Dower's first podium finish
IT'S taken two years but Andy Dower has finally found a way to climb on to the podium.
The Point Vernon father-of-three yesterday came second in Hervey Bay Triathlon Club's final race of the 2011-12 season behind pre-race favourite Scott Farrell.
It was a special moment for Dower, who watched his oldest son Ethan, 9, also finish runner-up in his junior race just a few minutes prior to the start of his event.
Even knowing Farrell would be hard to beat, the 30-year-old stuck to his game plan of conserving energy on the bike so he could power home in the final run.
He finished the 3km run, 20km cycle and 3km duathlon in a strong time of 57min 57sec.
"I'm real happy," said Dower, who was embraced by his wife Melissa and children Ethan, Indi, 4, and Piper, 22 months, after crossing the finish line.
"I got to the last kilometre of the bike leg and I had that moment when I was thinking 'do I go with him (Farrell) or do I stick with my plan'.
"I stuck with my plan which worked out well because I had more legs than the others did when we started running again."
Dower is a late bloomer to the sport and has shown remarkable improvement since his first race.
"I only got into triathlon two years ago because the club is such a family, friendly place," he said.
"Before then I had only played AFL footy but once I got into it (triathlon), I enjoyed it and got involved in a program with Steven Schofield and SAS Triathlon and Multisport.
"It's now a lifestyle. All the training you do keeps you fit, healthy and happy in life."
With Schofield opting to not race and rising star Christian Wilson unable to recover from his hip injury in time, Farrell took full advantage of the opportunity.
He gapped the field in the opening run and went on to win by more than four minutes.
"It was really good," the 31-year-old said.
"This is my off-season so I've just been doing a lot of easy training.
"I wanted to come out today and have a good hard hit-out and test the legs and I went pretty well ... better than I thought."
Farrell's triumph boosts his chances of taking out the club series men's title which won't be declared for another couple of weeks.
Having finished runner-up to Schofield a couple of times, he was hopeful he had done enough to capture his maiden title.
"It would be good to win it," he said.
"It's obviously our own club competition so it would be an honour.
"There is also some pretty fierce competition between me and Steve so it would be good to win one."
The sprint to the finish line was a lot closer in the women's event with Brooke Willis winning her fifth race of the season.
As expected, the 17-year-old opened up an early lead and maintained pole position to the finish line.
"I think I raced pretty well," said Willis, who finished in a time of 59.27.
- Scott Farrell 53min 42sec
- Andy Dower 57.57
- Daniel Willis 58.25
- Brooke Willis 59.27
- Michelle Byrnes 1hr 01min
- Amie Munson 1.02.43