Noble hunt­ing elite sta­tus

Multisport Mecca - - Ironman World Championship - Tom Thread­ing­ham Tom.Thread­ing­[email protected]­news.com.au

A CHANGE of scenery has proven a healthy boost to al­ready solid form for Caleb Noble who has an elite ca­reer and suc­cess at an iconic event on his mind.

Noble flew out of the coun­try two weeks ago des­tined for Kona, Hawaii, where he is set to com­pete in the 18-24 age divi­sion at the Iron­man World Cham­pi­onship.

It will be Noble’s first time rac­ing in the gru­elling event af­ter qual­i­fy­ing with a win in his divi­sion at Iron­man Aus­tralia in Port Mac­quarie ear­lier this year.

Noble, 22, moved to Noosa in May from Gan­main, New South Wales, and has been busy pre­par­ing for Kona ever since – av­er­ag­ing 28 hours of train­ing a week on top of his work as a land­scaper at Im­pe­rial Ho­tel Eu­mundi, which also spon­sors him.

In a bid to bol­ster his train­ing, he has teamed with Noosa-based pro­fes­sional iron­man Pete Ja­cobs, who won Kona in 2012, as a train­ing part­ner and men­tor.

“It’s great to be able to learn from what he’s done and just get good in­sights on how to race at Kona es­pe­cially, which has been re­ally good,” Noble said.

Hard work is pay­ing off, re­cently win­ning his age group at the Iron­man 70.3 Sun­shine Coast and fin­ish­ing in­side the top 18 over­all.

“I think I’ve got a pretty good shot at hav­ing a good race with the top guys in my age group at the worlds, and I’m def­i­nitely look­ing to en­joy the ex­pe­ri­ence,” he said.

Noble’s not the only ath­lete mak­ing the trip from the re­gion to the cham­pi­onships.

Among the age groupers rac­ing are fa­ther-and-son duo Ken and Ryan Rae of Noosa, Ash Hunter from Beer­wah, former Coolan­gatta Gold win­ner and now Sun­shine Beach surf club head coach Josh Minogue and Gympie’s Anne Al­ford.

The pro­fes­sional field in­cludes Pere­gian-based Cal­lum Mill­ward.

Also rac­ing will be Sun­shine Beach’s Luke McKen­zie, who fin­ished se­cond at Hawaii in 2013.

In the women’s pro­fes­sional field, McKen­zie’s wife Beth, as well as three-time 70.3 world cham­pion Melissa Hauschildt, who bases her­self at Noosav­ille, will also race.

The Coast has been a hot-spot for triath­letes pre­par­ing for Kona, with Ki­wis Braden Cur­rie and Cam Brown hon­ing their form from Noosa be­fore head­ing for the Big Is­land.

Hot favourite, Jan Fro­deno who

spends half of his rac­ing year at Noosa, was forced to with­draw due to a frac­tured pelvis.

For Noble, Kona is a vi­tal step­ping stone to­wards a crack at the higher ech­e­lons of the sport in

the fu­ture.

“I’m hop­ing to get my pro­fes­sional li­cence af­ter this race and move up into the elite cat­e­gory and start do­ing a fair few more races in­ter­na­tion­ally and

stuff,” he said.

The world cham­pi­onshis will start on Oc­to­ber 13 and see ath­letes com­pete over a 3.86km swim, 180.2km ride and 42.2km run.

What a way to bow out.

Mooloolaba iron­man Josh Minogue re­tired from the sport in stun­ning fash­ion yes­ter­day when he tri­umphed at the iconic Coolan­gatta Gold.

The 27-year-old – a placeget­ter on three pre­vi­ous oc­ca­sions – fin­ished the 41.8km tor­ture test in four hours, 12 min­utes and 10 sec­onds.

He was seven min­utes, 37 sec­onds ahead of Jake Ni­chol­son while Alexan­dra Head­land young gun Sam Bull proved he is one to watch by fin­ish­ing in third (4:25.03) place.

“It was un­be­liev­able to fin­ish like that,” a shocked Minogue said.

“I don’t know what I’ve done right to de­serve this.

“I looked at the tro­phy when they gave it to me and I saw the names of Michael King, Rhys Drury, Ali Day, Caine (Eck­stein), Dar­ren (Mercer) and Guy Leech.

“Ev­ery­one knows the list – and my name doesn’t be­long there.”

But it does, through sheer per­sis­tence more than any­thing else.

PHOTO: ALAIN BOU­VIER

TI­TLE CHANCE: Caleb Noble landed in Kona two weeks ago where he is set to com­pete in the 18-24 age divi­sion at the Iron­man World Cham­pi­onship.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

HOW SWEET IT IS: Josh Minogue wins the Coolan­gatta Gold in stun­ning style yes­ter­day.

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