Ballarat trio win London Triathlon in freezing conditions

DESPITE the chill, Ballarat competitors in this year’s London Triathlon came out on top.

   It was the first time a team outside the United Kingdom was accepted as official participants in the London Triathlon.

The Poms may be a little regretful to have said yes to their Aussie competitors, who came out more than five seconds ahead to take the win.

Brad Fry, Greg Solomon and Geert Vrij.

Brad Fry, Greg Solomon and Geert Vrij.

Ballarat trio Greg Solomon, Brad Fry and Geert Vrij took on Ballarat’s below freezing weather to ride, run and swim to help raise funds for local charity Mitrofanoff Support Australia on Saturday night.

“It was freezing, we must have picked the coldest night in Ballarat,” team captain and co-founder of Mitrofanoff Support Australia Greg Solomon said.

In an effort to raise $5000 to support bladder health, Solomon and his team finished the triathlon at 2 hours 33 minutes 32 seconds, ahead of second place getters who finished at 2 hours 40 seconds.

Supporters braved the -2 temperatures to cheer on the Geert Vrij who kicked off the triathlon at 9.30pm on Saturday with a 1500 swim at Ballarat Grammar School before Brad Fry cycled a 40km leg around Lake Wendouree. Solomon finished the event with 10km run around the Steve Moneghetti track all which was screened live to London.

The trio competed against three charity teams in London, but, Solomon whose daughter was born with rare congenital condition, bladder exstrophy, said the cause far out weighed the cold conditions of Saturday night.

“When our daughter was diagnosed, the surgeons and nurses were great, but there was no support system so that’s why we started Mitrofanoff Support Australia,” he said.

“It’s an unglamorous thing to talk about, people suffer in silence because you never really hear much about bladder dysfunctions.”

“At the end of the day we just want people to know we’re here.”

With such success from their first time entering the triathlon, Solomon said there was hope competitors from other countries will enter next year’s event and begin to raise further awareness of bladder health.

“It feels like this is the start of something bigger,” he said.

According to Mitrofanoff Support Australia, 4.8 million Australians are belived to be living with some degree of incontinence.


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