THE Long Course Weekend triathlon event is one of the most gruelling in the world.
It involves swimming 3.8km in open, freezing cold waters.
The next day brings with it 180km riding on a bike.
And on day three, a 42.2km marathon of running.
It’s an incredible event that takes an enormous effort and causes extreme impacts on the body.
Jane Anderson finished it.
Two weeks ago, the event was held outside of Wales for the first time, at Jervis Bay in NSW.
‘‘On the full length course, about 80 people started and by the end we were down to 60,’’ Anderson said.
It capped off an amazing achievement for the Echuca-Moama triathlon club member.
‘‘I started training for this about six months ago, but I had completed 14 marathons in the 18 months before that, so I had a strong base in the running, which was my weakest leg,’’ she said.
The event started off with the swim, taking place in the freezing cold ocean waters.
Immediately, this presented Jane with some challenges.
‘‘I’ve done all my training over winter for this in pools with empty lanes, so within 150 metres I was already thinking that I’d made a huge mistake not only by taking on this course, but by taking on the event all together,’’ Anderson said
‘‘But, I knew I could get through it. You train for this, putting yourself in a miserable situation while training so you know you can get through these things.’’
It took a great deal of determination, but she completed the swim.
Day two brought about the bike stage, which rather than the flat areas she had previously prepared for, presented the issues of intense, rolling hills.
‘‘The bike was the furthest I have ever ridden. You are doing 180 kms across the most hellish of hills that you could imagine.
‘‘But then you find that it’s all about problem solving. You have to figure out how you will manage the heat, how you will manage the hills. Once you get through those mental challenges, you know you’ve trained your body to handle it.’’
To complete the race, Jane faced the maligned running leg head on, and produced a solid performance to complete the event as she had planned.
‘‘I went in with the hopes that I was going to have a good weekend. When you are doing an event as intense as this, you can only really hope that you’ll be able to actually enjoy the event.’’
But that was not enough.
We spoke to Jane only days after she had completed the event, and she was not suffering the effects of the monster event.
‘‘I have a bit of a scar on the back of my neck from the wetsuit. Apart from that, my body feels great, I have pulled up really well and I’m ready to keep going.’’
Jane now looks to go from strength to strength.
‘‘I’m approaching fifty now,’’ she laughs.
‘‘So when that year comes, I want to do Jervis again, I want to go to Wales and complete it there and I want to do the event in Spain when it launches soon. I love this sport, and I want to keep doing it.’’