Jump to content

Vale Digger Elrick


Recommended Posts

Sadly a Triathlon legend and all round great guy Digger Elrick passed away peacefully today with his family by his side.  Its a sad loss for the Victorian triathlon community and he certainly helped myself alot as a junior and continued to be involved in the sport as much as he could after his accident many, many years ago. 

Digger was a founding member of Mornington Peninsula Triathlon Club, a State and National champion and a loveable larikin.

A fighter to the end.  Rest in peace Dig.

Edited by Freak
  • Like 2
  • Sad 5
Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, Freak said:

Sadly a Triathlon legend and all round great guy Digger Elrick passed away peacefully today with his family by his side.  Its a sad loss for the Victorian triathlon community and he certainly helped myself alot as a junior and continued to be involved in the sport as much as he could after his accident many, many years ago. 

Digger was a founding member of Mornington Peninsula Triathlon Club, a State and National champion and a loveable larikin.

A fighter to the end.  Rest in peace Dig.

Never met him, but the name is legendary. RIP.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Terribly sad news

I’ve not posted on here in something like 10 years as I don’t live in Aust any more but I still lurk to see how things still exist 

Digger was one of my fav blokes. Just a character, loved bike stuff as much as riding really fast ( which he could do better than most ).

I’m pretty sure I’ve not met a bloke that could tell a joke better either. 

Digger was born into triathlon royalty in Frankston as his dad was a central figure there... he competed at IMH as an 18 year old too ( pretty sure he had to lie about age just to compete? )... not too sure how many ppl can boast doing IMH that young. 10:50 and change in the same year as the great Allen/Scott iron war .

( http://www.bede-kraut.at/media/ergebnisliste-ironman-hawaii-1989-2.pdf)

Went up to Forster with his young family  in 1999 . At that point Digger had not competed in a few years but he had a renewed fire to get going again. 

A beautiful young daughter , loving wife and new job meant he would be relatively time poor ...

We agreed to get some training done when we could. Stay nights where it suited in Melb. He was working in Melb CBD and would aim to commute on the bike when he could to and from Frankston

The plan unravelled due to a terrible incident involving a tram. Visiting him in hospital for the next few weeks was terribly difficult as he slowly recovered in ICU.

As a measure of his friends, back in the day ( before social media was even a thing) an email group called Triathlon Digest ran ( organised by an American journalist)  and via that I received dozens of requests enquiring to his well-being and msgs of love and support and anecdotes of his antics over the years. 

I still recall collecting the crumpled wreckage of his bike from the tram depot in Hawthorn where it ended up. It sat in my garage for months as I couldn’t bring myself to deal with it.

Naturally time progresses ... and people drift apart . I regret not keeping in touch more often as time went on.

I’ll miss Digger , he will always remind me of what was so good about triathlon and meeting its loveable characters. 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

There will be a few racing the HB100 and drinking in his honor on Sunday. This race would have been perfect for him in his younger days. His Dad was well up in the Ansett corporate ladder. Digger used to have 10 return flights a year as part of the deal. 😪

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

I was really saddened to hear of Diggers passing. He is part of my dinosaur generation that at least in Victoria seemed to get some recognition and respect through their 'old hands' network. It seems too many (most) of the current generation of the sport are too insecure and immature to acknowledge the history as its all about them... when in fact it may be that 30 years on here we are going.... slower in a more mediocre version of the sport. 

My main memory of Digger was in Hawaii in 1989 where both of us went over with lofty expectations in the sub nine hour realm, and ended up with a long long walk. We found ourselves together walking late in the marathon after watching Dave and Mark go by in lockstep and then Welchy, Tinley et al battling for third. 

Digger was demoralised and was going to pull the pin but I just kept telling him that a blue Hawaii finishers T shirt was worth it, so we both kept walking, I stopped to have a little vomit and Digger actually finished ahead of me in10.48, my one and only effort in that shit race was a 10.53. 

I dunno what he did with his finishers T shirt, but mine ended up as a bike rag. I seem to be going to a lot of funerals lately, another one this week which also deeply saddened me, the Shmoo. The black dog got him in the end. Amazing guy and although I didnt know him that well, he was working in my brothers organisation at the time of his passing and so we had some good talks about various issues.

To see the history and genuine family, Sunnys' wife and daughter, Papa Shmoo, Brad Gerlach speaking in person, Kelly, and people whose respect with the groms and younger generation, and bonds are still strong 40 years onwards made me think about triathlon and how that kind of homage would not happen generally. The surfing identities of my youth, long before I was a triathlete, the crowd at the Gold Coast service and the two services her in Cronulla, the crowds lining the street, the world wide reach and ongoing respect those men worldwide, that really meant something.  Shmoo was a prickly character and his son said as much in the service but he was a man much loved and respected. I reached out to him last year when Lisa died and we spoke briefly about it but he very much kept his own counsel.

Ive seen so many suicides and cut people from ropes, dragged dead bodies out of cars, with needles handing out of their arms and picked up body parts from train tracks. Ive dealt with the families of those people and handed up the coroners briefs for the rubber stamp. 

One common theme for cops dealing with suicide is the adage :"a permanent decision to a temporary problem". But I disagree with that. For some the blackness never disappears and only gets deeper and worse. Im glad Shmoo has found peace as so many have this year.

But those you leave behind no matter what the circumstances of your passing will always feel part of them is amputated. Both men have been remembered with love and respect. Thats all you can really hope for.  

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
  • Sad 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
×
×
  • Create New...