A STRONG showing of Wagga’s fittest endurance athletes will persevere through the Port Macquarie Ironman on Sunday.
There will be 23 locals competing and a massive contingent of supporters at “the pinnacle of the sport in Australia” according to Wagga Triathlon Club committee member Angas Swann.
“This is what every triathlete aspires to complete,” Swann said.
The 3.8km swim, 180km bike ride and 42.2km run is bound to test even the most formidable competitors including Wagga participant Jared Kahlefeldt.
Endurance sport is in the Kahlefeldt blood, as his brother, Brad, competed in the Olympics, and is a six-time Australian Triathlon Champion.
Jared Kahlefeldt has been training religiously for 20-25 hours per week over the past six months.
He placed first in the only Riverina triathlon series event he has entered this season; the Temora Olympic distance triathlon.
The event will be a good challenge for Kahlefeldt, who said the run is his strongest leg.
“You run a marathon after 180 kilometres on the bike, so it’s not going to be easy,” he said.
Kahledfeldt said the key to mastering long distances is to break down the race into manageable sections.
“Make checkpoints and keep on ticking them off as the day goes on,” he said.
While triathlon is essentially an individual sport, Kahedfeldt draws strength from the rivalry between fellow triathlon club members.
“When training’s competitive it makes you push harder,” he said
Wagga pacesetters such as Kahedfeldt, Swann, Ryan Miller and Scott Donaldson will be vying to qualify for the Ironman World Championships at Hawaii in October.
Wagga triathlon club member Marcus Smith is set for another stunning performance on Sunday after qualifying for the world championships in Melbourne six weeks ago.
The ironman event will draw seasoned athletes and less serious contenders, who are keen to tick it off the bucket list.
Triathlon Club president Chris Waring said the Port Macquarie trip will develop cameraderie and provide mentoring opportunities for club members who are less experienced.
“To have such a big crew will help enormously,” Waring said.
“In the lead up the experienced guys will help the first timers with nutrition, they’ll talk about transitions and the overall race plan.”
Once it’s over Wagga competitors plan on exchanging rigorous training regimes for family time.
“The wife’s going to be happy," Kahedfeldt said.