A few weekends ago I had the pleasure of cheering and spectating at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships. Watching the best in the world compete in my favourite sport on home turf was inspiring, especially as several of my training buddies and friends were racing. Having watched first hand their dedication to training pay off, firstly to qualify, then to race at such a high level was nothing short of phenomenal.
I was standing in the middle of the road, high fiving, yelling and taking photos of the athletes running past for hours upon end and decided there and then that I had to be on the other side. Whilst spectating was fun, racing is even better, and now the 2017 World Champs are my goal.
I LOVE destination races and next year the ITU Long Course Worlds are being held in Canada, a country I have always wanted to visit. Think beautiful mountains and lakes, brown bears, deer, breweries, wineries and more. Just a short flight away is Alaska, where there are polar bears and orca whales, as well as stunning scenic bike ride and trail run routes (I did say I love destination races for a reason).
The qualification process to represent Australia at the ITU Worlds is a bit different to the Ironman Worlds process. It is based on a points system, you earn points by racing at any of the 8 specified long course races over the next 6 months (see below). The people in each AG with the most points qualify, but only 3 races can count towards the points tally.
First up is Hervey Bay 100 (2k swim, 80k ride, 18k run)
In mid November this race will kick off my quest to qualify for Canada. Whilst this will be my first HB100, based on the last few years, it is set to be a hot, humid and testing race. I am currently suffering a touch of plantar fasciitis which is limiting my running, but under the guidance of my coach and physio I hope to make it to the start line fit and ready to race. To make things even better, a heap of my squadies and friends are also racing, so it’s set to be a fun filled weekend away.
Then Canberra Long Course T3X (4k swim, 120k ride, 30k run)
Four weeks after HB100 I will toe the line of the Canberra T3X triathlon, watched on by my big brother Will and his beautiful little family; Anna and Arlo. I am looking forward to this one the most, both the training and race day. Being a bit longer than a 70.3 race but not quite Ironman distance, pacing will be somewhere in between and I am looking forward to seeing just how well I can go. If I can nab a podium finish in Canberra I will be absolutely stoked, a girls got to have dreams, so bring on December 11th.
Finally Hell of The West (2k swim, 80k ride, 20k run)
In the middle of the hot Australian Summer we will load our bikes and head off on a road trip out West a few hundred kilometres to Goondiwindi, for one of Australia’s toughest and most challenging races. This is the Australian Long Course Championships, so that means double points for Canada qualification. It also will probably be doubly as difficult considering it’s post Christmas, New Years and my 30th birthday celebrations. Nothing like a ridiculous goal to keep you on track over the silly season.
I have never had a goal so far in the future, and so ambitious, 11 months is a long time away when I don’t even know what I am having for dinner tomorrow night. But having three races coming up that I want to do well in, will keep me focussed. Then I will have a nice long 6 month build to allow me the best possible chance at crushing Canada.
But first, before any of those dreams can be achieved… I need to ice ice baby, stretch, foam roll, deep water run and do everything else possible to get rid of this plantar fascitis.
Oh and in five weeks I’ll be racing in Noosa Tri, Australia’s largest triathlon. If the excitement of thousands of triathletes coming to my beautiful town isn’t enough, that will also be the maiden race on my new bike… SO EXCITED! I will introduce you to her in my next post.
I’m looking forward to sharing the craziness of the next eleven months with you, after all it’s good having an end to journey towards. But it is the journey that matters in the end.
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Until next time remember never to give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than the one with all the facts.