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Army March 1, 2012
Cpl Mark Doran
"I HAD a good swim and bike, but when I started the
run I found I couldn't breathe properly and slowed
down quite a bit," Maj Iain Addinell, of AHQ, said of
his form in the Australian Defence Sports Triathlon
Association (ADSTA) Sprint Championships at
Huskisson during the Jervis Bay Triathlon Festival on
"It all comes down to how you perform on the day.
I was in very good shape apart from being in a car acci-
dent the day before and it turned out I had a displaced
rib," Maj Addinell said.
"My times put me as the 30th fastest swimmer, 29th
fastest bike rider and the 126th runner."
Maj Addinell joined seven ADSTA athletes who
competed in the sprint triathlon, which consisted of a
750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run and won the male
championships in an overall time of 1hr 8min 51sec,
finishing 41st in the competition.
The ADF members were competing against some of
the quickest professional and age group athletes in the
world, including current world champions.
Originally a swimmer before he moved to Canberra
in 2010, Maj Addinell started to cycle to work and,
after commuting for a couple of months, decided to
enter a triathlon.
"I entered my first triathlon and placed in the top
30 without actually doing any specific training, but my
transitions were pretty slow," he said.
"As I was becoming more interested in the sport I
entered a few more events in 2010/11 and I am now
training properly with one of the local clubs.
"You can't compare times from triathlons because
every course is different -- if you are swimming in a big
swell it makes a difference to your times, on the cycle
it could be relatively flat or undulating terrain, so your
bike times can change by three or four minutes, though
the runs tend to be mostly flat."
Maj Addinell said he was now preparing for the
Batemans Bay Triathlon on March 31 and had entered
the Sydney Olympic Distance Triathlon (1.5km swim,
40km cycle and 10km run) scheduled for April 15.
"With my work and home commitments I can only
spend eight-to-10 hours a week on training. These
include early morning sessions with a 25km to 40km
cycle before work or a 2km swim session, combined
with a run," he said.
"The competition is a part I love about triathlons,
but there is the camaraderie as well; it is a lot like a
Cpl Mark Doran
"I SHOULD probably be slow-
ing down, but I actually feel the
strongest I have ever been," said
WO2 Gavin Wickham after win-
ning two Australian Defence
Sports Triathlon Association
(ADSTA) championships only a
WO2 Wickham, of the Army
School of Health, was the fast-
est Defence competitor in the
Olympic Distance Triathlon at
the Geelong Multisport Festival
on February 12 and also secured
first position in the men's ADSTA
Long Course Championships at
Huskisson during the Jervis Bay
Triathlon Festival on February 19.
ADSTA hit 2012 running with
23 athletes competing in Geelong
in the 1500m swim, 40km ride
and a 10km run event.
WO2 Wickham won the men's
event in 2hr 10min 39sec which
placed him eighth in his category
and 56th overall.
WO2 Wickham said his swim
and bike legs were solid but he
felt his run was a bit off pace.
"It had rained all night so the
conditions were pretty tough, but I
was generally happy with my per-
formance," WO2 Wickham said.
"Racing in the over-40 cat-
egory brings the race complexi-
ties because a few of the top per-
forming triathletes that are over
40 were once professional athletes
and have come back to the sport
to fulfil their competitive desires."
The competition was fairly
fierce as it was a qualification race
for the World Championships to
be held in Auckland in October.
WO2 Wickham's wife, Capt
Alisa Wickham, of ALTC, led
the field from the start to win the
women's ADSTA event in a time
WO2 Wickham manages to
train with his wife at times and
said they were able to help and
motivate each other before events.
"Getting up very early on a
Sunday morning for a one to two-
hour run with your partner is very
rewarding and our two kids get
involved by riding their bikes so it
becomes a family affair," he said.
ADSTA members joined more
than 3500 athletes in Huskisson
over February 18-19. Nine ADF
athletes tackled the Huskisson
Long Course Triathlon, known
as the premier long course in
Australia, involving a 2km swim,
83km bike and 20km run.
WO2 Wickham placed third
in the 40-44 age group and 22nd
overall with his time of 4:07.09.
He started the race with an excep-
"I led my category for the first
half of the leg then sat in with
the lead group before coming out
feeling quite fresh," he said.
"I absolutely carved it up on
the bike with speeds in excess
of 40km/h and an average of 38
km/h," he said.
"I was stoked, but when you
push it a bit hard on the bike, you
can certainly pay for it during the
After playing Australian rules
since he was only five and being
a part of the Sydney League
by playing for Liverpool and
Campbelltown, W02 Wickham
said he was still looking for a
challenge when he quit the sport.
"I found running a triath-
lon was a very functional way of
keeping fit with the three disci-
plines of the sport," he said.
"Coming from a team-sport
environment, I find the camarade-
rie among the ADF members get-
ting away as a team and training
with local members to be one of
the best things.
"The training regime varies
depending on the distance of the
triathlon. The sprint events don't
take as much preparation as the
ultra distance or Ironman events,
which require a lot of time and
discipline for about 12 weeks
before the event.
"The best attitude to have
before a race is to definitely enjoy
it and have fun, but if you want to
do well you need to have focus
and a plan with structure to ensure
your preparation is right."
Future triathlon commit-
ments for WO2 Wickham include
the Ultra Distance Ironman
Championships in Melbourne
on March 25, followed by the
International Triathlon Union
Olympic Distance Triathlon where
he will join more than 50 ADF
athletes in Sydney on April 15.
In it for the long haul: WO2 Gavin Wickham, of
the Army School of Health, transitions onto the
bike for the cycling leg (inset) and powers home
in the run leg of the Huskisson Long Course
Triathlon, part of the Jervis Bay Triathlon Festival.
WO2 Wickham placed third in his age group and
22nd overall in the event.
Photos by Tony Chapman
Pedal power: Maj Iain Addinell, of AHQ,
competed alongside seven other Defence
members in the Huskisson Sprint Triathlon during
the Jervis Bay Triathlon Festival.
WO2 Gavin Wickham finds age is no barrier to triathlon performance
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