Ballina triathlete Craig Gibson
Ballina triathlete Craig Gibson Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Gibson keeps up gruelling schedule for triathlon tilt

A PHYSICAL and mental rollercoaster may await, but dedicated Craig Gibson is determined to test his skills alongside some of Australia's top triathlon competitors.

The 47-year-old is putting in hours of training as he prepares for the gruelling Port Macquarie Ironman event.

Entrants from across the country will take part in the stamina-sapping race, which includes bike, swim and running sections totalling more than 220km.

Ballina-based Gibson admitted the event would test every aspect of his body, but was confident he was up to the challenge.

"You can go through the whole range of emotions in a race like this," he said.

"There will be moments where you are saying, 'Why the bloody hell am I doing this?'

"If you have done the right training, though, you always come good.

"The mental state is a big part of it. If you believe in yourself, you can do it."

Gibson has been in training for several weeks in preparation for this year's event, which takes place in May.

This will be the third consecutive year he has participated in the race, which incorporates a 3.8km swim, 180km bike ride and 42.2km run.

Father-of-two Gibson combines his training with 60-hour working weeks running his Ballina cycle shop.

"Some nights I don't finish my training runs until 9pm," he said.

"If it's wet, I will use my home trainer or go on the running machine for two hours.

"If you want to achieve your goals, you have got to work hard."

A handful of other FNC representatives have signed up for this year's event, which is a popular race for amateur triathletes.

Gibson is hoping to shave at least 45 minutes off his previous best time and clock in under the 10.5 hours mark.

His varied weekly training regime currently consists of three or four 3km swimming sessions a week.

Gibson, who took up the sport about three years ago, also runs anything between 8-10 hours and cycles about 350-400km a week.

"It's just the personal satisfaction," he said. "I think that's why a lot of people do triathlon.

"I think everyone wants to achieve something and this is my goal."

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