Triathletes face a big test at Noosa

IT might be only half the distance but it's going to be a big ask for local triathletes Clayton Fettell and Pip Taylor to back-up in this weekend's Noosa Triathlon Festival just days after competing in the Long Distance Triathlon World Championships in Perth.

Taylor, who trains at Alstonville when she is not in the United States competing, was physically and emotionally spent after receiving a five-minute penalty in the bike leg in Perth on Sunday, which ruined her chances of a podium finish.

The penalty was for 'blocking'- illegally passing one of the age division category competitors on the bike leg.

She still managed to finish ninth, but was bitterly disappointed.

“I was emotionally gutted and since the weekend ... have just felt hollow and upset…alternating with wanting to spit fire,” she wrote on her personal website news blog.

“The world long distance championships on the weekend was important to me and an event that not only had I looked forward to all season but had put myself in a position of being a genuine shot at the title.

“Now I feel let down - not only for myself but also for my sponsors, my family and friends and supporters who have also invested their support in me.”

Taylor's penalty saw her sidelined for five minutes and even though she sought the head referee for an explanation after the race, she was told there were no avenues to lodge a protest.

“Either way the outcome was hugely disappointing and has cost me dearly. I am not talking simply about the prize money or prestige or personal goals attached to that one race but the effects are far further reaching,” she said.

“Emotionally, it has stung and left me feeling drained and flat.”

Which is why it took until yesterday to make the decision to compete in Noosa.

“(The) best way to forget about a race is to race again and what better race than the biggest in the southern hemisphere and possibly the most fun race in the world?”

Alstonville's Fettell finished 10th in Perth on Sunday and remains unsure how his body will hold up at Noosa.

“I'm not quite sure how I will be backing up after the long-course event,” Fettell said.

“I guess that I'm playing with fire a little bit.

“There are certainly a lot of good guys racing. I've had a look through the start list and it is really strong.”

Noosa is an event that Fettell has never really targeted but he's still hoping for a top-three finish.

“Noosa is only half the (long-course) distance but it is twice as fast,” he said. “I've never really cracked it in Noosa. It's not a race I've really targeted. I think my best result is ninth but I'm certainly looking to go top two or three.”

Joey Lampe is another of the local athletes who will join the 'professional' wave of men at Noosa. The 20-year-old is preparing himself for the 70.3 half-ironman world championships in the United States on November 14.

“My best result at Noosa was eighth in the open and I'm aiming to finish in the top 10 professionals this year,” Lampe said.

“I want to have a good race at the world championship 70.3 half-ironman in three weeks and this will be a good hit-out.”

Lampe's older brother, Jethro, and Athens Olympian Simon Thompson are two other members of the Alstonville triathlon training group who plan to compete at Noosa.

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