SEVEN Tasmanian athletes are gearing up for the gruelling 70.3 world championships in Queensland next month.
Launceston gun Kate Pedley has qualified to compete in the pro class in just her first season as a professional triathlete.
She had to acquire enough points over several races to get a start.
“I’m just going for the experience to be honest, training has been going well and I just hope to do my best,” Pedley said.
“It’s going to be really exciting and a great atmosphere – I just lucky to be a part of it.”
US-based Joe Gambles will be the state’s other top-class contestant on September 4 in Mooloolaba.
The pair will be joined by experienced campaigners Hayden Armstrong (35-39 age group) and Mark Matthews (50-54) as well as Nathan Jackson (40-44), Phil Lockwood (25-29) and Emma Smith (25-29).
In kilometres, the athletes will cover 1.9km in the water, 90km on the bike and 21.1km on foot.
Armstrong, 37, has completed more than 20 half Ironman events and keeps returning for the fun.
“It’s a mental challenge… the mental pain that you go through and the conditions in some of the races make them enjoyable to do,” he said. Meanwhile, Lockwood will embark on just his second 70.3 journey after competing in Geelong.
“I’m just aiming to cross the line,” the 28-year-old said.
It’s a mental challenge… the mental pain that you go through and the conditions in some of the races make them enjoyable to do.Tasmanian athlete Hayden Armstrong
Jackson and Armstrong have also qualified for the sport’s holy grail, the Ironman world championship held in Kailua-Kona Hawaii on October 8.
Jackson, 40, said it had been a 25-year goal of his to reach the pinnacle and hoped his achievements served as inspiration for others that anything is possible – regardless of one’s age or ability.
He said it is satisfying to be able to tick off a life-long dream.
“Preparations are coming along, ticking things off every day,” he said.
“The Sunshine Coast 70.3 will be more a hitout to get ready for Hawaii a month later.”