Champion Wagga triathlete Brad Kahlefeldt has run his final race.
Kahlefeldt announced his retirement on Friday after 20 years as a professional triathlete.
The two-time Olympian will go down as one of Wagga’s greatest athletes after winning gold at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
Kahlefeldt also competed at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing (16th place) and 2012 in London (32nd) and was a six-time Australian champion.
Kahlefeldt, 38, said it was not an easy decision to retire from the sport he loves.
“It’s hard to know what to say but after 20 years racing professionally its time to retire from the sport I love and a sport that has given me so much,” Kahlefeldt said.
“The decision hasn’t been easy but its time to move on to a new chapter in my life.”
The next chapter for Kahlefeldt will be about family and business.
He and wife Radka welcomed their first child, Ruby, into the world in January.
Kahlefeldt is also in the process of entering a new venture, while continuing to build his coaching business.
“Priority is supporting my wife and my baby girl Ruby the best I can,” he said.
“I have an amazing business opportunity that I’m currently studying and training for that I will announce later in the year but at the moment I am happily still building my BKR coaching business.
“My passion for a number of years has been coaching and I enjoy fine tuning athletes to get the most out of themselves. My wife Radka who just had Ruby a couple of months ago will be back racing professionally and I'll be there to support her best I can.”
Kahlefeldt named his gold medal-winning performance at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games as the pinnacle of a remarkable career.
“Career highlight was Comm Games but it’s hard as there was a few stepping stones along the way,” he said.
“Under 23 world champion, then first world championship medal in 2005 at Gamorgori Japan, then my first World Cup win in Doha 2006. Then the Comm Games and then my first long course win in Busselton in 2013.”
Kahlefeldt always returned home to Wagga and loved representing the city on the world stage.
“I was always proud to represent Wagga in Australia and all over the world,” he said.
“I enjoyed telling the internationals I was from a place called Wagga Wagga. They had a laugh and I was surprised many had heard of it before.”
Kahlefeldt started out at Kooringal little athletics, then took that to cross country level and road racing.
“Then I couldn’t swim to save myself so I did duathlon,” he said.
He represented Australia as a 17-year-old at the Duathlon World Championships in Italy. It was after that experience that he decided to work on his swimming.
“I then decided to train in Jindabyne and started working on my weakest leg,” he said.
“I swam up to 80 kilometres every week until I swam in the front group. It took me two years but eventually got there.
“I had to sacrifice quite a bit but had tremendous support from my family, friends and sponsors.”
Kahlefeldt thanked all of his supporters over the journey, firstly his family and friends.
“Especially my mum and dad during the great times and more importantly hard and challenging times through injuries and illness and for being there when I’ve been on a selfish pursuit of being the best I can possible be,” he said.
“I was a big believer that you get out what you put in and never wanted to retire from the sport with regrets for not giving it 100 per cent and getting every ounce out of my body.
“I took my job quite serious during racing and training but on the flip side always enjoyed my down time and my six week off-season holiday's best I could and was mostly first in and last out at post race after parties!”
Kahlefeldt also thanked his long-term sponsors, training partners, Triathlon Australia and ITU/Ironman, along with coaches Bill Daveron, Chris Lang and Brett Sutton. He also thanked his manager, Brian at Blink International.
“Life has changed a lot in the past couple months but as I write this with Ruby next to me, I’m really happy and focused on other things,” he said.
“I’m currently in training for Gold Coast Marathon and will work on my marathon PB. In between the coaching, study, training, DaddyDaycare, running I’m doing some rides and swims. I’m proud to announce I’ll be an ambassador for Giant bikes and Asics.
“In the end i'm left with a lot of great memories and some career highlights. The memories I’ll cherish for a life time.”
2006 Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist
6x Australia Elite Champion
3x ITU World Championship Medallist (2005 Gamorgori, 2007 Hamburg, 2010 WTS/Budapest)
21x ITU World Cup/ ITU World Triathlon Series podiums
2x Olympian (2008 Beijing, 2012 London)
2002 U/23 World Champion
8x 70.3/Half Ironman Wins
Ironman - 3rd 2015 Asia Pacific Championship Melbourne (8.09), 4th 2017 Ironman Cairns, 6th 2017 Challenge Roth.