Beginners unLuck

We’ve all got that friend who on first attempt succeeds, whether it’s first time skiing, first time surfing or first time doing a triathlon. Yeah, high five to them… but the majority of us struggle first time, make complete fools of ourselves and need a few attempts to succeed.

First time doing anything can be a little scary and the fear of failure is real, so I’ve gathered stories, near and far, of triathletes, new and pro, to share with you that we all start somewhere.

Introducing the First Time Tri Fail #FTTF

Tim Ford – @tford14

Thanyapura Ambassador and 70.3 Ironman World Champ Qualifier ‘16

 TF“In my first triathlon I was told I could use a wetsuit so I hired one for surfing. It was so thick and heavy that I could hardly swim and breathe. I had to take it off in the water and ask one of the lifeguards to take it in for me!”

Even if Barney Stinson tells you to “suit up”, do not try anything new on race day!


Josh Hockley – @hocko911

70.3 and 140.6 Ironman World Champ Qualifier ‘16

Josh“My first triathlon (Canberra 70.3) I got a DNF for not knowing the rules on the bike, overtaking on the left hand side and never stopped at the penalty box.”

Yep, that was not right Josh. This definitely deserves a high five for overtaking people during your first triathlon. Josh, the rule breaker and speed machine!


Kate Luckin – @kate_luckin

10th Age Group 18-24 Kona World Champion ‘15

Josh“One of my first triathlons, I ran out of T2 with my helmet still on and then in my finishers photo I had a massive wedgie!”

Nothing wrong with extra noggin protection and that wedgie sounds like an absolute crack up!


Morenna Burn – @littleninjamomo

Triathlon Beginner


“Before my first triathlon I went out and bought a branded tri-suit as I thought that’s what I needed to wear. Turns out it wasn’t the best suit, I just bought the first one I saw.”

Live and learn Momo!


 Tips for surviving those “Failure Moments”

Laugh at yourself – You never know who is paparazzi-ing. Snap Happy!

 Prepare yourself – Familiarise yourself with the transition areas and course… if it says two laps on the run, do two laps on the run, otherwise that it won’t be record breaking it will be heart breaking!

Learn from it – The only real failure is when you don’t learn from your mistakes. As the saying goes, “A setback is a setup for a comeback”.

Remember it – It makes a hell of a story! Embarrassment and awesome stories are directly related; the more embarrassing it is the better story it will be.

Don’t be afraid to tri something new! The triathlon family is full of support and encouragement. If you experience a First Time Tri Failure, just remember to laugh, learn, take it in your stride and share your story #FTTF.

Kate’s #FTTF


They say a photo can tell a thousand words, and here is my failure, captured by my loving father, at Raby Bay’s Gatorade Sprint Distance Triathlon. Lesson I learnt: SLOW DOWN in the dismount area and learn how to unclip during moments of panic!

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