Triath­lete is ready for Chal­lenge ahead of him

Shepparton News - - SPORT - By Lau­ren Bordin

Tak­ing on Chal­lenge Shep­par­ton’s course to­mor­row should not pose too much of a prob­lem for Ja­son Shields.

The no­to­ri­ously flat track is the po­lar op­po­site to what Shep­par­ton Triathlon Club mem­ber took on ear­lier this year when he fin­ished sec­ond at the Ul­tra­man Aus­tralia race in Noosa.

There he com­pleted the ex­haust­ing re­quire­ments across three days of rac­ing with ath­letes com­pet­ing across un­even, rocky and hilly ter­rain.

But Shields said his prepa­ra­tion held him in good stead for an event which cul­mi­nated in a 84 km run on the fi­nal day af­ter al­ready rid­ing 420 km and swim­ming 10 km in the pre­vi­ous two days.

‘‘I wouldn’t say it was eas­ier than I ex­pected but it was prob­a­bly ev­ery­thing that I dreamed and hoped that it would be and what would be pos­si­ble,’’ he said.

‘‘I had con­fi­dence that it was just go­ing to hap­pen come race day and it all just did hap­pen, I did the sec­ond fastest bike ride they’ve ever had there.

‘‘The 84 km run I did in the time I hoped for but I came sec­ond and there’s not much more I can do about that.’’

The ex­hil­a­ra­tion of com­pet­ing an ul­tra marathon con­tin­ued for an­other two weeks af­ter the event be­fore the train­ing and ex­e­cu­tion of the mam­moth event took its toll.

‘‘For three months af­ter I just didn’t want to train, I don’t know whether that was the ul­tra marathon, an in­jury I had or be­ing in Shep­par­ton over said.

But what­ever the contributing fac­tor, be­ing forced to take a break was the best thing for the ath­lete.

Now he re­turns to com­pe­ti­tion with the race around his home track in the half-dis­tance triathlon, the long­est on of­fer at Chal­lenge Shep­par­ton.

Shields nearly did not en­ter the com­pe­ti­tion.

‘‘I only de­cided to do ago,’’ he said.

‘‘I’ve only done my home race twice and if they stopped it af­ter this one and I didn’t do it this year even if I’m not quite fit (I’d be dis­ap­pointed.’’

At 90 per cent fit­ness Shields will take on the 1.9 km swim, 90 km ride and 21.1 km run head­first, in what should be a breeze given all he has en­dured be­fore. win­ter,’’ Shields it a week Easy as 1, 2, 3:

Shep­par­ton Triathlon Club mem­ber Ja­son Shields made a last­minute de­ci­sion to com­pete in to­mor­row’s Chal­lenge Shep­par­ton.

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