Athletic duo US bound
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