World fo­cus

Multisport Mecca - - Front Page - Grant Ed­wards

FROM the first bike ses­sion Lucy Bow­den knew there was work ahead.

Hang­ing onto the wheel of lo­cal young guns like Jake Hynes, Ryan Marsh and vet­eran Matthew Wol­s­ten­croft in the Sun­shine Coast Tri Academy squad, the 26-year-old South Aus­tralian had a bap­tism of fire.

“They were so fast,” she said. “Com­ing from Mount Barker in the Ade­laide Hills I had done a lot of train­ing by my­self. And rac­ing in Ade­laide there wasn’t as much com­pe­ti­tion, so I had a false sense of se­cu­rity.

“I can give the boys a good run for their money now – Matt on the other hand he pro­duces some se­ri­ous vomit ses­sions but he’s such a good as­set to have to try and chase down.”

Bow­den de­cided to take the leap and move to the Sun­shine State and pur­sue her triathlon dreams more than a year ago.

She’s hop­ing one of them will come true on Sun­day morn­ing with a strong per­for­mance at the Mooloolaba Triathlon.

Bow­den is chas­ing points to earn qual­i­fi­ca­tion for Septem­ber’s Olympic-dis­tance and sprint-dis­tance world age group cham­pi­onships at the Gold Coast.

She has been in strong form, win­ning her cat­e­gory at the Olympic-dis­tance race dur­ing Oc­to­ber at Robina with an ef­fort of 2:11:38 (23:23, 1:02:22, 45:53).

That was fol­lowed by sprint-dis­tance races, where she was third at Kawana with a 1:09:14 (13:55, 34:57, 20:22), be­fore achiev­ing an­other win again at Robina on De­cem­ber 8 with a 1:19:10 (13:37, 42:52, 22:40), fol­lowed by vic­tory at Caloun­dra in 1:04:04 (10:27, 32:45, 20:51).

An­other strong Olympic-dis­tance qual­i­fy­ing event was staged at Robina in Jan­uary where Bow­den se­cured an­other win, go­ing slightly faster than three months ear­lier with a 2:11:21 (22:01, 1:05:13, 44:06).

At last month’s Gold Coast event, which was re­duced to a duathlon 2.5km run/20km cy­cle/2.5km run due to wa­ter qual­ity is­sues, Bow­den fin­ished fourth with 1:01:50 (8:45, 31:35, 19:10).

There are dou­ble points up for grabs on Sun­day, which has led to a sell-out in­di­vid­ual event.

Bow­den hopes a top five po­si­tion will seal her spot on the Aus­tralian team. If suc­cess­ful, she will then turn her at­ten­tion back to 70.3 rac­ing, where she is also hope­ful of reach­ing the 2019 world cham­pi­onship to be staged at Nice, France.

Work­ing part-time at Har­vey Nor­man in small ap­pli­ances and also study­ing cre­ative in­dus­tries at the Univer­sity of the Sun­shine Coast, the fine Queens­land weather and rapid im­prove­ment could see her spend longer than her ini­tial two-year time frame in the Sun­shine State.

Bow­den is a rel­a­tive new­comer to triathlon, hav­ing spent much of her younger years in­volved with horse rid­ing.

A life-threat­en­ing fall rocked her con­fi­dence, and, af­ter re­turn­ing, she fell again which caused a ma­jor shoul­der in­jury.

That spelled the end for her equine ca­reer, and it was her cy­clist cousin who got her on the bike.

Af­ter en­cour­age­ment from gym friends to at­tempt the tri-sport, she was im­me­di­ately hooked and has never looked back.

PHOTO: GRANT ED­WARDS

IN FORM: Bud­erim's Lucy Bow­den is hunt­ing a good re­sult at Mooloolaba to gain qual­i­fi­ca­tion for the age group world cham­pi­onships.

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