Ironman series hopefuls will need to shine today
THREE athletes from the Far North Coast could compete in the Nutri-Grain Ironman series together for the first time at Coolum Beach on the Sunshine Coast tomorrow.
Nathan Gray, Tanyn Lyndon and Jy Timperley will look to get past the Ocean 6 qualifying round today and advance to the second round of Nutri-Grain competition.
The race format for the first three rounds has the top 14 qualifiers on Saturday gain entry into the finals against six professionals on Sunday.
Gray and Timperley made it through the first round at Queenscliff in Sydney last month while Lyndon missed the round for best man duties at a wedding in Ballina.
He has the most experience of the trio, having competed in the series on and off for the past five seasons.
Gray and Lyndon came through juniors at Lennox Head together before Lyndon moved to the Gold Coast while Gray ended up at Cudgen before eventually going to Surfers Paradise.
Timperley is from Byron Bay and has just moved to Currumbin to train full-time and work as a lifeguard.
He won the inaugural Under-19 male race at the Coolangatta Gold last month, finishing almost seven minutes clear of his nearest rival.
Gray trains with TJ Hendy, who won the first round of the series on debut.
The format this weekend is an eliminators last man standing.
Over the course, 18 of the 20 athletes are eliminated, resulting in a two-person showdown in the final leg.
"This format can present drama and excitement and I am excited to see how it plays out,” Ocean 6 series general manager Trent Goulding said.
"There could be tears with so much on the line for these elite Nutri-Grain ironmen and ironwoman.
"The awesome part for the athletes is they will be able come back in four weeks (for the third round) and put into practice all they've learnt in the first two rounds.”
After the third round the top six ranked non-professionals gain automatic qualification for the rest of the series.
The six professionals are Matt Poole, Shannon Eckstein, Kendrick Louis, Ali Day, Luke Cuff and Matt Bevilacqua.