13 yr old Gideon Mulitalo has not missed a race of the Samoa TRI Series in 5 seasons.
He started when he was 8 years old in the Tamatoa Tri Series. He finished 3rd in Race 1.
The 2017 POWERADE TRI Series kicked off on Saturday at Mulinu’u in perfect conditions for swimming, biking and running. The two races on hand, Tamatoa TRI for kids and the main event Sprint Triathlon was contested by very keen athletes at the Peninsula.
The three disciplines of the Sprint race saw competitors undertake a 750m swim, 20km bike and 4km run. The bike ride was contained within the peninsula with six laps between the roundabout at Sogi and the MNRE Weather office.
Darren Young, as expected dominated Race 1. There is no one else even close to his level of training and commitment to the sport on island at present. The race was simply a dot on his mega preparations for the New Zealand Ironman in two weeks. Darren used the race on Saturday to work on smaller parts of his Ironman race such as Transition. That is a very important part of the sport, transferring from Swim to bike, and bike to the marathon run.
Behind Darren yesterday were two of our most consistent locally raised triathletes. They are the future of the Sport in Samoa. Young Durant Webster finished second and Gideon Mulitalo came in a close third. They were second and third out of the water in the swim, ahead of Darren.
The two 13 year olds have been racing the Samoa TRI series for a few years. In the case of the young Mulitalo, he started in the series when he was an 8 year old. The staggering thing about his commitment is, he has not missed a Triathlon in five years, since 2013.
He is well supported by his parents Pastor Arthur Mulitalo and Avele College senior teacher, Line Mulitalo and the Oceania Triathlon Union (O.T.U.). Gideon has exclusive use of a Scott Tri bike which was funded by O.T.U.
Gideon is a fine example to our young triathletes, and to his younger siblings Urlin and Filipo who also competed yesterday. Filipo completed his first Tamatoa Tri yesterday, swimming all by himself and then riding and running to the jeer of supporters at Mulinu’u.
For all athletes yesterday, apart from Darren, it was the first time they got on a bike this year. It was fitting then the ride was a short one at 20km. There has been a lot of swimming and running here of late, so those two disciplines were well maintained yesterday.
Kat Riley was the sole female in the main Sprint race. For her first effort in a triathlon, that was a super effort to finish.
There were three teams in the race. The trio of Sara Todd (swim), Wally Collins (bike) and Cruz Hodson (run) claimed superiority in the teams’ event.
They finished seven minutes ahead of the next team and only two minutes back from individual winner, Darren Young.
The Samoa TRI Series is a joint effort this year between Samoa Events and the Samoa Triathlon Federation. Race 2 is on Saturday, 18th March.
In my other life, I cover the All Blacks, Boxing (Joseph Parker) watch the Weather and of course manage Samoa Events