4 November 2023

Super Saturday has lived up to its name at the 40th anniversary Garmin Noosa Triathlon with exciting racing thrilling thousands lining the streets of Noosa.


Back-to-back champions and stars of the future stood on the top step of the podium on Super Saturday across the ASICS Noosa Bolt and Australian Open Criterium events.


Jack Rayner and Caitlin Adams both defended the ASICS Noosa Bolt titles across the 5km events, with Rayner taking the win in 13:56 and Adams in 16:00.


Rayner was the man to beat from the first metre of the race, jumping out to an early lead and never looking back, finishing ahead of Andre Waring and Jude Thomas.


“I’m ecstatic, I think that’s three I’ve won now, my first one was 2018 and then back-to-back the last two years so it feels amazing,” said Rayner. “I definitely felt extra pressure, I went to pick up my bib and it was number one and I thought I actually have to put in a bit of a performance on here, but it does spur you on to run as fast as you can.


“I was just trying to emulate what I did last year, I think the field had a bit more depth this year so I knew they’d be tough to beat. I think going hard in the first lap, you get to see where you are each time with the turn, so it was kind of nice knowing exactly where you’re sitting,” he said.


The ASICS Noosa Bolt sees the women’s field start two minutes ahead of the men’s, with Rayner only bridging the gap to Caitlin Adams in the closing stages.


“I think I was halfway through and they looked like they were miles in front still but I think I was just edging closer a little bit each turn and then it’s kind of nice having someone on the very last lap to try and catch, so yeah it spurs you on to run fast,” he said.


The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games representative said that the crowd support in Noosa helped get him across the line.


“The atmosphere was electric pretty much the whole way, there were just crowds cheering so it really does make a difference,” said Rayner. “This win means a lot, it’s probably one of my favourite races on the Australian calendar so any time it’s on and I’m fit I’ll be up here running.”


Caitlin Adams’ race was similar to Rayner’s, getting out in front early and never looking back. Adams set the pace with Cara Feain-Ryan before pushing on in the final stretch to take the win from Feain-Ryan, with Zoe Buckman third.


“It feels incredible, I’m here to support my sponsor ASICS so it feels even sweeter to be here for them and for my team back home in Adelaide,” said Adams. “To go back-to-back is what I was really hoping to do but there are so many good competitors out here so you never know who is going to have a good one, but I’m really stoked with my performance today.


“Last year I was a bit more of an underdog and was up against some Olympians and girls that I run against at nationals all the time,” she said. “This year I definitely felt more of the pressure in terms of being the defending champion, and I feel like eyes were on me whereas I usually like being the underdog so I’m really happy to live up to that name and get the back-to-back win.”


Adams said that the pace was on from the start of the 5km race.


“I definitely wasn’t expecting everyone to stick on for as long as they did, I was hoping to wind up the laps as they went,” she said. “I’m more of a strength runner, I’ve come from a cross country background and a 10k road background so I thought my best chance of winning it was to keep winding it up every lap and put them to the sword and just make it harder and harder, but they were just sticking right there and it was really hot and getting exhausting I thought gosh, do I have one more kick in me and I did so I’m glad.”


Adams was hoping she would not only kick away from the women’s field to win the race, but also hold off the flying Jack Rayner to be first across something – a feat snatched away from her in the last few metres.


“Jack got me last year about 10 metres from the line and when he came past this year I was just so delirious I didn’t know whether it was Cara the second place female or Jack, and then I saw Jack’s uniform go past and I thought damn it, give me the ribbon one year Jack,” said Adams. “But he’s such a good athlete, he’s an Olympian and it’s great being behind him when he’s hyping up the crowd and I’m just trying to get to the finish line. Maybe next year we can try and hold him off.


“It’s always such an incredible crowd out here, it’s really deep and super loud. I’ve just come off the back of the World Road Running Championships where I also represented Australia in the 5k so to be out here in a bit of a pet event was just fantastic,” she said.


In the Australian Open Criterium women’s event Ella Simpson was the rider to beat for most of the racing, pushing ahead to take an impressive victory.


Simpson was untouchable at the front of the field, crossing the line well ahead of Georgie Whitehouse in second and Sophie Sutton in third.


“My legs are very sore, that was tough, but I loved it,” said Simpson. “I made the decision to quickly enter last night so lucky I got a spot and so racing today was a bit of a shock to the system.


“It was awesome and as a team racing here, we had so many options, but we just had to race and pick one of us and it worked out perfectly,” she said. “The crowds were awesome, and it was so special to win here.”


Declan Trezise claimed his first Australian Open Criterium men’s title, edging out Matt Boys and Black Quick across the 40 minutes plus three laps race.


“It’s an amazing feeling, it’s always good fun coming to Noosa and for me it’s kicking off my season so it’s an awesome way to start it. Any time you race you want to win so we didn’t really have a winner today we just wanted to hit it hard and give the crowd a good show,” said Trezise. “It’s always hard to fix but the course was really hard today with the tailwind out one way and then the headwind the other way so it makes it quite hard to get away with anything, so we know what we had to do, I knew I was fast so I just had to back myself for the sprint.”


Trezise said that he enjoyed taking the win on his home turf.


“It’s awesome, being a Sunshine Coast team, all the locals know us and all the sponsors are up here so anytime we can perform in front of them is awesome,” he said. “The atmosphere was electric, it’s amazing, there’s probably not too many people here who know a lot about cycling but if we can put on a good show, they always love it and anytime we get a massive crowd like this it always makes you go a little deeper.”


Super Saturday also featured the always popular Legends Triathlon, with the 14 teams of celebrities and sporting stars entertaining the thousands who lined the course.


The team of Courtney Atkinson, Sergio Baxter and Luke Willian took the win, with Willian passing multiple-time IRONMAN race winner Tim Van Berkel in the final couple of hundred metres to take the tape first.


Sunday’s 40th running of the Noosa Triathlon will see thousands of athletes taking on a 1.5km swim, 40km ride and 10km run.


Noosa Triathlon is supported by the Queensland Government, through Tourism and Events Queensland, and features on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar.