Shepparton has mostly been a happy hunting ground for South Australian triathlete Matty White during the years.MARC MCGOWAN November 16, 2012 4:15am
Shepparton has mostly been a happy hunting ground for South Australian triathlete Matty White during the years.
Last year’s Ironman 70.3 Shepparton was not one of those times.
White arrived in town as reigning champion for the first time, but brought a recently injured right calf with him.
The now 35-year-old’s day was doomed from the time he re-injured his calf leaving the water to enter first transition.
White was still good enough to be in the lead on the bike leg, but was one of three competitors, including Ollie Whistler and Matt Bailey, who accidentally — but illegally — turned before the correct point and saved about 30 seconds.
They later served a five-minute penalty, but it mattered little to White, who had no intention of starting the run leg because of his injury.
White is back in Shepparton today with a healthy body and fresh outlook on life in preparation for Sunday’s 15th instalment of the race.
He became a father to daughter Elodie for the first time six months ago.
White’s decision last week to enter next month’s Ironman Western Australia at Busselton has also sparked a motivation resurgence.
‘‘I need an ironman win and I’m going to have a real crack at Busselton,’’ White said.
‘‘My form has taken a different direction since I’ve decided to do it and I’m more motivated with a goal now.
‘‘I can definitely see myself finishing pretty high up in Busso and that’s given me a lot more motivation.
‘‘The last time I raced well in Busso, I won Shepp (in 2010), so, hopefully, I can replicate that and go one step higher in Busso and take honours in Shepp again — that would be beautiful.’’
White has always appreciated the proximity of Shepparton to his hometown and even more so since Elodie’s arrival.
‘‘It’s pretty close to home for me and I’ve got a little baby now, so it makes it a lot easier to drive somewhere,’’ he said.
‘‘I’d rather drive for 10 hours than fly for an hour now, with the baby and the prams and car seats, and it’s a good, honest, flat course.’’
White’s recent performances include a fourth-place finish in the Australian Pro Championship at Mandurah and a victory for the second straight year in the Murray Man Triathlon.
But he will have to beat what he said was a ‘‘cracker field’’ in Sunday’s Ironman 70.3 Shepparton.
New Zealander Terenzo Bozzone, who has dominated the 70.3 circuit this year, is favourite, but defending champion Leon Griffin and White’s good friend Tim Reed also have genuine claims.
White said it would take a ‘‘special athlete’’ to break Luke Bell’s 2004 race record of three hours, 45 minutes and 45 seconds.
Sunday’s race starts at 7
Water has been returned to Kinnairds and Black wetlands to help with their revitalisation after bushfire damaged them in February.
More than 2200 people have signed up to show their support for a campaign to have the green route chosen for the new Yarrawonga Mulwala bridge.
Members of Murchison Book Club are hosting a literary lunch with Vivien Achia, author of Marrying Italian — When Love is Not Enough.
Matches were split up over Good Friday and Easter Saturday throughout the region.
Painter Ben Winspear and Scott Wileman will create new works as the public look on during the at Rochester Art Exhibition.
Kyabram Bombers have the chance to beat Rochester under light for the first time this Friday evening.
Lions star recruit had a tough introduction to the GVFL.
Tocumwal's Don Elgin is aiming to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland
Eighty residents at a forum determined the Heathcote Community Plan was on track but need some fine tuning.
Cobram skate park hosts skateboarding and music for youth week.
Senior state minister Adrian Piccoli reaquainted himself with Deniliquin yesterday, leaving Deniliquin Counil hopeful it has an ally in him.
With his blue eyes and snow-coloured coat, Nanneella horse Sinatra has looks worthy of a fairytale.
Fourteen-year-old Benalla girl Jaimee Linke will launch her debut novel next month.
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