Dream vic­tory in home town

Multisport Mecca - - News - Steele Tay­lor steele.tay­lor@sc­news.com.au

BUD­ERIM’S An­nelise Jef­feries is savour­ing a home-town vic­tory af­ter a gritty show­ing in the open women’s di­vi­sion of the Mooloolaba Triathlon.

More than 3000 com­peti­tors took to the Olympic-dis­tance course for the 25th edi­tion of the event but the 24-year-old’s ef­fort was par­tic­u­larly spe­cial.

She crossed the line in 2hr 05 min, 24 sec­onds ahead of Katey Gibb. Fel­low Bud­erim res­i­dent Kir­ralee Sei­del was third.

“It’s very spe­cial to have a ti­tle on home ground,” she said af­ter a 1.5km swim, 40km ride and then a tough 10km run leg in 28-de­gree heat.

“Com­ing over the hill and to the fin­ish line, I just wasn’t sure how far Katey was be­hind me,” she said.

“I saw at the turn­around at the far end she was only 15 sec­onds be­hind me so I was try­ing to stretch it out dur­ing that last few kilo­me­tres and re­ally push it down the hill at the end. “The last 2km was very hard.” An­nelise is in the midst of a tran­si­tion to Iron­man 70.3 rac­ing, hav­ing made her de­but at the longer for­mat with a fifth plac­ing at Thai­land last year, where she said she “made a lot of mis­takes”.

She’ll tackle 70.3 Tai­wan on Sun­day.

In a small pro­fes­sional women’s field, key ri­vals will in­clude Noosa-based Radka Vod­ick­ova along with fel­low Aussie Kate Bevilaqua.

An­nelise was ini­tially a cross coun­try run­ner who started triathlons when she fin­ished school. She quickly picked up cy­cling skills but bat­tled in the wa­ter.

A world un­der-23 duathlon ti­tle-holder in 2015, An­nelise im­proved her swim leg dur­ing the past cou­ple of sea­sons.

“I used to get re­ally ner­vous be­fore the start of the swim but now I have much bet­ter con­trol of my pre-race nerves and I’m find­ing I can just stay there (at the back of the main pack) and also (be­cause of) a num­ber of more years in the pool,” she said. “I’ve been gain­ing more strength ev­ery year.” She’s also no­ticed im­prove­ments since link­ing with Nick Croft’s squad at Noosa at the start of the year.

A third-year nu­tri­tion and di­etet­ics stu­dent at Univer­sity of the Sun­shine Coast, An­nelise also works two part-time jobs, largely to sup­port her triathlon pur­suits.

“Still, my mum and dad are my big­gest spon­sors,” she said.

Mean­while, reign­ing Noosa Triathlon cham­pion Dan Wil­son won the open men’s race in 1hr 49min 52sec, seven sec­onds ahead of Tim O’Don­nell. Sun­shine Coast’s Luke McKen­zie was third.

Dan, 31, who is also mak­ing a tran­si­tion to 70.3 rac­ing, said: “It was good old-fash­ioned run­ning duel there.”

PHOTO: WAR­REN LY­NAM

An­nelise Jef­feries wins the women's race.

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