Green and gold proves per­fect fit

Multisport Mecca - - Front Page - Grant Ed­wards Grant.Ed­

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.

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