Upcoming Races



Thursday, December 22, 2011

Triathlon's 'Best of 2011'- An Arbitrary Account from J.Amberger

 The festive season not only brings together family, friends and children with jovial fat red men with sacks in shopping centres, it also spews forth copious amounts of fickle and arbitrary lists of 'best of's'.

So here's my own list, prehaps also as fickle and arbitrary as the rest.

^disclaimer- I generally give more attention to mens races, so I have withheld a list of female performance as a bastion against my inadequate knowledge and likely speculation. If you don't like my list, make your own!

  • Best performance of 2011- Javier Gomez in Sydney WCS
  • Best swim of 2011- Richard Varga in Hamburg WCS
  • Best ride of 2011- Reinaldo Collucci in Kitzbuhel WCS
  • Best run of 2011- Joao Silva in Yokohama WCS
  • Best overall athlete/s- Brownlee, either one
  • Breakthrough athlete- Vincent Luis
  • Best course- Geneva Euro Cup
  • Best crash- Laurent Vidal in Sydney WCS (video- watch from .30 in)
  • Best quote- Alistair Brownlee post-Kitzbuhel: "It was a funny race today, the swim was really really slow, I was a couple of guys back...and I thought these guys are going really slow so I just swam to the front. It didn't seem that hard"


  • Best performance of 2011- Greg Bennett in Hy-Vee
  • Best swim of 2011- J.Amberger in Hy-Vee*
  • Best ride of 2011-Ben Collins in NYC 5150 or Hy-Vee
  • Best run of 2011- Javier Gomez in Dallas
  • Best overall athlete- Paul Matthews
  • Breakthrough athlete- Billiard Bertand
  • Best course- Hy-Vee
  • Best crash- Cam Dye in Minneapolis, "An age grouper came out of transition and tried to do a flying mount onto his bike, however, from lack of practice or body control he began to go through the line of cones and into my lane. I slammed on my breaks and road over to the left as far as I could to avoid him but my C75 met the curb and I did a slow motion flip over the bars and onto said curb."
  • Best quote- Cam Dye post-Hy-Vee, telling me I cut the bouys and cheated in the swim!
  *Have to get some credit for it

70.3 & Iron Distance

  • Best performance of 2011- All three records, first Marino Van Hoenacker at IM Austria, Andreas Raelert at Challenge Roth & Craig Alexander at Kona
  • Best swim of 2011- Pete Jacobs in IMOZ
  • Best ride of 2011-Andreas Raelert at Challenge Roth
  • Best run of 2011- Pete Jacobs in Kona
  • Best overall athlete- Craig Alexander
  • Breakthrough athlete- Clayton Fettell & Andi Boecherer
  • Best crash- Tim Reed in Phuket 70.3, "On the final climb of the day at a bit after the 80km mark I felt the heart sinking feeling of a tyre getting very squishy as glass had sliced the tyre and tube... I decided to just ride slowly on the flat tyre until the support vehicle caught up. There was a minor descent where I was able to pick my speed up a little... as soon as I hit the corner at the end of the descent I came down hard stupidly forgetting that I wouldn’t be able to corner with a flat tyre".
  • Best Quote- Andy Potts after Vineman 70.3: "Anytime you can get to smell the finish line, and you're shoulder to shoulder with you know, the top guy, and you're in the lead, all that's bringing you towards the finish line. It's like a tractor beam, pulling you in and you got all this adrenaline, and I'm thinking, let the tractor beam, let it pull me in let it pull me in..."

On the whole, 2011 was a good year for me, with some definate highlights but also some downers. I had my first injury of my career, which set me back four months of cycling & running from December 2010 until April. I had a short while to recover and condition myself before the international season began, which of course made things tough. I tried some shortcuts to fitness, which obviously worked for my early races in Klagenfurt, Zurich & Geneva, but held me back from long term conditioning for New York, Hy-Vee, Noosa and Port Mac. I introduced new styles of racing, non-drafting Olympic Distance and 70.3, and will certainly continue this into the future. The triathletes I admire are the ones that can do it all, and that's my blueprint. It was also my first season where I took care of everything myself; training plans, racing schedule, training bases, homestays, nutrition and funded myself 95%, the other 5% going to my only cash sponsor. A bit of a bleak figure, but I guess this margin can only improve. At 22, I think I did an okay job of managing all of these things. I learnt a lot and I understand I still have a long way to go, but this is the challenge I love.

