Sunshine Coast local Melanie Newton completed her first triathlon in 1998 on a bike she purchased from K Mart.
The 39 year-old mum has certainly come a long way since then, representing Australia at last years’ IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Las Vegas, and setting a record for the Great Wall of China Half Marathon in 2010 that still stands today.
I raced The Great Wall half marathon in 2010 when my son was 9 months old. I ran 1:48:48 over 5,162 steps. It was amazing – they say we all get our few little minutes in the spotlight – that was mine. My husband did the 10km with our son in a backpack and got the biggest cheer of all at the finish line. It was an incredible day and my time still stands as the fastest
After a big schedule of races last year that saw her competing at the World Champs in Vegas, Newton had decided to have a quiet season this year, until the announcement of the inaugural IRONMAN 70.3 Sunshine Coast.
“I had a pretty big year last year and was enjoying a bit of time off racing when Sunshine Coast was announced. A 70.3 pretty much in my backyard on a beautiful stretch of the coast in Queensland spring weather – I just had to sign up,” she said.
Newton loves the challenge that endurance sport presents, and the opportunity it gives her to set an example for her son.
“I’m motivated to race by lots of things, keeping fit and healthy, challenges, setting a good example for my son, seeing people around me who have been unfortunate in health and cannot be physically active. I am physically able – so I use it and continue to challenge myself with little goals,” she said.
“I also love the people – the people who train with you, the people who race with you – all shapes, sizes, ages and ability, and the people who support you – especially the ones clapping and cheering who don’t even know you. There is an awesome spirit in triathlon – gives you a huge buzz.”