ON THE WAY: Katy Duffield will be making the trek for the Airlie Beach Triathlon.
ON THE WAY: Katy Duffield will be making the trek for the Airlie Beach Triathlon.

Airlie triathlon experience gets bigger and better

TRIATHLON: As the countdown continues to the 2016 Colorbond Airlie Beach Triathlon, the women's field has welcomed its first pro athlete in Katy Duffield.

The Noosa-based West Australian began life as an age-group athlete but after considerable success, chose to turn pro and made the move across from her native state to train here in Queensland.

Duffield has enjoyed considerable success racing over long-course triathlons, with podium finishes in numerous 70.3 events across the past 18 months, but she still enjoys racing shorter events.

"I love triathlon first and foremost and racing sprint distance is great for maintaining top-end speed," she said.

"More importantly, I'm excited about visiting the Whitsundays and experiencing the area and the event for the first time."

While event organisers are excited by the increasing interest shown by elite athletes, the real focus has been an emphasis on each and every competitor.

This year sees the introduction of the "Icon Homes Recovery Zone" with ice baths, free massages, recovery smoothies from The Prickly Pineapple and a complimentary barbecue for all participants to enjoy post-race.

The Whitsunday Triathlon Club will also be bringing you tips each week from defending champion Sam Betten and this week it's on the closing (running) leg of the race.

"I always try and run the first lap of the two lap run course at a steady pace and then aim to run the second lap a little faster. This strategy helps you to keep a controlled pace and not go too hard on the first run loop," he said.

"Be extra careful at each of the run turns on the course. Think of yourself as a car driver; brake before the corner (using smaller steps and lowering your centre of gravity) and accelerate out of the corners," he said.

"At the aid stations make sure to grab yourself a cup of water to keep hydrated.

"Keep an even effort throughout. There's a couple of small inclines so lean into the hill, keep your legs turning at the same speed but with smaller steps and drive your arms a little harder so you're able to keep running well up and, more importantly, after the hill."

To register visit http://www.whitsundaytriclub.com/airlie-beach-triathlon.


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