...In 2012, I will be smarter, and I will be better. Cannot wait!

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Get at me on Twitter! @JoshAmberger

I expect those that read this blog would actually follow me on Twitter as well. If not, you'll most certainly get hit with the poo shovel, at any given time.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Island Migration: Part 4

This time around, camping on Moreton Island off the coast of Brisbane. Of course, I took Asha with me :)

Nothing but sand, trees, lakes, and beaches. No sealed roads, only a few houses, mostly wilderness and rugged landscape. Love it!



Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Island Migration: Part 3

It's hard to remember what you're on Hamilton Island to do, a race or a holiday? Well I wont deny either, because the race has an atmosphere and course that inspires majesty, but it's still strikingly relaxed. All the while, the island itself is beautiful, amazing flora & fauna with the exact kind of rugged landscape that I love, which is of course is contained by crytal blue waters. Mark 'Sharky' Smoothy, a 25 year veterean of the sport says the race on Hamilton Island is just like the good old days, relentlessly tough, but with a nuturing and fun atmosphere.

Now getting down to the nitty gritty, Asha and I arrived on Thursday and settled into our little 5-star nest at the Beach Club. Thursday and Friday was all about relaxing while waiting for the metaphorical gun (air horn of course) to go off on Saturday morning.

I was joined by perenial sparing partner Jimmy Seear, whilst Pete Jacobs was also starting amongst a hundred or so other male contendors. Unfortunately Craig Alexander decided not to bring his bike with him so a race with him was null and void! It would have been great to race (and beat of course :p) him as well as Pete, but I guess a 3-time Hawaii champ doesn't have much more to prove!

For those that don't know already, this is a sprint distance race. Don't get put off by that you uber-distance fanatics, everyone is always glad that it's only a sprint. The course is truly brutal: ocean swim with chop, beach running, serious vertical ascent on the bike, more vertical ascent on the run and more beach running to finish. Leading into this race, I really struggled with recovering from Port Mac 70.3, and I knew my body had expired for the year. It's been a while since I took a break, but had planned this to be my send off for the 2011 season anyway.

Pete Jacobs interestingly wore a wetsuit for the 750m swim, something I didn't even think about brining to the race. By default, Pete was assigned the duty of pulling me around the swim course, but Jimmy and I instantly gapped him at the start of the cycle because he had to take the thing off! There's not much else to add about the bike (watch the video below if you haven't already), just the fact that Jimmy absolutely tore me to bits and dropped me around 12km in. I kept putting chunks of time into Pete however, and with each lap of the bike I longed for the run to start, wanting to move onto new (hopefully fresh) muscle groups. It's funny how I was thinking that though, because the run was just as tough. There's not many courses around that make you think about walking in a sprint race! Last year I had a 200m sprint finish along the soft sand with Ryan Fisher (who just picked up 3rd in Auckland ITU), so I was happy to pull onto the finishing straight by myself this year, even if it meant I was still in second place.

Swim start

 Jimmy and I on the runway

Group shot!

Pete Jacobs


Pete, Ash, Jimmy, Burg

Crowie finishing in teams

Here's some shots from the rest of the weekend, including the return boat trip from the 2km Whitehaven Ocean swim.


 Thanks goes out to Hamilton Island for the amazing weekend. You can view them at their website here or follow them on Twitter here.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Island Migration: Part 2

I'm waiting on some race photos from Saturday, so I've done a video from the cycle leg in the meantime. This is my first time recording & editing anything, I hope you will all enjoy!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Island Migration: Part 1

Heading off once again to the gorgeous Hamilton Island for this Saturday's sprint distance tri. I've been really slow on the recovery for Port, and am really just hoping to get through the race without walking. It's a super brutal course, but magical enough to still make me smile. I'll be taking some time off after the race, and have got some good holiday stuff planned to make all you Northern Hemisphere lads a little bit jealous.

