Vet prepared to face Kona fire
Full name: Anne Alford. Nickname: Annie.
Current suburb: Gympie. Occupation: Vet.
Age and marital status: 36, married with two kids (nine and seven).
Club/coach: Noosa Tri Club, coach Jess Fleming from Multisport Consultants in Noosa.
Favourite food: Fruit, any kind but especially mango.
Favourite drink: Infinit.
What other sports do you do: When I have time and in a previous “life” I loved horseriding – anything from eventing to team penning. I also enjoy mountain biking and off-road triathlon.
Pet hates: Stopping for coffee on a long ride. However, I love a coffee at the end.
Favourite run location: Noosa National Park on a school day because it’s quiet and beautiful. What are your favourite shoes: Hokas – they provide enough cushioning and support for my dodgy feet but are still nice and light.
Favourite riding location: On the road, I love my route through Kin Kin, Cootharaba Rd, Tewantin, Cooroy and Carter’s Ridge and then home via Kenilworth. It’s a fantastic loop with a decent amount of climbing to sustain my need for good views. On the mountain bike, I absolutely love escaping into the hills west of Gympie for hours on end.
What bike do you ride: Cervelo P3. My Gran helped me buy this bike about five years ago and I have a huge sentimental attachment to it. Thankfully, it’s still going strong.
Favourite swim location: Lake Taupo NZ. I’ve never swum in such crystal clear water, it was refreshing and beautiful.
What swimwear and goggles do you use: Funkita swimmers and Vici goggles.
Best or most memorable event: It’s hard to go past the 2016 ITU Cross-triathlon World Championships in Crackenback. Racing in a stunning location in my home country was unbeatable. But Ironman New Zealand would be a close second.
Bucket-list event: Sri Chinmoy Triple triathlon in Canberra. This one has my attention – 1.5k swim/ 36k MTB/ 18k run, 3.5k swim/ 36k MTB/ 11k run then 1.2k swim/23k MTB/ 13k run, back to back. Sounds like awesome fun.
Favourite race: Cross-triathlon at Crackenback, NSW. This location is simply stunning, the event is run by In2Adventure and has such a “family” feel to it. It’s so laid back and fun.
What’s your favourite part of racing and training: I love the challenge and sense of accomplishment that training and racing gives me. I also really enjoy seeing what I’m capable of producing on race day and in training.
How did you qualify for Hawaii: I raced Ironman New Zealand in March this year as my first Ironman distance race and had an amazing day out. I managed to place second in my age group and booked my ticket to Kona.
How are you feeling ahead of worlds: I’m feeling great. I’ve done the work and the body is responding well, so I can’t wait to see what I can produce. I’m super excited to get over to Hawaii and soak up the atmosphere but at the same time a little nervous. But if I wasn’t nervous, I’d be worried. What other events have you represented Australia: I’ve represented Australia at the 2013 ITU Olympic distance world champs in London and the 2016 ITU Cross-triathlon World Champs in Crackenback NSW where I came away with an age group win and fourth overall. What does a training week looked like for you in terms of volume and disciplines: The typical training week involves between 13-16km of swimming, 300-400km of riding, 70-85km of running and 2-3 gym sessions, so between 20-25 hours.
What are your expectations at the world championships: I just want to get over there and soak up the atmosphere and enjoy every moment of the race. I have no real expectations results-wise, but obviously I have my own personal goals in each discipline that I’d love to achieve. Most of all, I really want to enjoy it!
What is your most dreaded session: I have a few – in the pool, it’s the dreaded towels. Attaching these to my feet is like hooking up an anchor, my hips sink and I’m like a dying fish flailing around.
On the bike – the FTP test – does anyone like these? And running, it’d have to be intervals. Trying to get these consistently fast and efficient is a real challenge for me.
How do you manage to fit in training with work and life commitments: I get asked this often as my husband works away for two weeks at a time and is only home for eight days in between, so I have a strict schedule. I start early every morning and make sure I get in a session before the kids get up, then off to school and work. I use my lunch hour at work to train most days, then pick the kids up from school and drop them to their activities, I use this time to train (or do the groceries), then when we get home it’s feeding time at the zoo – two and four-legged creatures alike.
I always pack lunches the night before so it’s done for the morning rush. I’m usually a little late for everything, and always on the go. Literally every minute of every day is planned out. I also have an amazing mum, that has committed plenty of time to driving up to Gympie on the weekends that I’m without my husband, just so that I can get out and ride/run/swim and then recover.
If you could have a celebrity live with you, who would it be and why: Jamie Oliver - If I didn’t have to think about or cook any meals, it’d be like a dream come true. Although he’d have to do the dishes too!
When you were little what job did you want to do: I think I wanted to be a nurse because that’s what Mum did.
Best movie: Top Gun – this was a regular in our household growing up.
Current car: Ford Ranger.
Dream car: 2018 Shelby Mustang.
HAWAII DEBUT: Gympie-based vet Anne Alford will be at the start line of the 2018 Ironman World Championship.