CQ triathlete to realise sporting dream in France
TRIATHLON: A keen sportsman, Rockhampton's Rhys Jones had long dreamed of competing at an elite level "in something”.
The 28-year-old will realise that dream in September when he competes at the triathlon world championships in Nice, France.
Before then, he'll use the 7 Rocky River Run and Yeppoon Triathlon Festival to help with race preparation.
Jones booked his ticket to Nice after finishing second in the 25-29 years age group at last month's Ironman 70.3 in Taupo, New Zealand.
He completed the challenging course in a time of 4:29:21, placing him eighth overall in the 328-strong field, and said it was incredibly satisfying to realise he had claimed one of the two world championship spots available in his age group.
"It felt good because that's what I went there for; qualifying for Nice was the reason I went to do that race,” Jones said.
"To be in the top 10 overall was pretty unreal because I didn't think I would finish that high.
"It was a tough day, and that's definitely the toughest race I've ever done.
"I cannot remember being that exhausted after a race, and I really had to dig deep in the back end of the run to get home.”
Jones has not been to Europe before and plans to enjoy a holiday once his triathlon commitments are over.
"It's not going to be good on the wallet but this will be an incredible experience,” he said.
"Through my younger sporting life I never got to compete at the highest level in any of my chosen sports.
"Along the way I decided that I wanted to compete at a world championship in something.
"I found triathlon and took to it pretty well and here I am, preparing to take on the world's best in France.”
Triathlon has taken Jones on an incredible journey since he started in the sport six years ago.
"For me, it's been about setting little goals. Once you reach one you set another one, and that's how things progress,” he said.
"It's good to have an idea in your head and when you achieve it it's super-duper rewarding.”
Jones said he would continue training in earnest, with a focus on improving his swim.
"I really want to knuckle down on my swim because I'm pretty confident with my run and my bike.
"If you can come out of the water a little higher, it sets you up well for the rest of the race.”