Top Ballarat triathletes are stepping up a notch

TRIATHLETES Melissa Burgoyne and Josh Dew are facing a solid Ballarat winter training program to stay in line with the northern hemisphere summer.

They are preparing to pull on the green and gold to represent Australia at the International Triathlon Union’s world age group championships in Edmonton, Canada in early September.

Dew, a draftsman by trade, is no stranger to the international competition.

He has raced against his age’s best in Auckland, Budapest, Beijing and on the Gold Coast.

Burgoyne, a physical education teacher in Geelong, will follow his lead.

“This is my first championships – he can show me the ropes, I guess,” Burgoyne said.

“It’s exciting and I just want to do as well as I can and finish as high up as I can.

“...Everything we do from now is to get us up to compete at international level because that’s a whole other level to what we’ve been doing in Australia.”

Burgoyne, racing in the 30-34 year-olds division, will contest an Olympic distance triathlon, featuring a 1.5-kilometre swim, 40km cycle and 10km run.

This is Burgoyne’s first season back in competition from a shoulder reconstruction.

Qualification for Edmonton was based on points earned through the Triathlon Australia national series, including double points for a top-six finish for the Australian championships in Tasmania.

Dew, in the 25-29s division, is selected for a sprint distance triathlon: 750-metre swim, 20km bike and 5km run.

Only this time, Dew’s selection came as a bit of a surprise.

“It’s kind of exciting because I hadn’t really planned for it, it’s not something I specifically went for in competition,” Dew said. “It’s great.

“There are about three to four thousand competitors out there usually, so it’s a pretty big event.”

Burgoyne and Dew, of the Southern X Triathletes stable and coached by Dave Huggett, will compete on September 1, the final day of the seven-day championships.