By Karl Hayes
There are some pro triathletes who are quietly heading up to the Gold Coast with plans to upset the Tim Berkel and Clayton Fettell show.
Leon Griffin is back to his good form after suffering an achilies injury during the year which sidelined him for a few weeks. Another is Peter Schokman, Peter recentlyÂ won Yeppoon with a half marathon time of 1:13. Then there is Christian Kemp who almost ran down Pete Jacobs at the Huskisson long course triathlon in February this year finishing only 10 seconds behind. A further 1:10 in front was the winner Craig Alexander. Michael Murphy from Cronulla is also someone to watch.
Trizone spoke to ChristianÂ about the race this weekend and what he thought of his chances. He had just come from a meeting where he had signed with a new sponsor â€˜The Running Company’ from Bondi. Chris Chapman from The Running Company sponsors some great triathletes such as Lisa Marangon and up and coming Ollie Whistler. â€œThis is one of the best half ironman fields I have seen in about 3-4 years. There are about 10-12 guys who could possibly win the race this weekend. It will depend on how each individual is feeling on the day. Clayton has the swim and the bike to pull it off again, Leon Griffin has the run to also do the same. Peter Schokman’s run at Yeppoon was very fast. Considering he wasn’t pushed he still did a 73min half ironman. If someone was there pushing him he could have easily gone 71min maybe. Who knowsâ€.
Throw in to the mix world duathlon champion Paul Amey and the 2010 Gold Coast Half Ironman has the makings of a classic race.
After Christian’s 3rd placing at Huskisson he dropped off the radar for a bit. There were plans to race in Europe. â€œI got a foot injury just after Huskisson. I tried to run through it but in the end I had to address it. I decided that going to Europe was not a good idea as I was not 100% and it wouldn’t have been fair on all involved. I spent some time getting the injury sorted and after a long period of uninterrupted training I am feeling really motivated now and in the best shape I have been inâ€.
Christian has been coached now for about six years by Chris Hanhran, of PB3, who is not only his coach but a really good mate. â€œI find being coached by Chris a really good situation. He knows me so well and the fact that we are good friends really helps bring out the best in meâ€.
We wish Christian Kemp the best this weekend.