Cairns Iron­man for 16 lo­cals

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT -

MONTHS of prepa­ra­tion will be tested this week­end as 16 of the re­gion’s finest triath­letes head north to tackle the Cairns Iron­man 70.3 event. With a 1.9km swim at Palm Cove, 90km cy­cle up and back along the Cap­tain Cook High­way and a 21km run in Cairns wait­ing; ath­letes have been busily ready­ing them­selves for the chal­lenge.

Dar­ren Wadsworth, Martin Gartrell, Adrian Roberts, Joan and John Hunter, Cassie Car­man, Gra­ham Lock­ett, David Stielow, Sarah Os­borne, Ryan Palazzi, Paul Fraser, Kaira Biss, Travis Clarke, Mel Blank, Karon Handy and Steve Jack­son will all tackle the gru­elling test, but have been train­ing hard in the lead-up. For a num­ber of the brave lo­cals, this will be their first at­tempt at the 70.3 event.

A 70.3 is a big step up from regular triathlons, but that hasn’t dis­cour­aged Adrian Roberts – who will tackle the Cairns event as his maiden triathlon.

Like­wise Dar­ren Wadsworth and Martin Gartrell boast good triathlon sto­ries, hav­ing lost more than 30kg in their short ca­reers.

Joan Hunter has been an avid triath­lete for years but never dreamt that one day she would be ca­pa­ble of such a heat, but with her hus­band John and train­ing part­ner Cassie Car­man by her side, the lo­cal triathlon club is tip­ping her to suc­ceed. The chal­lenge for Proser­pine High teacher Bernie Laverty and Hamil­ton Is­land en­vi­ron­men­tal of­fi­cer Kyle Pe­vitt-Scott will be when they hit land for the run, with both boasting strong swim games.

Fresh from her se­lec­tion in the Aus­tralian Age-Group World Cham­pi­onships in the Olympic dis­tance, Mel Blank is us­ing this event to build her fit­ness base be­fore tak­ing on Septem­ber’s ti­tles in Chicago while the ex­pe­ri­enced hands of Karon Handy, Steve Jack­son and Gra­ham Lock­ett will rely on their years in the game.

David Stielow and Sarah Os­borne have been train­ing un­der Ryan Palazzi’s guid­ance in the hope of low­er­ing their PBs while Satur­day’s race will be a first for Hamil­ton Is­land’s Paul Fraser, Kaira Biss and Travis Clarke.

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