Making his 70.3 debut as a professional this weekend at Port Macquarie is Luke Gillmer. Luke has been meticulously planning this since coming back in to triathlons in 2006. After starting triathlons in Dubbo at the age of 14 and continuing until 18 Luke fell in love with the sport. At 18yrs university came around and no more triathlons happened until 2006 when he was challenged to do the Port Macquarie half ironman. This race took Luke just over 6 Â½ hours.
In July 2010 Luke was 6th outright in the Vancouver half ironman with a half marathon run of 1:18. He was the first amateur home. â€œThis was a break through day for me. I had a lot of confidence after hooking up with my new coach Clint Lien from Mercury Rising Tri in Victoria BC just a few months prior to the race. I stuck to my race plan all day, got off the bike feeling good and ripped a break through 1.18 run split.â€
In 2010 Luke moved to Victoria BC and started on his mission of becoming a top tier triathlete. â€œThis had the biggest impact in my racing career to date. I started to be coached by Clint Lien, he is great mates with Peter Reid and established PR Peak Performance with Peter and then later Mercury Rising Triathlon with his wife, athlete Sara Gross. Victoria is a great place for athletes, training where Peter Reid used to train. Being amongst champion athletes like Jasper Blake, Mike Neil, Steveo Kilshaw, Mel McQuade and Magali Tisseyre was a huge opportunity for me. These people showed me what it is really involved to compete at the top level, the dedication, sacrifice and hard work, it was like serving an apprenticeship.â€
Luke competed in the Subaru West Coast series events while in Canada and saw it as a stepping stone to Ironman 70.3 events. â€œI did really well in the series finishing top 5 in every event I competed in. A memorable one was the Banff International Olympic, swimming in 11 degree water and racing in freezing conditions at altitude is an experience worth making the journey for.â€
Gillmer made the decision to turn pro at the end of 2010. Once this was decided upon he took three months off triathlons to backpack through Central America with his wife Meg. â€œIt was a great life decision. I needed a break and the time with Meg was special. My pro debut would be at Port 70.3 on May 1st. It has been hard work after the long break and I am looking forward to blowing the cob webs out at this weekend.
Luke isn’t putting any pressure on himself and feels he will be in stronger form later in 2011. â€œIt is going to be a nice moment considering Port was my first ever half ironman, so it seems right to make my pro debut back there.â€
Luke is a secondary school teacher at Parramatta in NSW and has spent time since being back in Australia in Noosa in early March training with the Lifesport pro team with a few ITU and 70.3 athletes. â€œI made some big games in those 2 weeks and left with a lot of confidence compared to when I got into camp. I love camps, not worrying about work, having full training support and being around some of the best athletes in the world makes for an awesome training experience.â€
After Port Luke plans on racing 70.3 and other middle distance events over the next 12 months. â€œI don’t want to take on Ironman until I get a lot stronger over the 70.3 distance. I still have a lot of improvements to make, I think this year will be a challenging one and a great chance to learn and improve. I have a lot of trust in my coach and he seems to have a great understanding of how to get the most out of my body. I am still working full time High School Teaching but I know I need to cut back to really perform well in the future. I would say I am still 12 months away from being at the pointy end of the pro field.â€
To find out more about Luke got to TeamGillmer.com
Luke rides a Gray Storm TT which most of us will not be familiar with here in Australia.
Luke is sponsored by:
XOSIZE Athletic Store
Gray Bikes and Wheels