Waddington takes centre stage in action-filled Nowra triathlon festival

HUNDREDS of triathletes flocked to the Shoalhaven on Sunday as Nowra played host to the Raine & Horne Nowra Triathlon Festival. 

Parramatta’s Ryan Waddington cruised to victory in the main event, the Olympic distance, in the time of 1 hour 55 minutes and 27 seconds. 

The Baulkham Hills Triathlon Club member was an unexpected contender in the 1.5 kilometre swim, 40 kilometre bike ride and 10 kilometre run, and cruised to victory against many of the elite competitors. 

“It was good to get a win, this is my first Olympic distance event so to get the win was great and I’m happy with my time,” Waddington said. 

“It’s the first race of the year so I didn’t have too many expectations, but when I started I felt comfortable and once you start you want to win. 

“In the end I won by about two and a half minutes which was good, but it was a great race and everyone was in it to the end.”

Before Sunday’s race, 22-year-old Waddington had raced only long course triathlons, making a name for himself with silver medals at two separate World Championships, but he said he enjoyed the switch to the shorter format of the sport. 

“They’re worlds apart, the Olympic length is a bit more intense during the competition itself, but when it comes to recovering and bouncing back after a race it’s a lot easier after an Olympic one.”

Jonny Davy from Wollongong came second behind Waddington, with Manly–Warringah Triathlon Club member Sarah Fletcher the first female competitor across the line in the Olympic distance.

But the day was not just for serious competitors, with many turning up to test their fitness in the Sprint and enticer events. 

Run by Elite Energy, this was the fourth year the event has been held in Nowra. 

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