Tamworth competitors shine at Forster Ultimate Triathlon

Girl power: Min McDonald, Libby Magann and Kelly Moore were the fastest team at the Forster Ultimate Triathlon on the weekend.
Girl power: Min McDonald, Libby Magann and Kelly Moore were the fastest team at the Forster Ultimate Triathlon on the weekend.

Tamworth’s Libby Magann, Min McDonald and Kelly Moore combined to not only be the first female team to finish in Sunday’s Forster Ultimate Triathlon, but the fastest team overall.

“It was very satisfying,” McDonald said.

“All three of us were pretty stoked with our results.”

Their efforts highlighted a brilliant effort from the 70-strong Tri Freedom team with Daniel Nash, Lauren Ferguson, Jess McDonald and Mia Cottrell-Dormer all placing second in their age categories in the Ultimate (2km swim, 80km cycle, and 20km run) event.

Michael van der Graaf was meanwhile second in his age category in the Olympic distance (1.5km swim, 40km cycle and 10km run) race.

Tamworth dominated the podium in the female teams Ultimate division, with the trio of Bec Mair (swim), Simone Church (bike) and Linnea Philipi (run) placing second behind Magann, McDonald and Moore, and Lisa Pollard (swim), Katrina Ashford (bike) and Nelli Jackson (run) finishing third.

McDonald noted Ashford’s effort. She went over thinking she was in the Olympic distance event but found out the day before she was going to be riding 80km instead of 40. Darren Traill's team also placed second in the men's teams division in the Ultimate.

Beating their Tamworth counterparts by a staggering 33 minutes, the three M’s were 40 seconds faster than the first men’s team.

“I don’t remember that happening in any race I’ve been to,” McDonald said.

Magann led them off and produced a fabulous swim to be one of the first people out of the water.

“It was supposed to be a 2km course but one of the bouys had floated so it ended up being 2.4km. It’s one of the perils of an open water swim,” McDonald said.

She then took over and kept them out in front of their rivals with a strong bike leg, completing the 80km in just over 2hrs 15mins.

“This was my first time doing a time trial,” she said.

More accustomed to road racing, she is usually in a bunch where there are people to draft off, and was delighted to average 34km/h. Her hope was to do 30km/h.

Moore then completed the 20km run in 1hr 31mins to further extend their lead.

“Her average pace was 4.30 per km, which is the pace most people run 400,” McDonald said joking that she made the comment that Magann and Moore’s efforts were so spectacular all she needed to do was keep her bike “rubber side down”.

She and Magann were able to join Moore for the last 200m and finish together.

Magann, McDonald and Moore crossing the finishing line.

Magann, McDonald and Moore crossing the finishing line.

“One of the really nice things about it is when you’re in a team they let you join your team-mates as they cross the line,” she said.

The first time the three had competed together as a team they are already making plans to go back next year “possibly to break the record”.

Inspired to fight human trafficking Cottrell-Dormer formed Tri Freedom seven years ago. “There’s something nice about competing for a purpose,” McDonald said, adding that it certainly spurred her on to push through the pain.

“It was hard work. I was out there for around two-and-a-half hours with my heart-rate on 170 the whole time.”

McDonald backed up 20 minutes after Moore finished to run the 5km for a sprint team that, at the last minute, found themselves without a runner.

She said they knew when they crossed the line they were the first female team but didn’t learn until the results were in later in the day that they were the fastest overall.