GUNNEDAH’s Cath Murray is no stranger to breaking through the pain barrier.
And she did exactly that on the weekend when she claimed the Australian 70.3 Series Half-Ironman 45-49 years title at Port Macquarie.
The impressive victory against the best and fittest in the land has prompted Murray to now target next September’s World Half Ironman Championships in Las Vegas, USA.
In 2009 she claimed a World Title at the Gold Coast after winning her age group in the Australian Sprint Distance Championship.
The breakdown of that event included a 750-metre swim, 20km cycle ride and a 5km run.
More than 1500 athletes converged on Port Macquarie for last weekend’s event which pushed many of the competitors to near breaking point.
Athletes had to swim 1.9km through the channel near Settlement City, climb on the bike and pedal 91.1km to Lake Cathie and back twice and then don the joggers and run 21.1km from the break wall at Port Macquarie to Settlement Point and back.
It took Murray five hours and 29 seconds to complete the course and her sectionals were swim (35 minutes 56 seconds), cycle leg (three hours .05 seconds) and run (one hour 45.15 seconds).
“I really struggled on the bike leg as I’m only small and the wind was howling straight into us from the start,” Murray said.
“In the swim leg I simply tried to survive the mayhem and then I went full tilt in the run leg,” she added.
“There were many competitors who found the going too tough and, to put it bluntly, I was stoked just to finish.
“To win an Australian title was a real bonus,” she added.
Murray started preparing for the Half Ironman in February and every Saturday and Wednesday joined training partners for swim, ride and run sessions.
“It was common for us to ride 90km and run 20km at each session before hitting the pool,” Murray said.
“It is important to have great training partners and I can’t thank them enough.
“I can’t wait to start preparing for Las Vegas and can’t wait to go to Las Vegas” she said.