Tomorrow, we make our annual pilgrimage North for the Noosa Triathlon, or the Noosa Multisport Festival as it calls itself. Personally, a Multisport Festival makes me think of the Olympics or at least a Sports Day at school- but alas, there are no 3 legged races, egg and spoon races, or fencing, so I’ll refer to it as the Noosa Triathlon thank you very much.
The Noosa Triathalon is one of the highlights of The Runner’s year. It’s not the longest race he does (in fact it’s relatively short and easy for him in comparison) but it’s one of his favourites, and it’s a time for me to, well….. actually I don’t wind up doing a lot up there, but I really enjoy that– mostly.
In some ways, the Noosa Tri weekend (or week this year) is The Runner’s happy place– (mine is the Hunter Valley). In Noosa The Runner and his biking and swimming mates will spend the three days before the race obsessed with the course in Tri-heaven. For the three days after, they will compare times, performance and who knows what else. There will be talk of helmets, wheels, nutrition and all things triathlon. He’ll want to walk the swim course, drive the bike course and cycle the run course…. Seriously. And there will be 19,999 other people who speak the same Tri-language as he does. To me, it’s mostly unintelligible- blah blah blah bike, blah blah blah run, blah blah blah swim. But The Runner LOVES it!
I’ll be on the sidelines as always, supporting him and giving knowing looks to the others in my tribe- the Tri WAGs. Yes, we’re a lot like Victoria Beckham but without the pout. We’re a pretty easy bunch to spot, we’re the ones on the side of the road with a book, camera, stopwatch and coffee. We normally have looks of mild boredom mixed with anticipation mixed with fear that we’ve already missed the big event. Tri WAGs (also known as Tri-Widows over Noosa weekend) have a finely developed ability to half read a book whilst timing how long since they last saw their partner and calculating whether they have time to grab another coffee or run to the loo before they come back around. We have cameras that we juggle one handed so that in the 5 seconds that our partners pass by we can half snap a photo and half cheer– resulting in very blurred photos. Trust me, it is nearly impossible to do both. Mostly, we’re a very patient bunch. If we have kids, the kids have a sign saying “Go Daddy” or something similar.
N.B. from what I’ve seen kids are quite helpful as spotters- they stare at the course as if waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve, whilst their Mom (Mum) is able to read the paper or her book. Every so often they shout, “There he is!” which more often than not, is not their father. It is quite funny when they point and wave at some poor guy who has a look of fear on his face, hoping he’s not in an episode of Jerry Springer or Maury Povich.
Noosa will take The Runner about two and a half hours (he will quote you his exact times from the last 3 years if you ask him), during which he’ll spend 20 minutes in the water swimming 1500m, cycle about 40km, and run a 10k. I will be in roughly the same spot for about 3 hours…. waiting. The Runner will pass my spot roughly pass four times. Yes, four times. You do the math. I will have some time on my hands as will the other Tri WAGs and widows. Hence the books,coffees, and slightly bored but supportive looks.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m so glad that I’m The Runner’s support crew, and this year, we’ll have lots of friends up there with us to enjoy the week with us. If you ever get a chance, head to Noosa just to watch the Triathlon, it’s a beautiful setting and whilst there are some super-fit, world class, elite athletes, there are also a fair number of people who have never done a triathlon before some of whom look like they’ve never actually ran anywhere except to the fridge. I admire all of them for giving it a go– and of course I’m always so proud of The Runner when he competes.
I’m looking forward to some downtime this week, I’m just hoping the kitchen of the house we’re staying in comes fully equipped- I wouldn’t mind doing some cooking while he runs!