Harriet is a 6 time Lorne Pier to Pub winner, World Ironwoman Champion, Nutri-Grain Ironwoman Series Champion, Australian Surf Life Saving National Team Captain & Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard Champion.
Having grown up on the Surf Coast, she is now based on the Gold Coast and returns each year for the Lorne Pier to Pub swim.
We recently asked Harriet about the Pier to Pub and some of her career highs – read on.
What made you swim the Pier to Pub?
I first swam the pier to pub when I was 12 years old. Growing up in Geelong being involved in swimming and nippers, the Pier to Pub was such a well-known ocean race that so many of my family and friends competed in each year. I was counting down the years until I was old enough to swim it and was so excited for my first swim.
What makes you keep coming back?
I keep coming back year after year because it’s such a great iconic event. I love the vibe down on the beach at Lorne on Pier to Pub day. It’s such a social event for me and a great way to catch up with friends I haven’t seen in a while. What I love the most is the challenge of racing against the men, the tactics and the stories after the race. Th Pier to Pub is the only time in the year when I get to race the guys.
What is your favourite Pier to Pub memory and why?
My favourite pier to pub memory was probably in 2016 when a bunch of my friends came down from Queensland to swim in the Pier to Pub for their first time, we all went to the pub after and then backed it up by competing in the summer of surf the next day at Fairhaven. I loved being able to share that race with my friends.
Another funny memory is when I was in juniors and was 13, I sat on my Sister, Alexandra’s (15), shoulder the whole swim so she did all the work and had to navigate the right direction. I then caught a wave on top of her and beat her up the beach. She wasn’t too happy and still reminds me of that swim.
What is your most memorable swimming (&/or sporting) achievement and why?
My most memorable sporting achievement is when I won the World Ironwoman Title after recovering from a broken jaw. My jaw was wired shut for 6 weeks, I couldn’t talk and could only eat through a straw. It was a tough time but coming back from that to win the world title made that win so much more satisfying.
How has your training been going? And what are your goals for the coming summer?
I am training at Northcliffe SLSC on the Gold Coast for surf lifesaving and I swim four times per week at Bond Swimming Club. My goals for summer are to win the Nutri-Grain Ironwoman Series and Australian Championships.
What are your top training recommendations for a beginner trying the virtual Pier to Pub for the first time this year?
Sign up, train consistently and then give it everything you’ve got on the day. If you don’t feel comfortable swimming by yourself, reach out to find someone to swim it with. Pick a nice day too, swimming in the ocean is always more enjoyable swimming when it’s a beautiful day.
Tell us something interesting about yourself (e.g. other than iron / ocean swimming, what do you enjoy doing for fun?)
I like going to the beach, surfing, good food and coffee with friends. I also work as an Exercise Physiologist.