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11 May 2022
Kelly Miller’s quest to compete in a second Ironman World Championship has been put on hold the past couple of years thanks to an unfortunate series of event postponements.
The Horsham triathlete finally had an opportunity to put her training to the test at Port Macquarie on May 1, completing the gruelling event in a personal-best time of 10:10:45.
As a result, she will be booking a plane ticket to Hawaii after doing more than enough to qualify for Ironman’s pinnacle competition.
Miller finished first in her 40-44 age group, by more than 30 minutes, and was second age-group female overall and sixth female overall.
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“There were six professionals in the race, so I was ahead of two,” she said.
Miller said she was thrilled with her result.
“Since 2019 I’ve been trying to compete at another full ironman distance, which is a 3.8-kilometre swim, 180-kilometre bike ride and you finish with a marathon, so a 42.2-kilometre run,” she said.
“After lots of races cancelled throughout COVID and flooding up at Port Macquarie last year, I finally made it there, which was amazing.
“I felt really good, I had a great race and ended up winning my age group to qualify for Kona.”
Miller scored a top-10 finish at Kona on the ‘Big Island’ in 2019, the same year she won her first ironman competition.
“That was the motivation to try to qualify again, after experiencing the world champs the first time,” she said.
“It’s very exciting. It will be fantastic and I’ll take the family this time and make it into a holiday.”
Miller said her commitment to training had paid off.
“I’ve consistently done the training for two to three years but I haven’t had much opportunity to race – it’s so much different racing than training,” she said.
“From the minute I hit the water, I just had a pretty good swim and I felt pretty strong on the bike.
“The hardest part for me was the last six to seven kilometres of the whole race, in the run.
“But the marathon is four laps and the course is lined with spectators and volunteers, so you’ve got support the whole time, cheering you on.
“Having that support was really great and I had people shouting out to me, ‘You’re winning, keep up’.”
Miller said she felt fantastic after her efforts.
“I pulled up really good,” she said.
“Obviously I was a bit stiff and sore but I’m not injured and I’ve had a massage since.
“I’ll have a bit of a rest and then start to slowly build back up for Kona.”
Qualifying professional and age-group athletes from throughout the world will contest the 2022 Ironman World Championship at Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, on October 6 and 8.
The entire May 11, 2022 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!