Sea of red to light up St Georges on Sunday as Geraldton Triathlon Club hold Christmas costume race

Reuben CarderGeraldton Guardian
Christmas elf Lisa Keeffe competes on the bike leg.
Camera IconChristmas elf Lisa Keeffe competes on the bike leg. Credit: Supplied

The roads and water around St Georges beach will be red with festive cheer this Sunday as the Geraldton Triathlon Club holds its Christmas Team Relay race.

The event brings a chaotic spirit to racing as teams compete dressed as elves, gingerbread men or Santa, with even the fastest athletes last year wearing aero antlers and streamlined Santa hats.

“Dressing up and decorating the bikes is strongly encouraged, with teams racing for all the festive glory,” according to club member Jikki VanAmstel.

The mixed format of the event last year led to people getting lost in transition, trying to enter through the exit, and racers scrambling to find helmets and shoes quickly.

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This season, newcomer Brandon Debeer has been doing well in the past few races and looked fast in his new club tri suit, but will be switching it out for a costume this time.

Christmas elves Lisa Keeffe and Chris Cooper were among last year’s Christmas best dressed.

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Team Rudolph — Alison Simkin, Belinda Box and former president Ben Freer — took the win last year amid the confusion.

Last Sunday was a perfect day for racing as the club competed at the same location.

With only two athletes tackling the long course, the wind held off until everyone was on the bike leg.

Long-course racer Lester Smith held on to first by the slimmest of margins, with Paul Luxton doing his best to chase him down.

On the short course, the middle of the three distances, it was Paul Burkinshaw in the men’s division and Amy Wakelam in the women’s with the wins, but the race between Andrew Blackburn and Seth Tullar kept everyone guessing as to who would run over the mat in front.

Blackburn and Tullar both had fast times while chasing each other down, with a 10th of a second between them at the end.

In the ever-popular Enticer distance, 27 athletes raced, with small battles breaking out on the bike and run courses.

Mel Chamberlain and James Parry may have won on the day, but the racing between Jeff Peacock and Martha Burkinshaw is always great to see.

They trade places on the bike every race, with Burkinshaw having a strong run finish to finish a few seconds ahead of Peacock.

Zek Forrester, Jo Marshall and Jason Forrester had a three-way battle on the bikes, with Forrester coming into transition first.

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