“People in Wollongong smile more than anyone else in the country, according to an Instagram study. It’s not hard to see why…” An article got tweeted the other day, “16 reasons why Wollongong is the happiest city in Australia”. I could probably tell you a few more than 16. For those that don’t know, Wollongong is on the south coast of New South Wales. About a hour drive from Sydney and about 40 minutes from my home in Campbelltown. Most people wouldn’t know, but Wollongong is the third largest city in NSW. Wollongong for the past 4 years for me has been my training base from the end of January till mid May when we go overseas.
One of the great things is that Wollongong is situated on a harbour which used, among other things, for an Australia Day Aquathon and by us on the rare occasion that the waves are too big at North beach. The Aquathon has grown over the years that I have competing in it and that’s a massive credit to Rob Battocchio for staging such a professionally organised event. This year I finished fourth behind some good company wearing a bright green Funkita costume to match the Australia Day theme. Thanks to the organisers for having us again in 2014 and I am sure we will be back for my 9th round in 2015.
With Wollongong being situated along the coast line we start most of rides from North Wollongong and within a hour, and a climb to get there, we get a magic view over the whole of Wollongong. It is probably the most posted photo on Instragram as the view never disappoints.
Although I haven’t got a snap of my new bike there yet, the view of two historical lighthouses are enough to show off my new envious, Giant Envie.
Another big thanks to Spearmans Cycles Wollongong and Liv Giant for organising our bikes again for 2014 and getting them to us before the start of the 2014 season. I wouldn’t be fitted right without a detailed retul bike fit from Aaron Lean to get me in the right position for me. She rides a treat!!
Although Campbelltown is my home, I have moved down to Wollongong to a prime location at North Beach to be close to training venues. My back gate opens onto the bike path making it very easy for morning and afternoon runs. I also have the benefit of living on the top level which means I can work on my biceps as I carry my groceries up the stairs and I have plenty of stairs to choose from to stretch my calves. I have made some new friends that join me for dinner every night. Seven of them line up and wait for their treat. Just like a family dinner.
Lastly, I would like to thank Campbelltown Council for naming me Sports Person of the Year at the Australia Day Awards ceremony. Unfortunately, I couldn’t attend as I was competing in the Aquathon but I feel privileged to be acknowledged by my local community for my achievements last year!
First race up will be Devonport Oceania Championships on the 1st March. Stay tuned !