2017 Ironman Kona | Busselton triathletes take on world champs

Three of Busselton’s best triathletes are about to take on the world champs at the Ironman event in Kona, Hawaii after qualifying to take part in the invitation only event next month.

The grueling triathlon will see 2000 athletes battle the ho’omumuku crosswinds of 72 kilometres per hour, 35 degrees Celsius temperatures and a burning sun.

The athletes will complete a 3.9 km open water swim, 180 km bike ride and a 42 km run.

This will be the third time Kate Greenfield has qualified for the world championship event in Hawaii and was inspired by her brother who made it through for the ninth time this year.

Greenfield automatically qualified for Kona after winning her age group at the Asia Pacific championship event in Cairns.

“The last two times I went over to Hawaii it was very hot, very windy and very hilly – I felt like I need to go back there and get some redemption – it kicked me in the butt ,” she said.

“I am really excited for some warm weather, it has been quite a long hard slog training in winter to get to this championship, but it will be great to just to get there and see the crystal blue water.

“Last time I went it was 40 degrees and 100 per cent humidity so I am hoping the weather is a little bit kinder this year.”

To prepare for the onslaught of heat, Greenfield has been running in a beanie and thermals in her garage with driers on, as well as, sauna sessions three times a week.

“I am hoping I have done a bit more heat training, but yeah it will kick me, hopefully getting there 10 days earlier will help me climatise.”

This will be Belinda Dennis’ first world championship after she qualified in the Busselton event last December.

Dennis started competing in triathlons five years ago and had not yet made it her goal to compete in a world championship.

“Now I am going it is really exciting, it is a really big deal to be able to go,” she said.

When she first started triathlons, Dennis said it was a daunting experience but the support of the Busselton Triathlon Club and the advice she was given made a big difference.

“There are so many triathletes in Busselton, they are really helpful, really encouraging and really supportive which has made a huge difference,” she said.

“I have learnt a lot in a short period of time.”

Being her first time competing in a world championship, Dennis just wants to head over to Hawaii and enjoy the experience.

“Everything will be new to me, I have a young family so it has been a juggle to fit training in around them, I want to go over there and make the most of it, have some fun and enjoy the day.”

For Vince Middleton, it will be the second time he competes in a world championship after he qualified for his first event four years ago.

Middleton traveled overseas a number of times last year hoping to qualify for the world champs and finally made the cut in Busselton.

“I am really excited to be going,” he said.

Unperturbed by the cold winter, Middleton said he was not concerned about the scorching heat in Hawaii and found he performed better when it was hot.

“I feel the heat really energises me and I really appreciate having a tough enough group to train with at Eclipse Performance Centre,” he said.

The world champion Ironman event takes place in Kona, Hawaii on October 14.