The old man and the Kiwi

7am really is too early to be pulling on a wetsuit and jumping into the water. But the Hamburg Triathlon is the world’s biggest race of its kind, with 200 eager athletes starting in waves of 200 every ten minutes, from 7 in the morning until around lunchtime. That’s the better part of 4,000+ people. I had the second slot, at 7:10am.

The winner of the whole day was a young lad from New Zealand, with two first names, or two last names, depending on how you take it: Saxon Morgan. Good on him!

He scorched the sprint field, clocking one hour for the 500m swim, 22km bike and 5km run. His bike and run splits were comparable with the lower finishers of the elite mens race. He’s clearly an up and coming young racer, and is certainly a name to remember. I just managed to see “Morgan” on the back of his triathlon suit as he flew past me on the run. He was motoring.

In his wake was a parade of grumpy old men, who were (somehow???) able to match this soon-to-be-pro athlete despite them being twice or maybe even three times his age. Yes, all within striking distance of the Kiwi with two first names were men aged 40-55. I guess Saxon will have to wait another 20 years or so before really hitting his prime.

And sure, I was one of the old men in pursuit, but I was a fair way back, loping along as best I could.

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Old “Chicken Legs” was good enough for place 241 overall out of some 2,700 men, but I was 17 minutes behind the Kiwi, which was how long it took him to run 5km. It took me 24 minutes.

No matter. It was fun and I was glad to get through it. I even met a couple from Queensland at the start of the race, who also had the early start time I had. I hope they enjoyed the race.

There were eight Aussies in the sprint, and I was lucky enough to be the first. So, in some way, I got to share the podium with Saxon, as the first from our respective countries. That’s worth smiling about.

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