Mullaway squash player Keelan Birch was out of his element on the triathalon stage but blitzed the competition to be first across the line.
Mullaway squash player Keelan Birch was out of his element on the triathalon stage but blitzed the competition to be first across the line. Contributed

Keelan's not your average ironman

MULLAWAY'S Keelan Birch is not your average ironman.

The competitive squash player only recently began taking his marathon efforts into the competitive arena and he got off to a fantastic start by winning the Hiawatha Half-Ironman Triathlon held in Wooli and Minnie Water at the weekend.

The event organised by the Woolgoolga Running and Triathlon Society had 18 starters on Sunday but only a hardy half-dozen were able to complete the full 2.5km swim, 90km cycle and 20km run.

Among that half dozen was Grafton's Kathryn Barker who made her debut at the event and was the first female to complete the gruelling course coming into the finish line at Digger's Camp in 6.27.28.

Barker was third person out of the Wooli River after the first 2.5km leg in 28.20, following it up with a 3.24.27 cycle and finished with a gruelling 2.34.11 run.

Second male was another Graftonian, Aaron Vickers, who completed the event in 5.49.00. Brad Cooper rounded out the podium for the men with a 6.11.56 clocking.

Second and third ladies, Caron Mackie and Ellie Luhr, had been-there-done-that before but saw the event as a lead-up to the Port Macquarie full Ironman Triathlon later this year. Caron Mackie finished in 7.30.20 and Ellie Luhr in 8.01.04.

Event organiser and Coffs Coast triathlon personality Steel Beveridge said the event ran smoothly and did not expect too much of competitors.

"They are not competing for sheep stations," he said. "It just gives people a chance to test themselves."



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