend the Mooloolaba Tri organisers and TA for putting on a sprint distance. Beginners who are spectating or not racing today need to get into the sprint format because it is a really good opportunity to be introduced to the sport,” he said.
1 Max NEUMANN 01:49:49 00:18:22 00:55:38 00:33:30
2 Josh AMBERGER 01:51:13 00:18:23 00:55:34 00:34:49
3 Brennen SMITH 01:51:45 00:18:26 00:55:42 00:35:20
1 Kerry MORRIS 02:01:53 00:20:24 00:59:36 00:39:17
2 Amelia WATKINSON 02:03:04 00:20:28 01:01:47 00:38:13
3 Romy WOLSTENCROFT 02:05:35 00:20:24 01:04:43 00:37:52