For Daniel Nash the steps taken on the road back from abject disappointment have been deliberate, following a reassessment of his place in triathlon.
Seven months after his clench-jawed quest to qualify for the 2018 World Ironman Championship on Kona, Hawaii, was shredded by a poor performance at Ironman Western Australia at Busselton in December, he has spoken about that failure and his plans for the future. “I had a pretty bad day,” he said, referring to the Busselton race.
Nash said he “put a fair bit of pressure” on himself to qualify for Kona – the most iconic triathlon, famed for its heat, winds and black lava-rock landscape. “When I didn’t have the greatest race [at Busselton] for quite a few reasons, that sort of threw me a little bit,” he said.
After three years of intense training and competition, he needed a recharge.
“I actually had a bit of a rest at the start of the year,” he said. “So I’ve sort of only started getting back into things ... I have been riding, running and swimming, but not as serious as I was.”
He added: “No stress has pretty much been the goal.”
Now aged 25, he has moved into a steeply more competitive ironman age division, and believes that qualifying for the half-ironman world championship is “more realistic”.
With an eye to competing at Ironman 70.3 Western Sydney on November 25 and qualifying for the 2019 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Nice, he has “ramped up” training.
His build up for Sydney continues when he defends his title at the Tamworth Cycle Club-hosted John Dewhurst Memorial Handicap Road Race on Saturday. It’s a race his father, Malcolm, won in 2014. And it is far removed from ironman world championship qualifiers.
“I’m pretty passionate about community events,” he said, “as apposed to big corporate events … I think they’re important for sport. So for that reason I am [honoured to defend the title].”
The 66-kilometre race starts at Loomberah Hall and loops around Dungowan and Nemingha before finishing back at the hall.