Brian Harrington at the Duathlon at River Heads.
Brian Harrington at the Duathlon at River Heads. Alistair Brightman

Hervey Bay's milestone men to race Noosa No. 30

TRIATHLON: They are two of Hervey Bay Triathlon Club's legends, and this weekend Brian Harrington and Neale Glanfield will write another chapter of triathlon lore.

Harrington and Glanfield will compete in their 30th Noosa Triathlon, a major milestone that will unlock free entry to all future Noosa Triathlon events.

They are among more than 50 Fraser Coast athletes to travel to the Sunshine Coast.

The Noosa Triathlon Multisport Festival attracts thousands from across the country to the world's largest Olympic distance triathlon, but Harrington and Glanfield remember a time when it wasn't quite as difficult to find accommodation for the annual event.

Harrington's introduction was as a young volunteer surf life saver in 1983, a year when competitors rode BMX bikes - a far cry from the professional set-ups you will see now.

"My first race was in 1985, but going back to those days it was about 200 people for the triathlon. Now it's 20 to 30,000 people and with the ocean swim,” Harrington said.

Hervey Bay Triathlon - Neale Glanfield.
RACING: Neale Glanfield will race his 30th Noosa Triathlon. Alistair Brightman

Glanfield has missed just one Noosa Triathlon, in 2000, since his first attempt in 1987.

While he freely admitted his competitive days were finished in the 1990s - "I've never been super fast but I could go top 10 if I put my mind to it” - the Noosa Triathlon has become an annual tradition for Glanfield and his wife, Vikki. The two were this year awarded life membership of Hervey Bay Triathlon Club and Vikki will compete in her 15th Noosa Triathlon this weekend.

There is a friendly, competitive rivalry between Glanfield and Harrington, though the former said it generally came down to which of the pair actually trained for the event.

"If neither of us have trained then we go around together,” Glanfield said. "This year, the three of us are all starting in the same wave. Last year we stopped halfway up the hill together and shared a glass of champagne on the side.”

Harrington will wear No. 105 and Glanfield No.106.

"We have permanent numbers at Noosa and Mooloolaba,” Harrington said.

"The target is to finish but sub two hours 30 minutes would be good.”

The Noosa Triathlon will be held tomorrow.

Athletes will swim 1.5km, ride 40km and run 10km across five broad categories.