Joan stays ahead of pack
JUST hearing Joan Wehrens’ list of feats is enough to make most people feel tired.
But the evergreen 70-year-old is anything but worn out after conquering another triathlon.
The Corindi resident has a love of endurance events in her bloodstream - her father Frank Thomas completed the 1931 Tour de France.
On Sunday Wehrens took on the 800m swim, 20km ride and 5km run that made up the annual Red Rock-Corindi SLSC Bendigo Bank Triathlon.
Not that you would be able to tell she spent 1hr 25min competing.
“I loved it and I feel fantastic today,” said Wehrens, who rode twice a week and sweated it out at the gym every day to prepare.
“I think it’s a good time – I just did it for fun.”
Wehrens has made the ‘comfortable’ transition from marathons to triathlons after stepping onto the track in 1983.
Within 12 months she notched her first marathon event – and clocked in at 3hr 49min - and by the end of the decade had added two more to her collection.
“I started doing marathons for fun. My dog died and I went to the track and joined in with some runners,” she said.
“It’s a bit of fun. I just love being fit and healthy.”
A 1987 venture into the Australian Championships – ‘the only really big one that I have done’ – leads Wehrens’ career highlights reel.
A gold medal in her age division at last year’s World Triathlon Championships on the Gold Coast also ranks highly.
She has competed in Darwin, Perth, throughout Queensland and as far as Holland.
“It’s a great comradery for people,” she said.
“They (my friends) just say ‘Joan’s just doing another fun run or triathlon’.
“Most people my age are sedentary and don’t get out and do it.”
Wehrens’ next event is May 9 and will approach it with the same simple aim that has been a hallmark of her career: ‘just to finish’.
“I like to come first but if I didn’t it doesn’t matter,” she said.
“I love going out and having a swim in the ocean or at the pool.
“I take it year by year for enjoyment.”