It may be a small event that attracted only 31 competitors. But for Daniel Nash, winning the Gunnedah Australia Day Triathlon was a major moment in his search for lost confidence.
The 25-year-old tennis coach told The Leader last July that his confidence had taken a hit after a poor performance at Ironman Western Australia, in Busselton in December, 2017, ended his quest to qualify for the 2018 World Ironman Championship on Kona, Hawaii.
“I’ve actually been struggling quite a bit to find some form and get back into it,” he said. “I’ve been training well, but I haven’t sort of been making the ground that I wanted to.
“Although the weekend still wasn’t really exactly where I was a couple of years ago [form wise] … I’m confident now I can push a little bit harder.
“I haven’t sort of had the confidence to push very hard in races lately, and I think the weekend was a pretty good step towards that again.”
Nash, who also won the race in 2017, narrowly trailed Gunnedah’s Kelly Watson, the women’s winner and second overall (click the link below to read about her story and see the race gallery), out of the Memorial Pool after a 300-metre swim. He quickly took the lead on the 20-kilometre bike leg and was not headed again – finishing the 10km run to clock 39 minutes and 13 seconds.
However, he was hampered on the run after slipping on a corner and taking skin off his leg.
Watson and her coach John Hickey, who finished second in the men’s race, clocked 39:24sec and 40:06sec.
Sam Jones was third in the men’s race (42:17sec). While Lauren Ferguson and Jess McDonald were equal second in the women’s race (43:38sec), with Joey Sullivan third (45:15sec).