Callout to young athletes to take on Gloucester Mountain Man Tri Challenge

Budding athletes: Gloucester High School's Tri Challenge team has been hard at work in the past year. Photo: Rob Douglas.
Budding athletes: Gloucester High School's Tri Challenge team has been hard at work in the past year. Photo: Rob Douglas.

Gloucester High School may soon become a breeding ground for prolific triathletes.

In the spirit of the annual Gloucester Mountain Man Tri Challenge, the school added triathlon training to the weekly sports elective program.

The group, made up of 14 year eight students, cycle on roads towards the Bucketts Way, the nearby dairy and numerous local roads. On occasion, they dabble in swimming.

Gloucester High School teacher and triathlon aficionado Margo Cameron said the group, led by fellow teacher Robert Seale, has show great enthusiasm to training.

"It gets them into the triathlon mood," Margo said.

The sessions have run for more than a year and have encouraged several students to tackle the Mountain Man course on Sunday, September 8.

While most of the team has taken part in the school variation, some will tackle the ultimate course, a 24 kilometre ride, 11 kilometre paddle and 10 kilometre run, for the first time.

Harrison Edwards has backed himself to complete the course. He's trained hard in the last year and was inspired to former competitors to have a crack.

He'll rely on his strengths on the bike to make up time and also has a quick pair of heels.

He conceded his form with the paddle will unknown until the day.

"We've been training for about a year and half so I'm going to do the whole thing," Harrison said.

"I like riding so that will be my strength. I've done a fair bit of running but not a lot of paddling.

"I'm keen to try paddling."

He was unfazed by the conditions or volume of water he will need to paddle in.

"Some parts are shallow," he said.

He didn't hesitate to suggest he could go all the way. "I'm really fit," he smiled.

It'll be the first time taking part in the event.

"I'm excited," he said.

He hoped this will be a pathway to other triathlons, where he'll put his prolific swimming ability to the test.

Harrison is set to be joined by Nick Maslen and Caiden Wakefield for the event. Many more will try their hand at individual sections.

Mitchell Hawkins will contest the bike portion of the challenge.

He's been keen riding all his life and is determined to put his skills to the test.

"I just love the adrenaline when I do jumps," Mitchell said when asked what drives him to ride.

Mitchell has already done his homework for the triathlon, testing part of the track that will be used in the event.

"It's going to be a bit longer than what I'm used to," Mitchell said.

He's backed himself to complete all three legs of the Mountain Man in the future.

Heading into the 29th edition of the triathlon, Margo said there's been a longstanding friendly rivalry between the men's and women's teams.

"We always like to beat the boys," she laughed.

Pictured: Gloucester High School Tri Challenge team members Anthony Shultz, Hayden Shultz, Nick Maslen, Kyden De Angelis, Samuel Whittaker, Harrison Edwards, Kyle Atkins, Caden Wakefield and Mitchell Hawkins.