Ready and set to tri for gold for Australia

IT'S the reward and epitome of many morning swims, long-distance rides and muscle-cramping runs, donning the green and gold representing not just the Coffs Coast but their country.

Six members of the Coffs Harbour Triathlon Club - Bonnie White, Amy Weber, Sarah Keenan, Richard Hudson, Isaiah Koopmans and Michael Ylinen - are gearing up to represent Australia at the ITU World Triathlon on the Gold Coast from September 12-16.

 

Coffs TRI team heading to Gold Coast for world titles., Sarah Keenan. 30 AUG 2018
Sarah Keenan. Trevor Veale

Sarah Keenan will represent in the 20-24-years women's and is facing a massive schedule, with the sprint distance tri on the Thursday followed by the Olympic distance event on the Sunday.

 

Coffs TRI team heading to Gold Coast for world titles.Bonnie White, Amy Webber, Sarah Keenan, Richard Harris, Isaiah Koopmans, Michael Ylinen.. 30 AUG 2018
Bonnie White, Amy Weber, Sarah Keenan, Richard Hudson, Isaiah Koopmans and Michael Ylinen. Trevor Veale

"I'm feeling pretty good, adequately prepared for the race and my main goal rather than just focussing on a time is to really enjoy it," Keenan said.

"I want to be fit enough so I can look up and just take in all the excitement and the atmosphere of racing, because that's the best part of racing for me."

Coffs triathletes represent Australia: Six Coffs Harbour Triathlon Club members selected to contest a world title event on the Gold Coast.
Coffs triathletes represent Australia: Six Coffs Harbour Triathlon Club members selected to contest a world title event on the Gold Coast.

For the Coffs crew, the annual BCU Tri has proved pivotal in developing their love of the sport.

 

Coffs TRI team heading to Gold Coast for world titles. Amy Webber, . 30 AUG 2018
Amy Weber. Trevor Veale

That's how Coffs teammate Amy Weber, in the 20-24-years Olympic distance, was introduced to competition.

"I found it quite late. I grew up dancing so I had a ballet background and transitioned into running and got involved in the triathlon," Weber said.

"From dancing I draw on the endurance and self-discipline in my preferred event, the Olympic distance."

 

Coffs TRI team heading to Gold Coast for world titles. Isaiah Koopmans, . 30 AUG 2018
Isaiah Koopmans. Trevor Veale

Isaiah Koopmans is preparing for the under-20s standard distance, having competed for the past five years.

"Tri is simple for me. I like going as hard as I can until I can't push any harder I guess," said Koopmans, who last season ran fourth at the Australian Championship.

"The race course at Southport will come into play a fair bit and I go into it with high hopes to do my best and see how I can go."

 

Coffs TRI team heading to Gold Coast for world titles. Michael Ylinen.. 30 AUG 2018
Michael Ylinen. Trevor Veale

Michael Ylinen will represent in the Olympic distance under-19s, looking to recover from a bout of shin splints to deliver his personal best.

"I'm really excited, it's going to be an incredible experience. Due to injury I'm not going to be at the point that I want to be at with my performance, but yeah I'm going to give it my best shot and it's going to be one hell of an experience," Ylinen said.

 

Coffs TRI team heading to Gold Coast for world titles.Bonnie White,. 30 AUG 2018
Bonnie White. Trevor Veale

Teammate Bonnie White, in the 18-19 standard distance event, has also recently returned to training after a big year nursing a hip flexor injury.

"I hope come race day I can find my feet and just be able to run well."

"I'm just rapt to be wearing green and gold."

 

Coffs TRI team heading to Gold Coast for world titles. Richard Harris, . 30 AUG 2018
Richard Hudson. Trevor Veale

The elder of the team, Richard Hudson, is a proud Aussie representative who has competed at the Australian aged championships in the 60-64 age group.

"Yeah, it's fair to say I'm the grandfather of the Coffs team, everyone here is way younger than me. Being surrounded by youth keeps me young."

More than 5000 athletes representing 46 nations will take part in the final race of the ITU season.