Shepparton Tri Club members Jason Shields and Shane Bamford will have their final hit-out before the Ironman World Championships in Kona at Yeppoon on Sunday.By Marc McGowan
They are Shepparton Tri Club’s odd couple.
In one corner is Ardmona’s Jason Shields, who qualified for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii, with a second placing in his age group at Ironman New Zealand in March.
Then there is Shane Bamford, a Mooroopna policeman with a degenerative kidney disease who won a lottery spot into Kona and completed his first half-ironman in June.
Shields, 36, and Bamford, 34, will contest the October 12 Hawaiian race, considered the sport’s Holy Grail, with different expectations.
The same is true for their final lead-in race at the last Ironman 70.3 Yeppoon — a 1.9
Shields, fresh from four consecutive 20-hour training weeks, is aiming for a time of about four-and-a-half hours, whereas Bamford simply wants to better his debut Cairns effort of 7.06:22.
‘‘I’ll be going in there pretty tired and I don’t expect an awesome outcome,’’ Shields said.
‘‘I haven’t tapered for it and I’ve never gone into a race this tired, so I don’t know what’s going to come out of it.
‘‘It’s eight weeks out (from Hawaii) and a good chance to see how we’re travelling and because of how much work I have done .
Shields will back off in the three days before the race, but completed a 100
Hawaii is still his main goal.
‘‘It was still more of a dream four weeks ago and you thought you still had plenty of time,’’ Shields said.
‘‘There were 12 weeks to go then and now it’s eight weeks to go.
‘‘I’ve got a lot of kays in the bank and trained a lot harder than I ever have and my body, from all the physio and stuff we’re doing, is backing up.
‘‘It’s looking exciting.’’
Bamford, who suffers from IgA Nephropathy, was confident he could better his Cairns time, pointing to his bike leg as the one which had most improved.
‘‘I’m just not built to be a fast runner, but I’ve done a lot of work on the bike with Leigh Egan and I’m pushing a lot more power through the pedals than I was,’’ Bamford said.
‘‘It’s going to hurt a lot (on the run). I backed off the run a bit in Cairns to make sure I finished.
‘‘But having already qualified for Hawaii, I can maybe give it a bit extra without hurting myself.’’
Shields and Bamford leave for Queensland today.
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