Ath­letic duo US bound

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Sport - BY SARAH SCULLY

Hor­sham’s Sally Pymer and Kelly Miller will travel to the United States to­day to com­pete against the world’s top triath­letes in the 2017 Iron­man 70.3 World Cham­pi­onship.

The pair qual­i­fied for the cham­pi­onship – the pin­na­cle of the global Iron­man 70.3 triathlon se­ries – in De­cem­ber last year.

More than 4000 ath­letes will con­verge on Chat­tanooga, Ten­nessee, for the two-day event.

The ath­letes will face a 1.9-kilo­me­tre swim, 90-kilo­me­tre bike ride and 21-kilo­me­tre run, with the women com­pet­ing on Satur­day and the men on Sun­day.

Pymer said prepa­ra­tion for the mam­moth task had been pro­gress­ing well un­til she de­vel­oped a chest in­fec­tion about three weeks ago.

“That was topped off with a case of gas­tro,” she said.

“I was do­ing three runs, three rides and three swims a week but I had to stop.

“I’m breath­ing a bit bet­ter now, although I’m more wor­ried about mak­ing it to the start­ing line than ex­cited at this stage.”

De­spite be­ing laid up, Pymer said she was thrilled with the op­por­tu­nity to rep­re­sent her coun­try.

“It still doesn’t feel real,” she said. “To say you’re rep­re­sent­ing Aus­tralia is ex­cit­ing.”

Miller has also been un­well for the past few weeks and hopes to be re­cov­ered be­fore the event is un­der­way.

“We’re not very good at listening to our bod­ies some­times,” she said. “De­spite be­ing sick I’ve been able to keep go­ing.”

Miller said train­ing in­cluded tack­ling all three dis­ci­plines at least three times a week.

“Sally and I both try to do our en­durance stuff on week­ends and the shorter stuff dur­ing the week,” she said.

“I also teach group fit­ness classes. Try­ing to fit it all in be­tween work and fam­ily isn’t easy, but I’m man­ag­ing.”

Miller said she and Pymer had strong sup­port from fam­ily, friends and mem­bers of their run­ning group.

“This is the first time for both of us, com­pet­ing in the world cham­pi­onship,” she said.

“We were so ex­cited to qual­ify on the same day.”

Miller has been com­pet­ing in iron­man com­pe­ti­tions for about two-and-a-half years, while Pymer re­turned from ‘re­tire­ment’ when Miller showed in­ter­est. Nei­ther ex­pected to qual­ify for the world cham­pi­onship so quickly.

Miller will com­pete in the 35 to 39 age group, with Pymer in the 40 to 44 cat­e­gory.

Both plan to do some sight­see­ing while in the States.

Pymer said her hus­band Ja­son and Miller’s hus­band Mat would also make the jour­ney.

“Ja­son doesn’t usu­ally watch me com­pete but he’s com­ing to this one and he’s re­ally ex­cited about it,” she said.

“It will be great to have him there.”

Miller said she looked forward to meet­ing triath­letes from other coun­tries.

“We’re ex­cited to com­pete against peo­ple from all over the word,” she said.

“It’s not about where we come, just to be able to say you’re par­tic­i­pat­ing in a world cham­pi­onship is ex­cit­ing.”

CHAT­TANOOGA BOUND: Hor­sham’s Sally Pymer and Kelly Miller will com­pete in the 2017 Iron­man 70.3 World Cham­pi­onship in Ten­nessee at the week­end. Pic­ture: PAUL CARRACHER

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