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
Shepparton’s March rainfall was negligible and the lowest since the worst years of the last drought.
The Yarrawonga Mulwala B Grade Rams have secured the Des Johnston Shield as WDCA B Grade Two Day Premiers for season 2014/2015 with a crushing win over City Colts.
Two Tatura junior tennis teams played in Grand Finals of the Shepparton and District Junior Tennis Association on Saturday, March 21.
It has been a dry beginning to 2015 for Echuca and surrounding districts.
Four Rochester projects are a step closer to completion.
20th Heritage Day a hit
Great range of entries in both garden and photographic competition.
Finley have now formed their own Local Health Advisory Committee.
Heathcote police have continued to make ground in their fight against illicit drugs with more raids and arrests in the past week.
Cobram Highway Patrol urges care on the roads over the Easter long weekend.
After more than 10 years of planning, the miniature railway at Deniliquin;s Memorial Park will begin operating on Sunday.
Toolamba Primary School student Felix Turnbull is looking forward to seeing his face on new SPC labels that will be on supermarket shelves across the nation.
Benalla streets have come alive with street art. The large painted images adorn some of the town's buildings, creating a spectacular sight.
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