Fired-up Poole works back to winning form
FORMER champion Matt Poole hopes a brief sojourn behind the scenes as a race director will help him reclaim centre stage in this year’s Nutri-Grain Ironman series.
Poole, preparing for today’s second round of the series at Coolum, and housemate Matt Bevilacqua were the brains and brawn behind the inaugural world Ironman series event in Bali this year.
The 2016-17 Nutri-Grain champion said the experience helped with life skills he has been able to apply to his training and racing while reminding him how much he still loves the competition side of the sport.
“It taught me a lot about patience and resilience and being able to adapt quickly, think on your feet, all things that are important when you are in a spot involving mother nature,’’ said Poole, who also raced the event.
“Last season was 10 years chasing a dream with lots of highs and lows, and I realise now it took a real mental toll on me. “I was just exhausted. “Last year I wasn’t doing all the work I should have been doing and I didn’t get the results.
“I just turned up on race day and couldn't get motivated.
“I realised later how much I missed winning.
“It really peed me off and gave me a fire for this year.’’
The 30-year-old failed to win a major race last season – the first time he has gone winless for six seasons.
But he proved in Round 1 of the ironman series a fortnight ago he is not far off a victory, just pipped for the opening round honours in a sprint by James Lacey.
Also keen to make their mark on the Sunshine Coast will be Coolangatta Gold champion Ali Day and defending series champion Bevilacqua.
Both bombed in Round 1. Day finished 11th and Bevilacqua 14th – their most disappointing results in recent years.
First-round winner Maddy Dunn will start favourite in the women’s racing, along with Coolangatta Gold winner Georgia Miller.
CHASING A DREAM: Former Ironman champion Matt Poole is gunning for glory in Round 2 of this year’s Nutri-Grain series in Coolum today; and (below) fellow title hopeful and Coolangatta Gold champion Ali Day will be out to bounce back from his slow start.