Kiwi champ fired up for 70.3 Western Sydney

"VAN" (Sports Desk) :: New Zealand’s athlete on the rise, Hannah Wells returns to IRONMAN 70.3 Western Sydney determined to keep the momentum flowing and take one extra step up the podium at the International Regatta Centre in Penrith (24 November).

Hannah’s win at IRONMAN 70.3 Sunshine Coast against quality opposition demonstrated the enormous progress she has made in 2019 and with two major events left in her 2019 season, she is keen to keep that winning feeling alive.

“I raced 70.3 Western Sydney last year and really enjoyed it and relative to other races it was quite an easy race for me to get to from New Zealand. It was simple and straight forward and it all went really smoothly. Timing wise Western Sydney fits in really well because it is only two weeks before my home race 70.3 Taupo, so there is plenty of time for recovery.”

“Western Sydney was nice and fast and flat. I don’t know what suits my strengths to be honest, I like all racing. I really enjoyed the course, it was fast and there was good crowd support, especially on the run. There were people everywhere, so I quite like that. The ride was good too. People say the surface is a bit rough but compared to New Zealand it is not, so that didn’t worry me at all. I really enjoyed it. It can be a little bit warm at Penrith but I don’t mind that, I quite like the heat,” she smiled.

A research fellow at the Engineering Department at Massey University in New Zealand, specialising in the Bio Tech field, Dr Hannah Wells has juggled training, racing and work for many years but it hasn’t been easy. So, in 2020 she has decided to temporarily park the PhD in favour of researching the world of the IRONMAN athlete.

“There has been a lot of progress in 2019 definitely, in fact I have improved a lot over the last two years. I have come a long way and it has been a consistent couple of injury free years, so that has been the key. It has been tough being a full time worker and full time athlete and it has been getting harder and harder the more I expect of myself as an athlete.”

“While balancing work and doing the 70.3 distance is doable to a certain extent, I am not sure that doing IRONMAN would be quite the same. I have really enjoyed working and racing but I am just on the edge of managing both. So, I am actually resigning at the end of the year from my job, to be an athlete. In 2020 I am also hoping to go long. It was kind of a good time for me to give being an athlete a really good crack, if I am going to go the full iron distance.”

“It has been really hard giving up my job because I enjoy it and it works in well with what I do as an athlete. But I am only young for a while and while I am doing the sport, I’d like to give it a proper crack. There are no definite plans for what races I will do, that is a long way off yet. It is hard to know how it will pan out, so I will take one step at a time,” she said.

Having the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in New Zealand next year is a massive thing for Hannah and all Kiwi athletes, so after Western Sydney she is going to take a sneak peak at the Taupo course.

“Western Sydney is a great opportunity to get fit and put some finishing touches on my racing before I go home for Taupo. I was supposed to race on the Taupo course before last year, but I got sick with a fluey thing right before hand and started but pulled out. It will be good for me to familiarise myself with Taupo because there will be some similarities between this year’s and next year’s course.”

“I have already qualified for Taupo 2020 at the Sunny Coast which is nice. It is great for a Kiwi to able to race in a World Championship in front of family and friends and supporters. It will be super easy. I can drive to the race, which is kind of crazy for a world championship event, so it will be really good for me. It should be easy and relaxed and no jet lag to get over.”

“Having the 70.3 World Champs in New Zealand is tremendous. t is really exciting. I am really looking forward to that one next year. It is a long way to come for a lot of people around the world but it is going to be a massively strong field, which is good, that is what you want,” she said.


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