Australia loses rising Ironman star

As reported on


This past week triathlon lost a rising star in our sport. Renee Nicholls of Australia sustained massive head injuries after being hit during a training ride on February 27th. She was removed from life support the next day.

Her sister wrote the following:

Renee Anne Nicholls – Daughter to Glenn David & Diana May Nicholls, Sister to Jessica Kate & Angie Jane. Born 27/10/82 & passed early hours this morning (28/02/10). We love you so much girl! Words cannot explain the amount of loss we feel at the moment. Mum & Dad were super proud of you. You achieved so much in your short life & touched so many hearts. Love you; miss you, your big sis ♥ ♥ ♥

Renee NichollsA quick glance at the farewell notes on her Facebook page will give you a glimpse of the amazing young woman that she was. Renee embraced each day with such joy and enthusiasm and she insisted on taking anyone close to her along for the ride.

“My glass is not just half full, it’s overflowing,” she shared in a phone interview a few weeks before her death. “Sometimes I feel like I need to dump it out and share it with, well, everyone.”

A physical training instructor in the Australian Defence Force since 2005, Nicholls burst on to the triathlon scene just two years ago. She instantly made a name for herself by posting podium finishes in Busselton, Geelong 70.3 and Ironman Australia in Port Macquarie, to name a few. Although she had been doing so well racing in Australia, she was nervous about how she would match up against the best in the world in her debut at the 2009 Ford Ironman World Championships. She went on to win her division by nine minutes and knew it was time to apply for her professional license.

What drew Renee to Ironman was a pure desire to test her mental and physical endurance at every turn. Racing pro among the fittest athletes in the world, with a goal of qualifying for Kona, was her dream come true and a validation of her innate belief that with hard work and determination you can achieve anything, and a shining example of her ability to live life to its fullest.

You can reach Gaylia Lynn Osterlund at [email protected]

Karl Hayes

Head of Rest and Recovery

Karl is a keen age group triathlete who races more than he trains. Good life balance! Karl works in the media industry in Australia and is passionate about the sport of triathlon.