Australian Young Gun Triathletes Preparing to Take on the Challenge in Copenhagen

By David Stewart

Challenge Copenhagen is scheduled to take place on August 15th, and some of Australia’s finest young athletes are preparing to test themselves against Europe’s best.

In the men’s race a group of young Australian athletes who train under Grant Giles of Aeromax coaching will be Tim_Berkel_and_Tim_Reed_2010_Busselton_Half_Ironmanlooking to will be looking to further their reputations on the European circuit. These include Tim Berkel, Tim Reed and, Adam Holborow. Mitch Robins the other member of this gang had also been scheduled to race but is now sidelined through injury.

Tim Berkel & Tim Reed (Photo by Blinq)

The Tim’s and Adam will not only be racing against one another for ‘house honors’, they will also be up against fellow accomplished Australian triathletes Justin Granger and Chris McDonald. Looks like it will not be hard to come across an Aussie accent on the day and we would have to be hopeful of at least one Aussie on the podium.

Trizone recently caught up with the boys who have been training together in Bolder in preparation for the race; their reports provide an interesting insight into the life of young professional triathletes abroad.

Adam Holborow at the tender age of 22, already has a number of ironman distance races under his belt with his best result being 8th at ironman Australia this year.

Adam takes up his storey: “I started my prep back in Port Macquarie where I have a full time job and a girlfriend who is very supportive. I was working 5 days a week 7 till 3:30 so an average week for me was:


  • Monday – just a swim in the arvo
  • Tuesday – a ride in the morning starting at 2:30 am and riding until 6am. Work all day then in the avro was a run
  • Wednesday is another ride in the morning 2:30 till 6 am and a run in the arvo
  • Thursday is a run in the morning and a swim in the arvo
  • Friday is a ride in the morning 2:30 am till 6 am and a swim in the arvo
  • Saturday is a long ride in the morning 160km to 180km a swim midday and a run in the arvo
  • Sunday is a long run and that’s it.

Adam_Holborow_Huskisson_2010Working a full time job and trying to race pro is hard so I don’t always get every session in. Some afternoons all just sit on the couch, watch TV and fall asleep! I have done this kind of prep before all my ironman distance races so I decided to try something different.

Adam Holborow (pictured)

I am now in Boulder Colorado. I have just got back from a training camp up in Breckenridge which is 10,000 ft above sea level (just walking through the shopping centre was a mission had to stop to catch breath.) So not having to work in the day is awesome. I haven’t missed a session and am feeling really good. Being away from home is hard I don’t know how these guys do it for 6 months of the year I am away for just under 6 weeks. I had a race this weekend in Benton Harbor Michigan (Adam finished 13th at the 70.3 Steelhead Triathlon in 4.06.03) so I am now just taking it easy tapering into Copenhagen.

Tim Reed’s lead up to the race has involved lots of running: “Prep was going smoothly until I had a brain explosion and decided to do a mountain biking week in Peru. Picked up a strange bug and so now my training involves running 2kms, having a toilet break, running 2kms, have a toilet break repeated throughout the session.

The base is there though and I’ve started on antibiotics so hopefully I’ll come good for race day!”

Mitch Robbins, also 22 years old, is another member of the tight knit crew who was due to race Copenhagen however last week when racing a 3 day stage race in Colorado he was involved in a crash, Mitch reports “a bunch of us went down and I ended up hitting a gutter and smashing up my shoulder. Nothing is broken but I did some ligament damage and separated my AC joint. Doctor’s advice is 4-6 weeks out of competition so it looks like Challenge Copenhagen is out of the question. Bad news, but nothing that can be done…. Already looking forward to the Australian season and giving it a real shot!”

While clearly a set back for Mitch his overseas experience will serve him well in his development. Prior to his injury Mitch reported:

Mitchell_Robins_Huskisson_2010“Things are going great over here; I arrived in Boulder on the 15th July to a 40+degree heat wave that lasted about 4 days. It was intense. I shook off the jetlag pretty quickly and got into a few easy days of training on my own over the weekend. It’s always such a shock to the system when you get up to this altitude so I have been cutting out the high intensity from my sessions and just trying to stay strong and aerobic.

Mitch Robins (pictured)

Tim, Matty, Adam and I have just spent 5 days up in Breckenridge, a ski village located 10,000 feet above sea level in the Rockies. On Wednesday we rode from Boulder to Breckenridge, 180kms uphill including a climb up Loveland pass to 12,000feet. The scenery was stunning, although it was so high in the clouds, and the air was so thin that just trying to breathe was a battle. We had a few days of good training, and I took it very easy as it is so hard to recover from intense sessions at that altitude.

Overall I am feeling very strong and fit, and I’m very glad to see that all the training over winter is paying off!

When I come home from Denmark, I’m planning to have a few weeks with no serious training and then attack the Half Ironman series in Australia along with some other shorter races. Exciting times ahead.”

I am sure we will continue to hear a lot more about the Aeromax crew, and if they continue to train together and push one another anything is possible.

Karl Hayes

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.