Catching up with Old Mate

Australia has some wonderful slang that I’m sure confuses so many new comers to our wide and diverse land.  Old Mate is a case in point.  Try listening to a couple of men talking about Old Mate or several old mates and work out how many old mates they are talking about and indeed who exactly is Old Mate.

Another Sunday and another triathlon at beautiful Beauty Point.  The start time was much later than usual due to the tides.  With the later start brought the wind that often gets stronger in the afternoon.  Not to worry though, the water was nowhere near as choppy as a recent training swim at Beauty Point but the ride was a little more challenging with sideways gusts of up to 72kph.


I have no idea of my time, results aren’t out yet.  I didn’t come last but I was well at the back.  What I’m growing to love about triathlon is participating with the aim to swim/ride/run to feel rather than checking my pace via the GPS.  There isn’t any pressure other than to finish.  And to cap it off there is a small but growing group of ladies in their 40s and 50s, all beginners, who are having a go and getting to know each other a little bit.  There is friendly competition between everyone but nothing more than healthy banter about trying to do our best and have a go at beating each other.  I think I’ve found my tribe.

Swim start

Swim start

The swim leg was a little more challenging today due to the weather.  I had a swimmer weaving in and out in front of me and I couldn’t seem to ditch her.  I’d go left and she’d go left, then I’d go right and she’d go right.  But gradually we both chipped away and got to the orange buoy (oh I could see myself falling in love with the orange buoy such is the determination to get to it).  Triathlon number six and my first time without a life guard constantly beside me.  I must be improving!  Either that or their insurance has been increased.   I was so pooped getting out of the water and so focused on ripping off my wet suit that I honestly have no idea how I went in the swim.  Lastish.

My feet touch the ground and I’m feeling for the wet suit zip, down it goes faster than a beer on a hot day.  Out comes my right arm in one aggressive pull.  Off come my goggles and cap.  I stumble up the steps out of the water.  Then faster than a whip crack, out comes my left arm.  I run around the cone and then to my bike.  Getting my wet suit down from my torso is still proving difficult, I wriggle and squirm and do impressions of a chook laying an egg, squatting, straining and generally looking pained.  Thanks to lashings of cheap strawberry conditioner applied before squeezing into the suit, the legs were out in only a few goes, stomp and pull, stomp and pull, kick, stomp, jump, throw. 

This felt like my fastest swim to ride transition yet! Phew!



And there is L (the lady who took the wrong turn last time).  She’s a bike length in front of me.  I was over the mount/dismount line, on my bike and off like a cut cat and I didn’t see L until the turn around point.  (To go like a cut cat is Australian slang for very fast).

I was convinced L would catch me so I put 100% into the ride despite the windy conditions.  I mowed down cyclist after cyclist.  Seriously I’m not that competitive but put me on a bike and the desire for speed…oh dear.  Old Mate better watch himself.



Then the run.  I pushed myself and was breathing like a labouring steam train.  I felt sure that L would catch me, she is a speedy runner, but she didn’t today.  No medals or places this time but I did my very best and that feels as good as a medal.  Pauly did really well and was fastest old man again.


Someone looks happy with his first place in the Veterans for the Super Sprint.


It was a great afternoon.  Janette didn’t suit up today but volunteered and I valued her support and encouragement more than I can say. Thank you to Janette for the  happy snaps.

Which brings me back to Old Mate I caught up with Old Mate thanks to Janette pointing him out and getting her camera ready.  I’m sure he must’ve heard about how fast I am and came to see what extra training he needs to stay on top of the game or there might be another Tasmanian Cyclist in the lime light (ooo lime light would match my tri suit).

Unsporty and Richie Porte

Unsporty and Richie Porte

Happy running 🙂


And just as we were coming home there were snow clouds on the mountains.  While the rest of the country swelters we are going to get snow in the high country.


14 thoughts on “Catching up with Old Mate

  1. What a great post!!!! Well done on today- to both you and Pauly! Hmmm, I’m sure I saw Richie get out his notebook to take down some invaluable insights into cycling that you obviously passed on, haha. No mention was made about Paul’s swim and the fact that he needed NO reminding today to remove his wetsuit BEFORE getting on his bike -yay Pauly! Top effort guys!

    • Thank you so much for your support yesterday! I think Pauly is improving but he needs to work on staying on task rather than relying on the women around him to get things done for me. Bruce reminded him to put his wet suit on (oh dear) he’s still very much a work in progress. He did a great job though and I’m very proud of him. We had a discussion about priorities and staying on task rather than chatting to people…get ready then chat…oh dear. It was a great day and I’m sure Richie is shivering in his cleats now he’s seen me in action!

  2. Great job you two! Sounds like you are really getting in the triathlon groove.’sure seems like there are a lot of races to choose from in your area! Keep having fun and I love the Australian phrases. 🙂

    • Thanks Sue. We’re doing triathlons with the local club so it’s small and friendly. They have about a dozen between November and March. We’re going to do a slightly larger one mid-March so that will be interesting. Nothing like a bit of Aussie slang.

  3. How wonderful that you have ‘found your tribe’. It’s lovely to be in a place where you feel like you belong. Any may I say that you look particularly trim in your pistachio outfit! Triathalon is obviously very good for you! Ps the strawberry conditioner- is that hair conditioner or body lotion?

    • Thanks Julie. And thanks for thinking I’m looking trim. The scales are telling me otherwise but I still fit my clothes and lycra is great because it sucks everything in! The strawberry conditioner is hair conditioner. It makes it all slippery and slimy and easy to get off. I got another tip from an experienced triathlete yesterday and that was to spray olive oil on the top of my wet suit lower leg and lower arm. This makes the material slippery and it slides better against each other as it’s being peeled off. Janette says frequently that transition is the 4th discipline of Triathlon and she’s so right. It’s getting easier but still so much to get done in a short time. I just laugh at how silly I must look. I even managed to throw a jelly bean into my mouth at bike to run transition and swallowed it whole! I was all wobbly and tired. It was fun yesterday though and an afternoon that was pure joy and happiness. I had a great time and it truly revived the soul while making the body weary. Thanks for your lovely comment Julie.

  4. You’ve really got the triathlon bug now 😊
    Well done to both of you and to Paul for coming first too! Fancy meeting Richie, was he just passing or had he gone there specifically?
    You seem to have more events up there than down here, I did a sprint distance last week but there’s nothing now here until beginning of April. I’m hoping to do the Olympic distance at Devonport which will be tough, I rather like the longer distances as I don’t feel rushed in them and my only goal is to finish rather chasing the clock!

    • Thanks Sam. I don’t know why Richie was there, he looked like he’d come to cheer on friends. There are a lot of events. There is one in Ulverstone this weekend and then George Town the following (I can’t get to either of them though). I’ll be at Devonport! I’m doing the baby one. I hope I get to see you and cheer you on. I look at the Sprint and think there’s no way I could go that far! But I do understand the whole rush thing, guess it’s similar with running short distance to longer distance. I saw the results today, despite the wind I was just under 2 minutes faster than the last Beauty Point Super Sprint so I’m happy with that. I’m not worried about time really but would like to be faster in the swim so I don’t hold everyone up!

      • That’s a big improvement in your times! I’m very slow compared to everyone else particularly in the swim but as you say there’s something in triathlon for all levels and the only competition is yourself. There are super fast people, pretty fast and lots of back of the pack people, like me and we’re all out there having a go, getting fit, enjoying life 😊

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