Heat rises for Kona debutante

Multisport Mecca - - Ironman World Championship - Grant Ed­wards Grant.Ed­wards@news­re­gional­me­dia.com.au

LAST week the re­al­ity of com­pet­ing on Iron­man triathlon’s big­gest stage be­gan to sink in for Pere­gian Springs’s Paul Davies.

As he busily pre­pared for the jour­ney to Hawaii, the blinds sales rep­re­sen­ta­tive was think­ing about the task ahead.

“The heat is not nor­mally my friend,” the 36-year-old said.

“Look­ing at the tem­per­a­tures last week, it was say­ing 29 and 30 and I was think­ing that’s not go­ing to be too bad, and then you click on the real feel and its 38.

“It will be a big learn­ing curve for me.”

Qual­i­fy­ing for his world cham­pi­onship de­but af­ter win­ning the 35-39 age group at Iron­man Aus­tralia in May, Paul has been pre­par­ing un­der the guid­ance of coach Brad Kahle­feldt.

Only join­ing Brad’s ranks about five weeks be­fore his suc­cess at Port Mac­quarie, the lead-up to Hawaii has been con­sis­tent and grad­ual. Paul’s train­ing part­ners have in­cluded the likes of elites David Del­low from Kawana and Noosa’s Cal­lum Mill­ward.

“They all left a few weeks ago to race over­seas so there have been a few long, lonely rides,” Paul said.

“Just be­ing around those guys keeps your pretty mo­ti­vated.”

At Iron­man Aus­tralia, Paul fin­ished as the se­cond fastest age grouper on the day with a time of 9:10:47 (58:02 swim, 4:53:02 bike, 3:14:18 run).

But the change in con­di­tions means new tac­tics.

Reg­u­larly a slow swim­mer, the for­mer Kiwi re­lies on a strong bike leg to bring him back into con­tention.

“I would like to think I can go a top 10 in my age group. It’s all rel­a­tive to the day, in terms of speed and con­di­tions, and when you look back at the re­sults there aren’t too many who have great days in Hawaii,” Paul said.

“If I try to race a bit slower then hope­fully I can come out the other side. I know I will be chas­ing com­ing out of the wa­ter... I don’t swim any­where near quick enough.

“It’s go­ing to be hard to re­lax a lit­tle bit more than nor­mal. But if you go too easy you never make that time up on the run.”

The train­ing regime has seen Paul rack up be­tween 21-23 hours of train­ing each week.

Rac­ing 70.3 Sun­shine Coast was part of his prepa­ra­tion, fin­ish­ing fifth in his age group with a time of 4:15:36 (27:02, 2:15:30, 1:28:17) in a solid hit-out.

De­scrib­ing his train­ing as the most con­sis­tent he has ever achieved, Paul also paid trib­ute to strong sup­porter John Fer­gu­son who heads Fu­sion Mul­ti­sport apparel in Aus­tralia.

Paul is a mem­ber of Fu­sion Team Aus, a team ded­i­cated to sup­port­ing the na­tion’s lead­ing age groupers.

PHOTO: ROB SHEELEY, ROBSHOTS PHO­TO­GRAPH

Paul Davies of Pere­gian is ex­cited about his prospects at his Iron­man World Cham­pi­onship de­but.

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