Injury cruels Miller's campaign
A CONTRITE Mitch Miller hopes the rib injury that has cruelled his Nutri-Grain Ironman Series is nothing more than a minor speedbump.
Miller, who grew up at Kawana but made the switch last year to the North Burleigh club on the Gold Coast, was forced to sit out the fourth round of the series at Perth two weeks ago because of the complaint.
He cracked his rib after falling down stairs during the Christmas break but did not realise he had suffered the injury until he raced with it at Portsea.
He initially attempted to compete through the pain but after finishing 17th and 16th in rounds two and three respectively he relented and sat out round four.
After a four-week break from training, the 19-year-old returns to action at Coolum this weekend.
Miller described the accident as "stupid" but said he had time on his side and hoped the injury would one day be viewed as a small setback on a greater journey.
"It's bad enough when someone else does it (falls down stairs), and in this sport it's the little things that you do," he said.
"To do something stupid like that - I was looking forward to a big season.
"It's a setback and I've disappointed a lot of my coaches and people who have put a lot of time and effort into me.
"It's my own fault, but hopefully it'll be a learning experience and in years to come I'll do the little things right and it becomes part of the bigger picture."
Going into Coolum, Miller is placed 17th on 22 points and even a top-10 series finish appears a huge ask.
After finishing 10th in last year's series and earning automatic entry into the 2011-12 edition, Miller was viewed as one of the sport's best young prospects.
He moved to the Gold Coast to train under Pat O'Keeffe after last year's Australian championships and showed plenty of promise last September in finishing fourth at the Coolangatta Gold.
Although he returned to training only this week after a month off, Miller said the injury could work in his favour in the final two rounds at Coolum and Noosa.
He said although he would not be at peak fitness, he was feeling refreshed and still had hopes of a podium finish before the end of the series.
"The last two rounds I just want to get the ball rolling," he said.
"I've just got back into training so my fitness isn't going to be where I had it.
"I've had four weeks off and I'm not going to be fully fit, but I'm going to be fresh because I haven't been racing.
"I'm just going to get the ball rolling and hopefully have some good results ahead of the states ( championships) and Aussies."