Iron­man Gartrell steps up in Cairns

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT -

Step­ping up in any sport brings its own chal­lenges, but a more im­pres­sive leap in class would be hard to find fol­low­ing Martin Gartrell’s open­ing foray into Iron­man rac­ing.

The lo­cal ath­lete pro­duced a stun­ning 4.30 hours ef­fort in his de­but at the 70.3 Half Iron­man in Cairns on the week­end.

Com­plet­ing his trans­for­ma­tion from couch potato to con­queror, Gartrell fin­ished 32nd over­all in the 1500 field and eighth in the 30-34 year cat­e­gory.

Gartrell will now look to re­cover over the com­ings weeks be­fore turn­ing his at­ten­tion to the up­com­ing lo­cal sea­son, held over the much shorter sprint and Olympic dis­tances.

The Whit­sun­day Triathlon Club had an ex­cel­lent rep­re­sen­ta­tion with 16 ath­letes in at­ten­dance on Sun­day, in­clud­ing a num­ber of rook­ies tak­ing on the 1.9km swim, 90km cy­cle and 21km run.

Over­whelm­ingly, the club had a great day out, with some per­sonal bests, boxes ticked and sev­eral sore bod­ies.

The stand­out de­buts in­cluded Adrian Roberts, who was not only do­ing his maiden 70.3 but his very first triathlon – a tough test as a first event.

Dar­ren Wadsworth em­braced his in­ner triath­lete, tack­ling his fear of the swim and emerg­ing in a solid 42 min­utes.

Bernard Laverty had the op­po­site prob­lem, smash­ing his pre­ferred swim then hav­ing to tough it out on the gru­elling ride-run.

He fin­ished in­side the mag- ical six hour mark while the ever­green Graham Lock­ett siz­zled to a 5.18 and was el­i­gi­ble to take a world cham­pi­onship age-group slot.

He de­clined in or­der to con­cen­trate on the do­mes­tic sea­son at hand, in­clud­ing the up­com­ing Townsville Triathlon Fes­ti­val in two weeks.

Ex­pe­ri­enced cam­paigner Steve Jack­son is nor­mally fleet-of-foot but on this oc­ca­sion the run proved his Achilles heel, with ill­ness af­fect­ing both his and fel­low Hamil­ton Is­lan­der Kyle Pe­vit­tS­cott’s per­for­mance.

There were PBs aplenty, with weeks of train­ing for David Stielow, Sarah Os­borne and Joan Hunter re­warded – the trio shaved a col­lec­tive hour from their pre­vi­ous marks.

Also en­joy­ing strong de­buts were Paul Fraser, Travis Clarke and Kaira Biss.

Clarke was ec­static with his 5.20 given a re­cent shoul­der re­con­struc­tion while Fraser and Kaira com­pleted their leap of faiths ad­mirably.

THUMBS UP: David Stielow makes his way through the 70.3 course in Cairns on Sun­day.

HAPPY FEET: Lo­cal triath­lete Sarah Os­borne in ac­tion at the 70.3 event in Cairns on Sun­day.

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