Fuller survives Hell
By BOB ANTHONY
CONTESTING a half-ironman event is for most people a tough enough challenge but imagine doing it in 40 degree-plus heat.
Promising Tweed Heads triathlete Brian Fuller had to endure scorching heat and stiff headwinds which plagued the field in the annual Hell In The West half ironman event at Goondiwindi last weekend.
The race, which comprised a 2km swim, 80km bike ride and a 20km run, pushed competitors to the limit but Fuller rose to the challenge to finish ninth overall.
"The water temperature in the swim was 30 degrees while the temperature on the bike and run legs was around 42," Fuller said.
"I came out of the water fourth and was third after the bike leg (and that was despite Fuller losing his water bottle on the ride)."I think it took a lot out of me leading into the run but I'm happy with ninth."
Fuller was also happy to have beaten home fellow Tweed triathlete Paul Matthews, a former world junior champion.
The result has given Fuller a lift as he pursues his aim to achieve professional accreditation this year.
The 24-year-old has been contesting ironman events for six years, drawn by the lure of the physical challenge and the desire to do something which offered more variety than distance running.
Fuller loves the Tweed environment when it comes to training, especially the areas around Chillingham and in the neighbouring Numinbah valley, but none of his training could prepare him for the heat at Goondiwindi.
Fuller will now turn his attention to his next challenge, a full ironman event in New Zealand in four weeks time.
After New Zealand, Fuller will head to Japan mid-year to compete in another full ironman event.
Fuller is hoping the results from those two international races will help him qualify for the world's most gruelling race, the Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon in October.
The full ironman comprises a 3.8km swim, a 180km bike ride and a 42km marathon run, and Fuller said while his strongest leg was the bike he had recently been concentrating on the swim a focus that was beginning to pay off.
Fuller, who works at Bond University in the gym, is also pursuing another challenge, sponsorship.
With a number of overseas races on his agenda, Fuller is hoping to secure some backing to ease the financial burden.