Here's the video from last year's race

2010 Hamilton Island Triathlon from Hamilton Island on Vimeo.

And a link to my blog post afterwards


Monday, November 14, 2011

Ominous Traversal 1.0

With compatriot D.W. Wordsmith's foray into the electronic mediations of the blog, which is becoming increasingly ubiquitous with Australian Triathletes, it is without epiphany that I have to reinvigorate my blogging colloquy. Thus, in a vain and plunderous attempt to stay relevant in the cut-throat market of blog hits, I shall decant an esoteric but hopefully not irrelevant narrative which will eventually if not sublimely encapsulate an important 'lesson of the Burg', should you treat it as such. I shall also disclose that while no one is currently making significant financial investments in my future, I will write here what I please. Begin...

Around the year 370AD I was moping around the vast steppes of Hunnic Empire before I settled (temporarily of course) near the Volga. Days and months of scouring the banks of the great river passed, all the while dancing with tribes of Huns, slaughtering beasts and drinking fermented goat's milk became norm. I had left my tiresome abode in search of a new life, travelling without facing the embargoes, facades and tyranies of the modern empire and sovereign society. My partaking in the nomadic rituals, namely the aforementioned, as well the casting of tunics out of rodent's skin, riding horseback popping arrows, throwing javelins, sharpening daggers and jousting with the Romans has certianly left many legacies on my being, now of course breathing in the globalised society that is 21st century. Through osmosis, the vastness and desolation of the steppe marvelled it's way into my being and soul. In those fevered times, it was kill or be killed, fear or be feared, the oldern day equivalent of the modern fable 'Triathlon or die'. In essence, life in those times had an overwhelming sense of darkness which has stayed with me all these years voiding the destructive power of time. I still feel the darkness of steppe, even after my many migrations; from my quest accross The Great Silk Road from Eurasia to China, from China to India amongst the West Indies Spice and Opium trade, the booming textile and tea trade from India to the great European imperial powers, and finally from the Pax-Britanica Empire on convict boats to Australasia, which has since seen me settled in the humble Northern Brisbane suburbs for the past few centuries. As fresh as Attila's mink skin coat, the longing for dark feelings remain.

As a consequence of my aforementioned Hunnic explorations, everything I do is one of feeling. Feeling the workout, feeling the purpose. Feeling the aromas of the bean, feeling the succulent taste. Feeling the panorama and feeling the beauty of the moment. In essence, as well as doing, I try to feel. My Hunnic brethren live on in one of my most cherished feelings, the feelings of the dark nature embodied by the soundscapes of modern metal, delivered in musical format. It's quite obvious that the darkness has a different texture to the light; the feeling of dread and despondency versus fear and nervousness. The darkness I feel from music is so real that I feel I can touch it. It's like a cosmos, a very energetic and rich vacuum with lots of messages, infinitly mobile in its capacity to abduct your being. When the darkness knocks once on your dilapidated goat skinned Hunnic door, knocking thrice if need be, you have no other choice but to surrender yourself to it, shifting your state into transcendence.

Pertinently, the great thing about today's globalised society as opposed to my mopings throughout antique centuries past is the recent progeny of Black/Doom/Death & Sludge Metal. While it's deplorably true that about 90% of the bands spawned are hopelessly repugnant, the 10% of  metal bands that give a nod to their fellow space-travelling couterparts man should have their very own unique, obscure and dark atmosphere, one that a being like myself can immerse themselves in and feel the feelings of dark times past. The feelings and transcendence absorbed by the atmospheres in metal music are so monolithic and vast that it's a feeling even D.W. Wordsmith's metallic mind would have to grapple with.

Now before it becomes consensus that I'm a vagrant Hunnic freak because of the misanthropic or macabre leanings of this entry, I assure you this darkness is a transmission of joy as much as it sounds like the opposite. While some may like bright colors and soft fabrics, I'm about wanting to have an abstract experience, trying to get to something deeper and more obscure than normal. Dark music provides the perfect medium for this. To the pompous ones who may satyrise or scrutinise these words, please ignore what you don't understand and hide from it accordingly. Alternatively, to the other space travellers out there, I encourage one to embrace the foundations of this post, that from day to day, as well as doing things, feel them.

"But sir, this feeling, this feeling of darkness and dread.... where can I get it?" Lad, by having seen Brisbane's own Portal live at the Globe Theatre last Fiday night. The darkness....