We went to Shepparton, a small town about 2 hours North of Melbourne, last weekend for a half ironman triathlon.  Phil did this race last year, and as easy as it is to get to decided to give it another go. Having been to Shepparton once we knew that there wasn't a whole lot to do, so we drove over on Saturday morning.  After checking in, racking his bike, eating lunch, and setting up the tent, we looked at each other with the 'now what' look.  So I gave trip advisor a browse to see what the local attractions were.  A place called Lower Goulburn River National Park caught my eye and we drove to check it out.  Turns out it's a big muddy river surrounded by gum trees.  Not quite the spectacular national park we were hoping for.  But we did find an interesting swamp along the way - 

We also drove through Mooroopna, which is apparently the Fruit Salad City.  There was seriously a sign that said this.  There's even a Fruit Salad Day held every February that you can bet we will make the drive up for.

We also found heaps of Gallahs.  EVERYWHERE.  And they all had really hungry babies that wouldn't stop squawking right next to our campground.

The one other thing there is to do in Shepparton is look at cows.  Concrete painted artsy ones, like this flying cow:

this aboriginal cow:

the turtle cow:

the skeleton cow:

the construction worker cow:

and the Aussie Pride cow, just to mention a few.

Sunday we were up bright and early for the race.  After training really hard for this Phil was eager to get going and see the fruits of his labor.

He had a great swim, cutting several minutes off his previous best time.
The bike was awesome, I saw him much sooner than I was expecting and both laps were close to the same pace.

Two thumbs up for the run.  Last year he had a hard time with this part but this time his training paid off.

All in all he cut almost a full hour off his best time.  It was really good to see all his hard work pay off.  So then it was time for a celebratory beer with his training buddy Les, who had a really first half ironman race.

And now it's time to quickly recover, because he's doing a race twice this long in less than three weeks!


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