Tough race ahead for a trio of Bundaberg athletes
ANY distance ironman race is going to be tough but when its called Hell Of The West there is an expectation for something more challenging. And Sherry Ey, Angus McLean and Kephren Izzard will face the full force of the event Sunday.
The trio will have to contend with a seven-hour drive to Goondiwindi, a 2km swim in the murky waters of the Macintyre River, and suffer 80km on the bike followed by a 20km run under a scorching sun.
Doubling as the Queensland long course championship and the qualifying race for the Australian titles the 600-strong field will be made up of some of the country's fittest athletes.
But it's not just the competition and the extreme weather that has to deal with but other obstacle have been known to pop up in the past, as McLean explained.
"A few years ago in the swim leg a dead cow was floating in the river as I went past, it wasn't very nice," he said.
Dead cows aside he said the race should be tough and it was going to be god preparation for the Melbourne Ironman which was coming up fast.
"Goondiwindi was a bit of unknown but was my last hit out at that distance before Melbourne," McLean said.
The race was going to serve as a training run for Ey as well - Ey is racing in an ironman in New Zealand in three weeks - but with a top-five finish in her age group a goal she said there were no plans to take it easy over the 102km course.
"I always had a time to aim for, or I would relax. I had done too much training so I planned on a top-five finish," Ey said.
"I wanted to do well."