TRIATHLON: Competitor Steven McKenna leads the men's open category during the bike leg of the Hervey Bay 100. Photo: Stuart Fast
TRIATHLON: Competitor Steven McKenna leads the men's open category during the bike leg of the Hervey Bay 100. Photo: Stuart Fast

‘Amazing from the start’: Triathlon back in Hervey Bay 100

TRIATHLON: Sunday was a big day for the Fraser Coast sporting calendar with the Hervey Bay 100 and Hervey Bay 50 triathlons taking place in the waters and along the Esplanade of the city.

The Hervey Bay 100 race featured a 2km, 80km bike ride and an 18km run.

The men's open category was won by triathlete Steven McKenna from Adelaide.

 

TRIATHLON: Competitor Steven McKenna wins the Hervey Bay 100 in the men's open category. Photo: Stuart Fast
TRIATHLON: Competitor Steven McKenna wins the Hervey Bay 100 in the men's open category. Photo: Stuart Fast

 

"It felt pretty amazing from the start, you can always tell 500m in if you're going to have a good race," he said.

"You were fighting the elements, it was hard race … thanks to Hervey Bay for such a good race."

When asked whether he would return for next year's event, Mr McKenna said: "yeah, for sure."

The women's open category was won by Amelia Watkinson, who is originally from New Zealand but moved to Coolum Beach.

TRIATHLON: Amelia Watkinson wins the women's open category in the Hervey Bay 100. Photo: Stuart Fast
TRIATHLON: Amelia Watkinson wins the women's open category in the Hervey Bay 100. Photo: Stuart Fast

"It was a pretty challenging race … I think the conditions were slightly tougher than we expected with the chop on the swim, that made it a bit slower," Ms Watkinson said.

"We like a big of grit, a bit of challenge to the race."

"I think it's (Hervey Bay 100) really well run, spectator friendly … it's well organised and everyone is really respectful of each other," she said.

The Hervey Bay 50 was run simultaneously to the large event, featuring half the distance for competitors looking for a shorter event while retaining the triathlon experience.

Hervey Bay local Lars Olsen came first in the event.

 

TRIATHLON: Competitor Lars Olsen crosses the finish line first for the Hervey Bay 50. Photo: Stuart Fast
TRIATHLON: Competitor Lars Olsen crosses the finish line first for the Hervey Bay 50. Photo: Stuart Fast

 

"I feel really good to be out their and give my best, with spectators cheering you on it's a really nice atmosphere," Mr Olsen said.

Like the competitors in the 100 event, Mr Olsen said the conditions were tough saying the winds challenged everyone, choppy waters and the air was very humid.

"We're lucky we've got a bit of cloud cover and the breeze does cool things down," he said.

Emma Quinn from Brisbane was the first female competitor to finish the Hervey Bay 50 and said after the turbulent year, it was good to compete in the Bay.

TRIATHLON: Emma Quinn was the first female competitor to cross the line in the Hervey Bay 50. Photo: Stuart Fast
TRIATHLON: Emma Quinn was the first female competitor to cross the line in the Hervey Bay 50. Photo: Stuart Fast

"I think it's so good for sport, for everyone … feeling extremely grateful to be back racing in such a beautiful place."

Vice-president of the Hervey Bay Triathlon Club and event director Jeff Morris said holding the event was "awesome."

"It's actually a little different from previous years, corona means there hasn't been a lot of races so people are excited to be racing and we have a lot of professionals this year.

"We've got a thousand people here … everyone was in town, the hotels are full and with the year that has been, it's really awesome for the town," Mr Morris said.