Stadium Tri Club and Karri Valley Triathlon are happy to announce Jonathan Sammut as the 15th King of Karri Valley. Jonathan was first out of the water with an impressive 18:57 swim which really set him up firmly for the race (especially with a really quick T1 time he was on the bike in a flash!). Allister Caird and Simon Billeau were hot on his heels through out the bike but Jonathan didn’t give in. Once off the bike he had the trails in front of him and a 3 loop course to keep a watchful eye on Simon Billeau making sure he kept a good lead to out run the previous KVT winner. Jonathan finished 1 minute 45 seconds in front of Simon and with a final time of 02:41:34.
Stadium Tri President Niamh Moloney had a chance to catch up with Jonathan after his win while handing out medals at the SunSmart Karri Valley Kids triathlon the next morning.
NM: What year did you start triathlon and what enticed you to it?
JS: I was introduced to triathlon at an early age because my dad (Ron Sammut) had been racing since I was really young. I loved supporting dad at Ironmans and would watch inspirational Hawaii Ironman YouTube clips all the time! I started doing them myself at about 12 but had some health problems which stopped me for a while. I started to do triathlon seriously after I finished school.
NM: Do you train solo or with a group most of the time?
JS: I try to train with my mates as much as I can but some sessions you just have to go solo which is okay too! My squad ElitePB coached by Peter Robertson is who I spend the most time with and they are all the best bunch of people. The ability ranges from beginner to elite which is what I love about it. We all have a common goal in triathlon which brings us closer as a team.
NM: When you train is it only in Perth?
JS: Most of my training is done in Perth however last season I had the opportunity to train in Europe with an Italian triathlon team which was a great experience.
NM: What leg of the race is usually your favourite?
JS: I don’t really have a favourite leg. I’d love for my “best leg” to be the run but I have a bit of work to do!
NM: What was your favourite leg of Karri Valley this year?
JS: My favourite leg at KVT was definitely the run. Because the bike course was so challenging, it made the run so much more interesting. No longer was it about who was the best runner but rather who was the strongest out there and having that awesome scenery made it so much better than any other race I’ve competed in.
NM: Was there any part of the race that was particularly tough?
JS: I’d have to say the bike that day was really challenging. The head wind around some of the winery’s was crazy strong and keeping the wheel straight was tough at times.
NM: Do you think the swim at Karri Valley is a defining factor being in a lake and fresh water?
JS: For first timers at a triathlon I believe it is! Being a first timer it’s particularly daunting going into a swim in open water and if it’s rough it makes it that much worse. Karri Valley tri being in a lake you don’t need to worry about that which is good. Myself, I love taking on any type of swimming conditions and to be honest the rougher the better.
NM: How was the atmosphere on the run? Have you experienced similar?
JS: During the race I felt like I was racing in front a loving triathlon community. Even though your out in the bush, returning to the transition each lap was a great feeling to get the support from the crowd. You also get to cross over with people racing that you know which may be on a different lap but getting to see them racing is encouraging for yourself as well.
NM: How did you find the resort?
JS: I found it on google maps…haha. No, I really liked it. Myself being an avid social media user, not having reception was really refreshing and being able to take in the scenery and quietness of the bush was super cool. Although I was so cosy in bed I didn’t really want to get out of it in the morning.
NM: In three words how would describe Karri Valley Triathlon.
JS: A real triathlon.