From Tim Reed – close friend, training partner, ideas man.
I was a couple of years into triathlon and had gradually progressed from a dabbler to winning my age group and with that was starting to get the feeling that perhaps I was quite talented at this triathlon caper. My ballooning ego was then immediately deflated when I first raced Mitch Robins. I was soon taught what real talent was. Suddenly there was this 19 year old who was 6 months into ‘playing triathlon’ (as he described it) and hot on my heels. I halfway through the bike leg at Geelong 70.3 and this awkward looking teen praying mantis rode up to me on the bike with a big grin on his face yelling out to me that his heart rate was close to zero. We got off the bike and Mitch was running a pace I’de never even done for kilometre repeats. To add insult to an exploding heart rate, Mitch would run several metres ahead to aid stations grabbing a cup of lollies and then proceed to offer them around like a 10 year old at a birthday party who can’t believe his Mum isn’t there to stop him overdosing on sugar. Mitch in true rookie style, then proceeded to have a toilet stop on the way allowing me a sneaky win. What is amazing was, that Mitch still ran the 4th quickest run time overall and beat the majority of the professional field. The guy was 6 months in to starting the sport, swam like a rock and still toweled up guys who had been racing full time for 10+ years.
Fast forward several years and Mitch has won most of the races he has entered as a professional triathlete both in short and long course, drafting and non-drafting. Aside from a brief period under the Aussie high performance program at the anaerobic centre of overtraining in France, I’m struggling to think of a race where Mitch has not podiumed as a professional athlete. Apart from grumbling through every early morning session, after 10 am Mitch is the consummate professional, a genuine good bloke, liked by all that have the pleasure of knowing him and a superb representative for his sponsors.
I’ve said it before and I’ll keep on saying it. Mitch will dominate whichever path he decides to take in this sport. If Mitch went down the long winding selection path, Mitch could make the Aussie Olympic team. Should he race non-drafting Olympic distance and 70.3 events, I would put my house on him becoming one of the best in the world. Into his early thirties, could Mitch one day win the great Ironman World Championships? Sure, anything is possible, I could be sick or injured one year.
I’ve known Mitch Robins since he was a pimply 18 year old surfer from Port Macquarie in our Triathlon Academy program. What struck me about Mitch from the start was his inner attitude, he came from a body boarding background and I knew from experience that anyone who would surf 20 foot pipeline Hawaii as a 16 year old had some balls and some self belief, a deep inner drive that only those prepared to go to edge and face the darkness possess. Over the past 2 years Mitch has shown exactly that. He is one of those very rare people that is prepared to die in battle rather than take the safe route. He is far more talented than the powers that be or the rest of the triathlon community realise.
As his coach I have absolutely no doubt what so ever that we are looking at a future World Champion or an Olympian. One thing is for certain it will be to the beat of his own drum. His mental inner strength and maturity is slowly catching up with his physical talent, God help everyone who races against him when it completes its journey.
Check out my website: http://mitchrobins.com/