Elly warms up for summer with Yamba triathlon

Professional triathlete Elly Franks - back in her home town of Yamba for the Yamba Triathlon. Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner
Professional triathlete Elly Franks - back in her home town of Yamba for the Yamba Triathlon. Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner Adam Hourigan

IT'S a funny thing to say, but for homecoming triathlete Elly Franks, winning Sunday's Yamba Classic is not on her radar.

The 31-year-old professional triathlete is recovering from injury and says competing on Sunday is more about promoting the Yamba Triathlon Festival and catching up with family and friends.

"It's great to see how Yamba has taken to the triathlon festival," Elly said.

"There's a real excitement in the town about triathlon and there's been so many people getting involved."

As a professional triathlete, Elly competes virtually all-year round.

"I spend most of our winter in the US and Europe," she said.

"Now there's some big events in Australia I come home during the summer, so it's become a year-round thing."

Although she's competing in the Yamba Classic for the love of it, she will get more serious in the summer.

"The next big one for me is the Australian Professional Championship event in Western Australia in November, and then the Challenge in Melbourne in February," she said. "After that, it's back off overseas."

As an ironman, and ironman 70.3 (half-ironman), competitor, Elly has set her sights on the pinnacle of the sport, the Hawaiian Ironman.

Since taking up the sport professionally in 2005, Elly has won a number of European events as well as claiming a second in the Hawaiian 70.3 in 2011.

She sees herself as a novice competitor in her sport.

"In endurance events most competitors don't reach their peaks until they're about 40, so that makes me a young competitor in triathlon," Elly said.

"The most recent winner of the Hawaiian Ironman is close to 40."

ALL ABOUT ELLY
Name: Elly Sri Franks
From: Yamba, NSW
Resides: Melbourne
Age: 31
Strength: Swim/bike and mental toughness.

Education:
Bachelor of Applied Science/PE.

Employment:
Consultant, SFG Investments

Coach:
Pete Coulson, Champion Factory Coaching

Race ritual:
Nails and hair always done. Look feminine, race fast.

Interests:
Music, surfing, travel, lollies.

Goal:
Hawaiian Ironman as a professional.

Other sports:
I grew up as a swimmer/surf life saver but also played rugby union, touch football, netball, cross country and many other sports.

First triathlon:
Noosa on a friend's mountain bike with no training...I couldn't sit down for a week afterwards but loved it. A year later I qualified to represent Australia at the world age group championships in Portugal. Two years later I was lining up for the Hawaiian Ironman.

Things I hate about tris :
Cold weather, injuries.

Things I love about tris:
The friendships along the way, pushing my body to the limit, seeing others achieve and the opportunity to travel.

Mentors:
My pop. He is my closest family and he supported me 100% while I was growing up during all my sporting adventures. He did everything he could to help me succeed and I owe him everything.

Favourite food:
Maybe it's because I'm often overseas and miss it, but I would have to say Vegemite. But I also can't live without lollies.

Ambassador:
WITSUP (Women in triathlon website) www.witsup.com/ambassadors/elly-franks/

Coaching:
I have been a part of Tri-bal training for about nine years as an athlete, coach and mentor. Head coach and founder of Tri-bal Andy Sleeman has been my coach and friend throughout my career and I continue to be involved with this club on a daily basis. Tri-bal (www.tri-bal.com.au/) plays a big part in the booming triathlon culture in Melbourne.

I have also coached age group athletes throughout my career for specific events and given guidance on healthy lifestyle, time management, program writing and race goal setting.

- Information from Elly's website



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