On Sunday 1st February, our very own Phil “Keg Legs” Thomas competed as part of a team in the Hell of the West – a triathlon promoted as “one of Australia’s toughest & most challenging races. Not for the faint hearted it is a 2KM Swim, 80 KM Bike Ride, 20 KM Run in the murky waters of the Macintyre River and the blazing heat of the Goondiwindi summer”.
Needless to say, Phil took the 80k bike leg, but what does need to be said is that he did this with the worst possible preparation but which somehow yielded his best ever result at the event. His training consisted of a one month taper that included a Christmas (complete with requisite celebrations) a kayaking holiday with plenty of good food and beverages and the occasional MTB ride. Then, on top of this previously guarded scientific recipe for success, two weeks out Phil contracted a gastro bug that put him on his back for a week. Those club members who were out on the Sunday ride the weekend before will remember Phil puffing and panting up the first slope of the day and turning early for home and a trip to the chemist – he certainly wasn’t peaking too soon, that’s for sure.
But on Saturday Phil put all that behind him and punched out a 2:08:17s time for the 80k which is an average of 37.42kph. That time was the 11th fastest (out of 122) in the team competition and 3rd fastest in the Masters category. That time would have also put him 21st out of 403 in the individual competition so he really was powering along. His team ended up 15th out of 122 finishers and you can see the full details here.
Phil wanted to make a point of thanking his ‘sponsors’ – his wife Michele for making it all possible, Jeff Flatt – for loaning the Trek TT bike (did he include the aeroman helmet too I wonder?) John Scott-Hamilton (working at Bullen’s) who did a fantastic job on last minute repairs and parts supplies, and the team at Goondi for inviting him to participate and for putting him up.
So well done Phil, top effort and obviously we expect even greater things next year now you’ve stumbled across the secret recipe for success, that 2 hour record looks to be under threat…