2022 in Review

Para Triathlon, Paratriathlon, Guide, Swim, Ride, Run, Triathlon, Luke, Luke Harvey, Thelukeharvey, Sam Harding, Needsmoregoats, Needs More Goats, Triathlon Australia, Triathlon, Tri, Swimming, Cycling, Running, Riding, Biking, Lifestyle, Travel, Australia, Aussie Travel, Holiday

What a ride this year has been! January I was preparing myself to enter back into serious racing after some time off in 2021. I had my eyes set on the Devonport Oceania Cup event in February as my first real test of fitness. February my base training was going strong, but speed was lacking. Eyes set on Devonport with entry, flights and accommodation sorted, until I got thrown my first curveball. I got a message from my coach asking if I was free for a meeting. Next thing I know, I was asked if I was interested in guiding a vision impaired triathlete in a weeks’ time. There’s a whole bit I’ve written on that over here <--

Sam and Luke running toward finish
Sam and Luke running towards the finish line

The following 10 months have been a whirlwind to say the least. 2 races and 2 wins with Sam, and we qualified for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. An unexpected but welcome challenge. 1 month later I’ve got my Japanese Visa and ready to leave home for several months, until my second curveball ; Sam gets COVID and we cancel flights to and from Japan. This normally wouldn’t be a problem, however I was supposed to continue my journey onwards later that week to Spain.

Luke taking wetsuit off on grass confused look on face
Luke pulling his wetsuit off with a confused look on his face

A last minute rebook, a 3 day delay and I’m on a plane to Bilbao, Spain with no return flight or clue where I would be next. I spent 6 weeks in Vitoria Gastiez with Warwick Dalziel’s squad on what was now a training camp. I’m in the process of writing up a piece on that experience so keep your eyes peeled; in short, I loved it and was the fittest I have ever been.

Luke running on a dirt path through trees
Luke running of a dirt path through the trees in Spain

With a week to go in Spain, I booked a flight back to Australia to prepare for the Commonwealth Games with Sam; cue the next curve ball. Arriving back home I’d allowed a week to get over jetlag and be ready to host Sam for a preparation camp. I got COVID 2 days before his arrival. I spent the next week in Isolation. Freedom dawned the day prior to flying off again, this time to Birmingham, England. The next 7 days I didn’t do much, trying to let my body recover and not push it until I had to, on race day. All seemed well for me on the swim and ride, but as soon as we began the run my body fell to pieces, COVID made its mark… Far from my finest hour, however, earned a silver medal, pretty stoked!

Luke and Sam biting silver medal in Australia uniform
Luke and Sam biting a silver medal from the Commonwealth Games in team uniform

I spent the next 6 days sick as a dog down in Swansea, before lining up on the PTVI start line once again. A last hurrah for the trip and my goal was just to get through it. Less than ideal as a guide when your athlete is depending on you, but with nobody able to cover my position I toed the start line. Sam knew the deal, work his arse off on the bike, as I wouldn’t be able to run very fast anyway. Execution? Perfect. We had our best ride yet, with me taking it a bit cruisier - it’s a testament to Sam’s progress. The run was just a matter of survival for me, but we got it done; 2nd fastest run split of the day.

Luke and Sam on a tandem bike in Australia uniform going around a corner
Luke and Sam on the tandem bike making a u-turn 

I spent the next 4 days vomiting and sleeping all the way back to Australia. Some time off was now in order. 1 week of complete rest followed by several very easy weeks and a trip away for some RnR at Airlie Beach.

Luke snorkeling on top of coral
Luke snorkelling above coral

The following couple of months presented some challenges, my heart rate was through the roof and my body just wasn’t right. We took some tests and the diagnosis - long COVID. 9 weeks later and I’m given the all clear. Just in time for the Noosa Triathlon. Toeing the line I was after a solid and consistent race. No spikes in HR or pace and keeping everything smooth. I executed this perfectly across all legs crossing in 19th and my body still in one piece- very important.

Luke on his time trial bike in a trisuit on the road
Luke on a time-trial bike in his tri-suit

A week later I’ve packed my van to the brim for a drive south, taking 2 tandems, a single bike, tandem box and all my gear for the next 3 weeks in Canberra. 2 weeks at Sam’s place training and syncing up, before jetting off to Abu Dhabi for the World Paratriathlon Championships. 6th place PTVI Individual, a great result for Sam’s first year. To round out the year we backed up 2 days later and snagged a gold medal in the first ever Para relay with team Australia!!!

Luke guiding Sam in Australian uniform on the run leg
Luke guiding Sam on the run

That rounds out my racing for 2022, but it’s certainly no rest period.

• 15th January - I’ll be in St Kilda racing the 2XU Series.

• 5th February - Stockton Paratriathlon.

• 26th February - Husky 70.3 National  Champs (my debut at this distance).

• 18th March – Devonport Paratriathlon 


 Catch you cool cats later and I hope you all have a wonderful festive season.

Luke finishing a run with arms in the air
Luke finishing a run with his hands in the air