Noosa, home of the weekend warrior: Noosa 2003
I love the term “Weekend Warrior” and everything it embodies… though I’ve recently found that it’s not a term that’s bandied around the triathlon scene too much. There’s a good reason for that. In the sport of triathlon you train almost every day in order to earn the “Weekend Warrior” title…
I will always remember my first exposure to the “Weekend Warrior” phenomenon.
I was working for Triple M back in the late 90s. Triple M was (and still is) a media sponsor of the Noosa Triathlon, and one year I was lucky enough to score a weekend away to work on location at the station’s outside broadcast from the event. I had absolutely no comprehension of what the Noosa Triathlon was – when we got up “early” on the Sunday morning I was surprised to find thousands of competitors already streaming their way through the backstreets of Noosa Sound.
You can imagine my astonishment when I found out that not only were these people jogging at an ungodly 9.30am on a Sunday morning – they had already swum 1,500 metres and cycled 40ks before tackling an unthinkable 10k run!
I remember being absolutely blown away by their sheer numbers – thousands of “Weekend Warriors” who had no chance of gaining any material reward for their efforts – and being indescribably inspired by those who doggedly made their way, however slowly, to the finish line.
I was similarly inspired by participants in some of the other events that Triple M took me to. I was a flag girl on the starting line of the Bridge to Bridge fun for a few years running. Or not running, as the case was. See, back then I was a regular couch potato. The thought of getting out of bed at 5am to follow a blue line up and down the bottom of a pool seemed complete lunacy, as did running even to the letter box and back – at any time of the day! As for cycling, well, I’d only ever owned one bike, and that was the one I’d received for my tenth birthday. Needless to say, a distant memory…
Nevertheless, I never forgot the intensity of sheer emotion that had engulfed me back at Noosa – I knew I had witnessed something special. And though it lay dormant for several years, my triathlon dream had begun. In July 2001 I finally took the first step towards making that dream a reality by setting myself a goal of completing my first triathlon before I turned 30.
I had a year and a half.
In true couch potato style, I put off doing anything about it for a while, a good six months in fact, at which time I joined a womens triathlon orientation course run by Intraining in Brisbane. With no skills or fitness, it was tough going on a lot of occasions, but I kept thinking of those participants I’d seen at Noosa all those years ago, and stuck to my guns. And sure enough, I completed my first triathlon in April 2002 – a sprint distance event at Raby Bay.
In October last year I again fronted up to the Bridge to Bridge fun run... but this time I was a participant! As I ran through the Botanic Gardens I called out to some of the marshals – ex -colleagues from my Triple M days. They looked disbelievingly, calling after me “Lyndell! Is that you????”
I completed the Mooloolaba triathlon and Byron Bay triathlon in the 2002/3 season. So technically Noosa 2003 will be my third Olympic distance triathlon, and the final in the “trifecta” of the major Olympic distance triathlons in the Brisbane area. But when I cross the line at Noosa 2003, I’ll feel like I’ve truly realized my triathlon dream – after all, that’s where it all began, with the ranks of those brave “Weekend Warriors”.