Elvery pedals back clock ahead of world titles
SENIOR SPORTSPERSON: Kim Elvery is a tireless competitor and will lead the charge when Australia hosts the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in September.
The Clarence Valley Triathlon Club president has been a driving force for the sport in the region for the past decade. But it's her efforts on course that are gaining attention.
This year Elvery has already secured the NSW and Australian Standard Distance Triathlon titles in the women's 60-64 year bracket. The latter at Mooloolaba on March 11 earned her automatic qualification for the world event at the Gold Coast.
It won't be the first time the Gulmarrad athlete has competed at world level. But it will be by far the closest to home.
"As far as triathlon in Australia is concerned, it's fantastic that it will be held here," Elvery said.
"That, and the Commonwealth Games, have given a bit of a boost to sport in general.
"It's brought people out of the woodwork who probably haven't raced in a while and have a new interest in triathlon. It's amazing how many people are doing the sprint distances.
"Sometimes when you get to my age group and turn up to a race there's not a lot of entrants. But this year it's been good."
As the host nation, Australia has up to 25 qualification spots in each category, and Clarence Valley Triathlon Club members are lining up, with no less than 12 athletes aiming to compete in September.
Elvery's recent efforts at Mooloolaba were particularly impressive. She not only won her division, but was faster than the vast majority of men in her age group, placing 14th against the men.
Mooloolaba provided the strongest field of the year with more than 4000 competing over the standard distance across age groups from 16 to 79 years, all vying for national titles and selection in the 2018 World Championships.
"I like Mooloolaba," Elvery said. "It's a good race, a good spot, well organised, and a nice fast course out on the hot mix on the motorway."
"They actually had good conditions this year, not stinking hot and humid.
"The ocean swim's always good up there. Although this year the water was murky, usually it's crystal clear and you can see fish and turles underneath."
As a result of her efforts, Elvery is the Jetts Fitness Senior Sportsperson of the Month for March. As a monthly winner she is a nominee for the Clarence Valley Sportsperson of the Year, and also the Masters Sports Award - won in 2016 by her husband Brian Elvery - at the Clarence Valley Sports Awards at the Grafton District Services Club on November 10.
"I just like going out there and racing," Kim Elvery said.
"It gives you a reason to get up in the morning, to go for a ride, a run or a swim."