Ron ready to continue a tradition at Noosa Tri
TRIATHLON: Having completed 33 Noosa Triathlons, Queensland triathlon legend Ron Acutt has seen the event grow from a casual Sunday morning swim, ride and run into the biggest standard distance race in the world.
While Ron missed year one and two, the Hervey Bay resident and high school maths teacher has a good excuse for blemishing his attendance record.
"I missed the first two simply because no-one told me the race was on,” he said.
"Since then some years it has been a bit of a trick to get to the start line but I have turned up every year since. This year I am racing on Sunday but I am also volunteering for the kids' event on Saturday.
An Australian triathlon pioneer and a former race director, Ron has fond memories of the casual early years of the Noosa Triathlon and the development of the sport in Queensland.
"I started doing triathlon back in the 1980s when someone said 'You should try one of these'.
"I said "What is it?'. We had just done an aquathon and he said, 'It is just like one of these aquathons but there is a bike ride in the middle'. I said, 'I've got a bike', and off we went.”
Ron remembers the days of mass swim starts at Noosa and the opportunity to upstage one of the pros.
"That was good because you got to see how you went compared to everyone else. Or how far behind Nick Croft you were,” he said.
"My PB in Noosa was a 1:59 and some change. I did all right in my heyday (but) I never raced pro. I raced because I liked racing and if I had to race pro it would have taken away some of the fun and enjoyment.”
Ron is 52, still fighting fit and determined to keep his own traditions intact.
"I am going to see if I can get another 17 more Noosa Triathlons in after this one. That will make the even 50,” he said.