The result? He blasted to an impressive second place at the opening World Cup event in Mooloolaba, Australia, on the weekend.
It was Murray’s debut at the ITU Mooloolaba World Cup, won by Spaniard Mario Mola in 54 minutes and 18 seconds. Murray crossed the finishline 37 seconds later with Sven Riederer (55:04) of Switzerland taking the last spot on the podium.
What makes the performance especially impressive is that the top five of the top 10 athletes in the world of triathlon were in action in Mooloolaba.
Former two-time U23 world duathlon champion Murray exited the water in the second group just 10 seconds behind the leaders. On the bike leg it all got together really soon and Murray showed his strength as expected.
After just a kilometre on the run, Mola and Murray upped the pace and got a gap on the field. It was during the third lap that Mola kicked into another gear and managed to leave Murray a few strides behind.
Murray said his race wasn’t without a measure of pain and a small amount of premonition.
“It (the sprint distance) was shorter that what I am used to so it definitely hurt in the last two and a half kilometres,” he said. “It’s quite funny that over the past four years Mario and I have running within 10 seconds of each other every run and when I heard someone behind me I knew exactly who it was. We train quite a lot together and we’re very similar athletes and it was certainly a lot of fun today.”
Murray and Mola will meet again in Cape Town for the ITU World Triathlon Series race on Sunday 27 April.
“I hope all the locals will be out in full force and support when we race again.”
Murray is heading back to South Africa and will be in action this Sunday in East London at the South African Championships.