The Noosa Triathlon Multi Sport Festival literally has something for everyone and one of the highlights of the event schedule, and a lead in event of Super Saturday, is the Noosa Superkidz Triathlon and the Tingirana Noosa Special Triathlon.
Both are wonderful fun events and very mini versions of the real Noosa deal, that for many years have introduced children of all abilities to the joys of swim, ride and run.
As Brisbane athlete Jenna Lawlor’s introduction to racing triathlon in 2004, the Noosa Superkidz Triathlon still holds a very special place in her heart and she would encourage all the kids at Noosa this year to have a go.
“Noosa is always great, a lot of fun and we have always loved the atmosphere there. As long as I can remember, my dad has always done the Noosa Triathlon and now he is up to number 19. He was introduced to triathlons in 1985, when he was in the army and competed in one of Australia’s first triathlon events in Canberra. I think I was about three when dad did his first Noosa Tri and before I ever raced, I used to go up on the family’s annual holiday to watch and cheer Dad on.”
“So, when I turned seven it was my turn to get into it and I got to do the Superkidz Tri. I was all by myself in the first one, so I remember being really nervous, but then I had lots of fun with mum and dad and my little brother and sister cheering me on. It was so good that tHe next year I recruited all my friends so we could all do it together.
“We had the big pack the following year and we all trained in our back yard. We have a swimming pool and a bike track near us. Dad would coach us and we would jump in the pool and do ten laps. Then all the Dads would line up on the bike track and we would do a little ride and a run. It was a bit of fun.”
Eventually graduating from Superkidz and fostering a real love of the sport, Jenna started to slowly rise through the triathlon ranks.
“I had a gradual introduction to the Noosa triathlon over a number of years. I did the swim leg for a team in 2011, I did the swim and bike in 2012, so I think it would have been 2013 when I did my first full Noosa triathlon. That would have made me 16, because I am 22 now.”
“I was never pushed into doing it, it has always been more a enjoyable event and friendly competition but nothing serious. It has been about fun, finishing and being proud of each other. That has always been the aim.”
Jenna and her family are making the annual Noosa Triathlon pilgrimage up the M1 again this year and she said her training has been going well, thanks to some motivation from last year’s event.
“The Noosa Tri is a family tradition and four of us are racing this year. The only one missing is my sister Sarah, who has exams for university, but she has been our coach.”
“There is always a bit of family rivalry, it is always fun but also very competitive. Last year Dad waited for me at the finish line and when he brought up my time and he beat me by two seconds. So, every time I have been training I have been thinking I need to get two seconds faster,” she laughed.
“I am very excited about going up, getting into it and finally getting to race. I love the whole atmosphere of the weekend and I love watching the elites. That has always been one of my favourite part of the event, when we go and watch the criterium and run on Super Saturday. There are some amazing athletes in town that weekend, heaps of bikes and plenty of people to catch up with. I can’t wait,” she said.