TRIATHLETES Paul Matthews and Matt Lance together. both will compete in the upcoming Nooosa Triathlon next month.
TRIATHLETES Paul Matthews and Matt Lance together. both will compete in the upcoming Nooosa Triathlon next month. Blainey Woodham/ Tweed Daily News

Joining the elites

BANORA Point triathlete Matt Lance's chances of reaching the elite level have been boosted after his recent apprenticeship in the US with Murwillumbah triathlete Paul Matthews.

Matthews trains in Boulder, Colorado every year from May to October with current world ironman Craig Alexander - and this year, he invited Lance to join him to experience the training disciplines required to step up to the next level.

Both Matthews and Lance have achieved an amazing sporting double, with both of them claiming wins while in the United States.

Matthews came first at Buffalo Springs 70.3 half ironman in June, covering a course of 1.9km swim, 90km bike ride and 21km run.

Matthews also achieved three other top four finishes in half ironman and two Olympic races across the US, and also claimed second in the ironman at Antwerp, Belgium.

Lance secured first place at Los Angeles in the elite amateur Olympic distance course on October 4, which consisted of a 1.5km swim, 40kme cycle, and 10km run.

Lance said this is the first year he has taken triathlon seriously, as it had been more of a social activity, joining his dad for weekend triathlons.

“The trip has been good for me and it was good to be stretched and I was out on my feet the whole time,” the 20-year-old said.

“Being around Paul was motivating and you see the effort they put in you kind of feed off them, they know what they are doing, so it's great to get ideas and soak up as much advice as I could.”

Matthews said this season has been one of his best and is happy that the work is starting to pay off.

“It is a long process, I have been doing triathlons since 11-years-old and this is the first year that I have made decent money,” Matthews said.

“I have to make a living that is my number one priority and of course I am working towards big races like ironman and world championships.

Lance said after his trip he had improved and learnt what is required to perform like Matthews.

“I am excited about my win but as Paul said he has been doing it since he was 11, so it is a long road,” Lance said.

“I would compete into my mid-30s and when you look at Ironman Hawaii most of the guys are 34 to 36-years-old, not saying I wouldn't try it before that, but that is the most common age.”

Matthews will compete at the ITU World Long Course Championships in Perth on October 25, which consists of a 3km swim, 80km cycle and 20km run.

Following the championships, both Matthews and Lance will compete in the Noosa Triathlon on November 1.



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