Monday, April 18
Rarotonga’s Tinman triathlon was started by a small group of enthusiasts in 1982 as a baby brother version of the Hawaii Ironman (1200m swim, 31km round the island cycle and 10km run).
Back then it used to be held on ANZAC Day, a public holiday in the Cook Islands.
The venue was the sailing club on Muri beach, nice place for a swim but it’s rather more crowded nowadays.
Since the international triathlon became the big one for Rarotonga, the date of the Tinman has varied so people can use it as part of their build-up.
I think the fellow lying on the ground in the video was the winner in 1984. He was a doctor at the hospital and set a very fast time then collapsed after the run (he recovered Ok though).
The Cook Islands Triathlon Association has records from all the international triathlons but it wasn’t formed until 1994 so I don’t know if it’s got details of the early Tinmans (Tinmen?).
The weather on Saturday was good for the athletes although a bit damp for spectators. We had rain in the morning and the afternoon was cloudy with rain towards the end of the race. That would have kept the runner cool.
Twenty individuals and eleven teams made up the field and there must have been a lot of jockeying for position during the race because Vanessa Palmer (4th) was first out of the water followed by Kelly Pick (2nd) one second later. They were a long way ahead of the next bunch which included eventual winner Roland Neururer with Geoff Stoddart (3rd) further back again.
All our triathletes can now get ready for the big one on 7 May. And according to CITA it really will be big with the second largest ever number of entrants.