Alps to conquer mountain

FOCUSED: Launceston multi-sport athlete Sally Alps is hoping to go one better this year and take out the Freycinet Challenge this weekend. Picture: Scott Gelston

FOCUSED: Launceston multi-sport athlete Sally Alps is hoping to go one better this year and take out the Freycinet Challenge this weekend. Picture: Scott Gelston

THIS year’s Freycinet Challenge women's favourite Sally Alps will compete on a borrowed bike.

A thief plucked the 43-year-old Launceston businesswoman’s mountain bike off the back of her car last Friday – just one week out from the two-day endurance battle at Coles Bay.

However, Alps is not letting the loss get in the way of bettering her second-place finish on her first attempt in 2015 this Saturday and Sunday.

“I have been doing multi-sport for about three years, I was originally a runner and then I got a stress fracture in my hip and had to look at other things,” Alps said.

“I started mountain biking and loved it, then took up paddling because we could never find paddlers for teams and then jumped on a road bike – now I do all of it.

“I love pushing myself, I don’t really go out there to compete against other people, I like to see how far I can push my body.

“I just want to do the best job I can and beat what i managed to do last year.”

Alps said training and racing was her outlet and time away from regular contact with people. Regular events on her calendar include “the odd” triathlon, Cataract Challenge and Icebreaker.

The Mark Padgett-trained athlete trains for two to three hours every morning while juggling two boys under 11 and running a business with her husband Dan, who is also a multi-sport participant.

“We never training together, we’d probably kill each other,” Alps joked.

“We live together, work together and training for both of us is time away.

“I pretty much don’t have a spare minute in the day,” 

“I train around my children and every morning after I drop them off at school I go and train before going to work until 7.30pm and then go home and do the mum thing again.

“I have been building up my endurance with a lot of time spent on the road bike as that has probably been my weakness.”

On day one this weekend competitors will run 16.6 kilometres, kayak 12km, cycle 52.1km and finish off with a 20km mountain bike through the bush. Day two will start with a 13km kayak, 35km cycle, 20km mountain bike ride and end on foot with a 14.8km run.

All up, about 250 athletes will cover 185.7km with reigning men’s champion Alex Hunt, of Hobart, is odds on to go back-to-back.

The number of entries have dropped considerably with about 600 athletes competing on the East Coast a few years back.

RACE FACTS

  • WHAT: Freycinet Challenge
  • WHEN: October 15-16
  • WHERE: Coles Bay
  • DETAILS: www.freycinetchallenge.com.au 
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