NATHAN Hahn will use the Killarney triathlon as preparation for a much bigger task.
The Mortlake athlete has set himself a challenge — complete the Shepparton 70.3 Ironman in two weeks’ time.
Hahn, 38, said the Killarney event — a 500-metre swim, 16-kilometre ride and 4.4-kilometre run — was the ideal preparation for his first half ironman.
Shepparton 70.3 consists of a 1.9-kilometre swim, 90.1-kilometre ride and 21.1-kilometre run.
Hahn said “stupidity” was to blame for signing up for the gruelling course.
It comes just 12 months after the father-of-three joined Warrnambool Triathlon Club in a bid to get fit.
“It is pretty flat so that will be a learning curve. Finishing will be my number one aim,” he said.
“I will learn what I can and can’t do. We have done a half ironman in training but have not put it together at full speed.
“I am not looking forward to the swim because the water looks like chocolate mud.”
Next on Hahn’s list is a full ironman in May.
Hahn’s first WTC club event was its 2012 duathlon.
From there he caught the bug.
Sunday’s Killarney triathlon will be his second.
“I think it will be a good weekend if it’s not too windy,” he said.
“I was told you swim 250 metres, run up the beach and start the swim 250 metres around again and that will be great for spectators.”
It’s the swim Hahn is least looking forward to.
He said ocean swimming was the worst of the three legs “by a long way”.
“I hate sharks,” Hahn said.
“I am coached by Dean Picken and he has to do the swimming with me.”
Hahn, who likes running for its stress relief, said he expected the Killarney triathlon to be fun.
“There will be a lot of banter, especially between the Defy fitness guys I train with once or twice a week,” he said.
Hahn is considered a strong contender, along with favourites Travis Hickman and promising teenager James Nevill.
Picken, Ian Barnes and 2012 winner Rohan Creed will also push for overall men’s honours.
Karen Lourey, Lisa Logan, Sue Pettigrew, Jenny Dowie and Natasha Cross are the women’s leading chances. Hahn’s children — Oceia, 9, Tai, 7, and Jach, 5 — will compete in the junior triathlon tomorrow.
WTC has scheduled a ‘come and tri’ event which will run simultaneously with the Killarney triathlon on Sunday.
It will comprise a 250-metre swim, eight-kilometre ride and 2.2-kilometre run. Both events will start at 10am.
Entries close 8pm tonight and must be entered online.