Gilfillan off to ITU Championships
FOR someone who doesn't necessarily define herself as a triathlete, Courtney Gilfillan is going to be surrounded by them during this weekend's ITU Triathlon World Championships on the Gold Coast.
Gilfillan, of Tuntable Creek, is still relatively wet behind the ears as far as triathlon goes and has only been racing the event seriously for about a year.
She comes from a running background and proved her credentials in that department by finishing fifth in the elite women's category of Sydney's City to Surf race last month.
“It does me a lot of confidence running that well and since then I've pretty much had a solid block of training and this week I'm backing off and tapering for the race,” Gilfillan said.
“I couldn't be in better form than I am at the moment and my training has been going so well, so I'm certainly not going to be making any excuses.”
Gilfillan has entered her age category race, for 20- to 24-year-olds, and will line-up alongside about 80 of her fellow competitors from around the world.
It's one small part of a much bigger picture with the world titles attracting 6000 athletes from 42 countries over five days of competition.
“I've placed a huge amount of expectation on myself; I always train hard and I'm the kind of person who aims high when I go into a race,” Gilfillan said.
“I would love to medal but I pretty much want to go out and do the best race that I possibly can.
“I want to swim well, ride well and run well and see where that takes me.”
While running remains her strong suit, Gilfillan has been working hard to improve the two other disciplines, particularly swimming.
She trains three times a week with Denis Cotterell at the Miami Swimming Club on the Gold Coast. He's the man who took Grant Hackett to two Olympic gold medals.
Gilfillan gets to rub shoulders with Cotterell's elite squad but is not overawed by the company she is keeping.
“Not at all, I find it incredibly inspirational to be training alongside some of the best athletes and I love working hard as well,” she said.
“Sometimes I think, 'My god, I'm so slow', but then they tell me they admire me because they can't run.”
Gilfillan's event gets underway on Saturday.