Hell of the West Race Recap
Goondiwindi's famous heat was replaced with a day of wet racing out of the water at this year's Hell of the West, with athletes treated to an uncharacteristic (but welcomed) wet weather race this past weekend in Queensland's west. Weeks of storms and wind in the lead-up to the race disrupted the water quality, which meant the format required a change to a run-bike-run format after the river water quality didn't want to cooperate. Despite a break from the heat, yesterday's Hell of the West tested the determination of those who made it to the starting line. Now in its 29th year, the Festival of Hell, a weekend of racing in Goondiwindi, is a staple of Queensland's racing calendar, allowing athletes to push themselves in some of Australia's toughest conditions.
As the temperatures were not too hot, athletes managed to keep their cool, with Kerry Morris coming out on top of the women's field in an incredible fashion, in a time of 3:47:01. It was nearly a sprint finish in the women's field, with Queenslander Meredith Hill just missing out by seven seconds to secure second place in 3:47:08, and Sidney Andrew coming in third with 3:53:15.
There was less of a sprint race to the finish line in the men's competition, with Simon Hearn managing to secure a win more than seven minutes ahead of the second place-getter, crossing the finish line in 3:14:35 (with a blistering second run leg of 1:09:15). Finishing in second place was 2016 HOTW champion Sam Betten in a time of 3:21:42, and Trent Thorpe rounded out the top three with a time of 3:23:23.
Age group athletes brought an incredibly strong performance on the day as well, with Sean Richardson (Atlas Multisport) finishing in 3:31:39, and Roslynn Quirk (Pursue Triathlon Club) finishing in 3:58:24.
All age group athletes racing in the Hell of the West long course event scored Nissan State Series points towards their overall tally; with four races still to go in the state series, there's only a small amount of time left to change your position on the board! With two double points races coming up in March (Tweed Coast Aquabike and Kingscliff Sprint Distance Triathlon), as well as one final double points race in April (Moreton Bay Triathlon, Championship Race), now is the best time to dive in and start racking up points before the season's over!
A full updated Nissan State Series points tally can be found here.