Inverloch’s Gavin Slavin crosses the Ironman finish line after 13 hours of battling tough conditions at the championships.

Inverloch’s Gavin Slavin crosses the Ironman finish line after 13 hours of battling tough conditions at the championships.

LOCAL triathletes  are returning home, tired, still sore but already pumped for their next challenge.
Slavin, from Inverloch, and Wilson, formerly of Leongatha, competed in the Hawaii Ironman Championships on October 10.
The athletes competed in the long-distance triathlon – a 3.86km swim, 180.25km bicycle ride and a 42.2km run.
Both athletes have returned home pleased with their results, as finishing is an incredible accomplishment.
Slavin finished the course in 13:34:48 – swim 1:16:46, bike 6:34:04 and run 5:28:44.
Wilson finished the course in 10:39:45 – ninth overall in her age group (30-34) and 66th overall.
Slavin said the championships were a big challenge.
He missed out on swim training due to work commitments out on Bass Strait, and instead had to train on the stationary bike and treadmill almost exclusively.
He was also a special guest of the Hawaii Ironman Championships and did not have a lead-in of competitions to be in top shape.
“I went OK,” he said.

Leongatha athlete Amanda Wilson relaxes after finishing the Hawaii Ironman.

Leongatha athlete Amanda Wilson relaxes after finishing the Hawaii Ironman.

“It was the best I could do on the day, after not racing the World Championships for 13 years.
“It seemed a lot harder this time around, the temperature was 40 plus degrees Celsius with humidity around 90 per cent.
“It was a battle the whole way!
“I suppose the swim was the best as it kept me cool.
“The bike was probably the hardest as we had a head wind all the way to the turn-around then the wind swung around and then we had a head wind all the way back to Kona.
“It was a very tough day on the bike.
“The run was a long day, as I had nothing left in the tank.
“I knew it was going to be a tough run, so I kept running and walking to battle the heat for the full marathon run.
“I was pleased to finish and happy with my results.
“The feeling of running down the finish line with thousands of spectators is an amazing experience; it was great having friends and family support me along the course.”

Wilson to go pro

Wilson had a near perfect lead-in to the race and having competed last year, knew what was required this time around.
“I went into the race with very high expectations,” Wilson said.
“I had the perfect lead up to the race.
“I was hitting targets in training and am the fittest I’ve ever been.
“I had some very successful races leading up to this race and all signs were indicating I would have a good race.
“I got to the morning of the race relaxed, organised and focused.
“I positioned myself well in the swim; I felt strong in the water and got out in a reasonable time.”
However, Wilson began to falter.
On the bike leg, usually one of her strongest events, she found she “couldn’t get out of a mental third gear”.
“The winds were challenging and the sun was hot,” she said of the bike leg.
“I was riding to my heart rate and my instructions for the bike were to have a controlled ride.
“However it ended up being a bit too controlled and the bike ended up being a lot slower than expected.
“Once onto the run, again I couldn’t get out of third gear.
“My run was consistent but not the time we were hoping for.
“Again it was hot on the run and the conditions were challenging but that’s Hawaii for you.
“I ended up running myself into ninth in my age group.
“Overall I’m proud of myself for pushing through and getting to the end.
“It’s always hard to be happy with the results when I know I can do better.
“But that’s why people come back year after year to better themselves.
“There are so many variables in this race and so many things to learn and take into consideration when you know you can do better.”
Wilson was supported in Hawaii by a dedicated support crew including her personal cheer squad of mum, dad, sister Melissa and brother-in law Mark and their three children Chloe, Matilda and Billy.
Wilson also had a friend who is a massage therapist who assisted with the preparation and recovery.
This year is the second time Wilson has competed.
She intends to return to Hawaii as a pro athlete.
Back in Melbourne she plans to get back into training to prepare for her first pro-race as soon as possible.