Green and gold proves perfect fit
PROUDLY wearing the green and gold, triathletes Ash Hunter and Robbie Andrews are pumped for the world championship on home soil.
The duo is among a strong Sunshine Coast age group contingent who will toe the start line at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship, which will be hosted by Mooloolaba on September 4.
For Ash, the rookie is primed to do her best against the sport’s best. She’s a newcomer to triathlon, after being inspired on the sidelines of the 2014 Ironman World Championship when watching partner Damien Collins race.
She had previously competed in powerlifting, where she competed at the GPC national titles and finished second in the under-60kg category.
“I remember walking around the expo in Kona when Damo said to me, ‘Ash, what are you doing? Why are you buying a triathlon suit when you’ve never raced a triathlon before?’ I paused for a second and
said, ‘Yeah... Well, I’m about to’,” she said.
That led to an enticer distance event, before completing Mooloolaba Olympic distance in 2015 and her first 70.3 later that year. After finishing sixth in the 18-24 age group, she decided to combine a trip to her her uncle in the Philippines and also race 70.3 Subic Bay.
“I placed first in the 25-29 AG gaining my spot for worlds and with the small women’s field I managed to place top 10 in the women overall in a time of 4:59:15. I was super excited,” Ash said.
“I’ve chosen to do supply teaching this term for work so I can focus on training. I’ll be training up to 18-20 hours per week leading up to worlds. With each day, the quality of my training will keep improving. I’m looking forward to the sting!
“My bike preparation has been going well, I’ve enjoyed the transition of training to power on the bike. I haven’t had an ideal run preparation due to a calf injury. Longevity is more important than short-term goals so it’s great to have it feeling good again after three months of building it back up. My swimming is slowly improving since I’ve joined T:Zero Multisport pool and open water squad sessions.”
Ash suffered a torn calf this year, but is attacking the next six weeks with great anticipation.
“I’m so excited to be racing on my home turf. The support out on the race course and off it will be phenomenal,” she said
“I’ve enjoyed being able to check out the hinterland loops of the bike course. It’s been great to be able to see what all the fuss is about with the climb on the Upper Rosemount Rd. It’s challenging but great to know I can confidently do it.
Having qualified in the 50-54 age group after a strong showing at Ballarat last year, Robbie is preparing for his first 70.3 world event having previously competed in Kona.
Robbie successfully completed Cairns Ironman last month and has eased back into training ahead of September.
“The 70.3 worlds had not been on my radar before but having a race like this in your backyard was extra motivation to qualify,” he said.
“I have high expectations. I always race as hard as I can, the result will be what it will be but I will not die wondering.
“Mooloolaba is a fantastic place for a race, it is a real destination race, I think that’s why it has been very hard to qualify,
“I’m happy with the course. I think they have done a great job in changing the bike course. It will definitely make it harder but it is meant to be hard it is a world championship race.”
Robbie said he would maintain training similar to that of an Ironman, about 12-15 hours a week.
“With the swim I get two pool sessions and two open water,” Robbie said. “The Friday morning open water with Scotty Farrell from T-Zero is the best session of the week. We get to swim in the ocean and do drills, practice swim starts and also drafting,
with a lot of other race specific training stuff, it’s not often you get to do a session in the ocean with a coach on a board.
“On the bike I’m getting four sessions adding up to about seven hours and five run sessions a week. I’m still in discussions with Scotty about the next six weeks but I’m sure he will have me primed to race hard.”
Robbie and Ash have just taken delivery of new race kits
courtesy of Wayne Metcalfe from 17 Hours. While the brand produced a tribal kit last year, Wayne decided to design a specific Australian suit for 2016.
“We put a lot of thought into our design,” he said.
Wayne also said they threw in a bit of indigenous artwork into the design. “I think it is a great-looking kit.” About 20 kits are expected to be on course at Mooloolaba.
Robbie Andrews and Ash Hunter in their 17 Hours kits ahead of the Ironman 70.3 World Championship.