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Clarence Valley Tri Club athletes steal the show at Tri Yamba

Last weekend Yamba hosted the 11th race of the NSW Tri Series for triathletes. The Sunday event was the fourth-year Elite Energy (the organising company) had brought the annual events to the North Coast. The Yamba leg of this 12 stop tour saw triathletes of all ages and abilities compete across seven different distances held across Saturday and Sunday where in excess of 400 registered athletes took part. CEO of Elite Energy Mark Emerton said “We absolutely love coming down to Yamba, just a short drive from Queensland it’s great to see a whole new group of athletes that we generally don’t get to see at our other races down south”. Emerton also made mention that “everyone in this beautiful town has been so welcoming and really wanting to see this event take off, the support has been fantastic.” In the longest of the seven contested distances was the ‘Ultimate’ distance, a 1.9km swim, 90km bike ride and 21.1km run. Perfect racing conditions were welcomed on what is considered one of the most scenic courses in the series with a swim in the south arm of the Clarence River, a bike ride that takes competitors through Woodford Island and around Maclean and a run that finished in the Maclean town centre. In the men’s race, local triathlon legend Lindsey Wall took out the honours in a time of 4.11.58. Wall, who has won previous Yamba Triathlons over shorter distances, led out of transition chased by Joshua Wilson and Alexander Thorpe onto the bike taking a further 13 minutes out of the field as the battle for second and third took place between Wilson and Thorpe. Wall was able to settle into a comfortable pace on the run leg finishing on top of the podium for the third time at Yamba. Wilson finishing in a time of 4.30.13 ahead of Thorpe in a time of 4.34.43. When interviewed post race Wall said “I really wanted to push myself as hard as possible in the swim and ride and this allowed me to cruise in the run which is an unusual position for me to be in, it’s leaving me in a good place mentally for Byron Bay Triathlon next week”. The talk of the day however was in the women’s ‘Ultimate’ distance where Yamba local Ceilia Sullohern dominated with a run of the day 80.32 run split across the 21km run leg. Sullohern, an ex-national level track runner exited the water needing to make up six minutes between the bike and the run leg. Sullohern made light work of this deficit on the run with the next quickest female completing the 21k in 99.44. Sullohern went on to win her first long course triathlon of her career in a time of 4.48.21 ahead of Kirsty Sheehan in a time of 4.58.50 and Brittany Campbell in 5.22.20. Sunday’s event was also made possible by droves of volunteers who gave up their time to support a great community event and to raise funds for their local community groups and charities. Elite Energy donates to these community groups in lieu of their time. It is expected that more than $4000 will be donated to community groups and charities. These volunteers were crucial in the management of drink stations, athlete safety and other important roles throughout the weekend.