Iron man pair shake off rust
IT is a case of one step back, two steps forward for Yamba’s two Australian Kellogg’s Ironman Series hopefuls in 2010.
A cocktail of over-training and over-zealousness curtailed Hugh Dougherty’s title-winning ambitions the past two campaigns.
Meanwhile Alyce Bennett battled a hectic university timetable and illness in 2009.
But a more relaxed 2010 for the duo could unlock the secrets to success in the series, which begins with the opening two rounds at Gold Coast’s Kurrawa Beach on January 16-17.
Dougherty finished third and ninth overall in 2008 and 2009 respectively.
“I have taken a bit of a low key approach to this year’s series,” said Dougherty, who is aiming for a top-five finish.
“That could be a good thing. The last few years have been pretty full on.”
Dougherty concedes he has not had the best preparation after ‘not doing a great deal’ over Christmas while staying with his parents in Yamba.
“It’s all going all right but I probably didn’t do as much (training) as I should,” he said.
“I’m probably not in peak form right now but in the next month or so I hope to be.
“It’s so hard because you have to peak a few times in the season.”
Representing Tugun Surf Club, Dougherty will contest this weekend’s North Burleigh Carnival using the limited preparation he gained alongside training partner Bennett.
Bennett, 22, has her own score to settle after a mixed Kellogg’s Series in 2009.
The Yamba stunner agonisingly finished seventh – one spot outside the automatic qualifying spots for this year’s campaign.
Returning to the main field proved a bigger challenge with university commitments and a niggling sinus infection making qualifying life tough for Bennett.
“My preparation has been a bit mixed. It could have been better,” Bennett said.
“My endurance is not as good as it has been in previous years.
“I just haven’t been able to put much training together. It’s been really frustrating.”
A few ‘nights out’ during Bennett’s Christmas hiatus didn’t help matters.
But, much like Dougherty, it allowed a relaxed preparation to 2010.
“When I get into the races I will have to race lazy,” she said.
“I will have to fall back on my experience and use any help I can get from waves.
“Sometimes it works in my favour – I won’t put as much pressure on myself.”