Fuller on for Hawaii
By Bob Anthony
TWEED Heads triathlete Brian Fuller is heading to Hawaii in October but it won't be for a holiday.
Fuller competed in the Ironman New Zealand event at Taupo earlier this month, finishing third in the under-23 age division and 21st overall.
The result was good enough for him to qualify for the prestigious but gruelling Hawaiian Ironman in October.
Apart from having to take on some of the world's leading triathletes, Fuller said the New Zealand event was also a battle against the elements.
"Taupo is situated on the shores of a huge man-made lake on the North Island," Fuller said.
"The weather was pretty awful on the day of the race with 80km winds and the outside temperature reaching only three degress.
"The winds whipped up one and half metre waves on the lake so they had to call off the swim leg.
"They made the event a half ironman which comprised a 90km bike ride and a 21km run but still kept it as a qualifier for Hawaii."
Fuller said the conditions made it very tricky, especially in the bike leg.
"Riding out to the 45km marker, I was hitting speeds up to 70kms an hour going with the wind but on the way back the best I could do was only 19km," he said.
"It wasn't just me who found it tough going, the whole field struggled. I'm really pleased with result and qualifying."
Fuller said he was fortunate to have the support of Bond University where he works in the gym and Tweed Heads' Brain Alder who had been assisting him with his training.
"The uni has been great for letting me have time off to compete and Brian has been there helping me with my training sessions around Tweed," he said.
Having achieved his goal of qualifying for the world famous Hawaiian event, Fuller said his focus now was the Japanese Ironman on May 28.
"Originally, we were looking at this event as our second chance to qualify for Hawaii but with that achieved, I feel more relaxed going into Japan," Fuller said.
"I'm now looking at this race as a test run for Hawaii and will be looking at it in terms of nutrition and stamina."
Fuller is also hoping the weather will be far kinder to him than in his previous two events.
In February, Fuller competed in the Hell Of The West half ironman at Goondiwindi which was held in blistering 42 degree heat.