After several years supporting his partner, world # 3 Ash Gentle from the sidelines in Mooloolaba, aussie IRONMAN Josh Amberger is making a temporary return to short course racing and is looking to make the 2019 Mooloolaba Triathlon Festival a family affair.
Josh is dropping back in distance to race the Mooloolaba Triathlon on Sunday, while is Ash red hot favourite to take out the women’s race at ITU Mooloolaba World Cup this Saturday afternoon.
Josh, a former ITU racer turned IRONMAN, is using the standard distance Mooloolaba Triathlon as part of his preparation for his early season priority the IRONMAN African Championship South Africa on 4 April.
“I probably haven’t raced Mooloolaba for about nine years. I think the last time I raced there would have been the World Cup in about 2010. I did the World Cup up there for a couple of years as a youngster when I was racing ITU. It was one of the biggest World Cup races on the calendar, so even before I actually raced it, I used to enjoy watching it.”
“Mooloolaba has a great vibe. It is a multisport festival so people are coming there for lots of different reasons, the expo is always pretty exciting and it is a great location. Having the elites racing the World Cup on the Saturday is always exciting with the different style of the draft legal racing. It has always been a date on the calendar that has been important and of course more recently I have been watching Ash racing. Now I am back on the start line myself.”
“I can normally race up and down distances pretty well without needing too much specific work. I dropped back to Olympic distance a couple of years ago and did the Byron Bay Triathlon about four weeks out from IRONMAN Cairns. Mooloolaba is not a dress rehearsal because the IRONMAN event is four times longer, but it is important to run through the process of swim, bike, run. That is what Mooloolaba is all about this time for me.”
Josh’s early season form has been excellent and despite a minor mechanical at IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong he managed to pull it all together, finishing second to five time world champ Javier Gomez.
“I had reasonable fitness coming into Geelong and I knew that once I got going, I would be able to find my way back into the race. It wasn’t done easily and I had to switch off all the negative thoughts going through my head about pulling out and just focus on turning the pedals over one stroke at a time and make slow progress back up to the front.”
“Considering the amount of training I had done I was very happy with the run on the day and performed better than what I expected. Everything coming out of that day was pretty positive and that is very encouraging at the start of the season.”
“I am using Mooloolaba as part of my lead in to racing IRONMAN South Africa in a few weeks time, which is my early season goal. Ash is also racing and she has never won the World Cup there, so it will be an important step to see if she can get the number one spot this year.”
“Mooloolaba is a must do race for age groupers from all over the country and it is always a good event. It would be pretty cool if we could pick up the World Cup/MooTri double,” Josh said.
Mooloolaba Triathlon Festival is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland as part of the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar. Queensland, just the place to experience Australia’s best live events.