Wendy McAlpine is looking for more challenges beyond triathlon

After winning Grampians Challenge Wendy McAlpine confirmed her participation in East Gippsland Challenge

Wendy has beeing competing in triathlons for 18+ years, across all distances from Sprint to Ironman.  Between 2013-17 she also raced as a professional, her best results include:   1st Australian Alpine Ascent 2016,  4th Ironman Cairns 2014,  6th Ironman Australia 2016, 8th Ironman New Zealand 2017.

Here is a quick chat with her after her Grampians Challenge win.

Q: Why adventure races, what is the main attraction?

Wendy: I started to get more involved in Adventure Racing and Multisport events this year as I was looking for new challenges, beyond triathlon.

There are new sports and skills to learn – mountain biking, paddling, and navigation.  At the moment I’m really enjoying paddling, as there’s so much to it.  Whether it be attempting to paddle a faster ski, heading out into rougher conditions or learning how to read the weather.

Adventure racing also involves racing as a team so after the very solitary and lonely racing I’ve experienced in Ironman it’s nice to work with others, and share the journey to the finish line together as a team.

 

run  Q: How did you start, when did you do your first adventure/multisport race?

Wendy: I completed in my first Multisport event in 2014, the King Valley Challenge.  I really enjoyed it – and the training which involved a few paddle sessions.  A few of my training friends were also involved in Multisport and Adventure Racing and I was tempted to get more involved at the time.  But I was also doing well at triathlon, so made the decision to stayed focus there, knowing I always wanted to return to Adventure Racing / Multisport in the future.

In May this year I was asked to race in a team at an Adventure Junkie Sprint Series race at Lysterfield.  I was hooked.  I really enjoy racing in a team and loved the extra dynamic that navigation skills brought to the race.  It wasn’t just about being the fastest athlete, but you also needed map reading and compass skills. 

Since May I’ve competed in three multisport events and two 24 hour races – Hells Bells in QLD, and a Quadrathlon in China. 

Q: What is the hardest in AR for you?

Wendy: At the moment my weaknesses are Mountain Biking and any event that involves navigation (map and compass).   I plan to work on these over time with getting some coaching on mountain bike skills and more navigation practice at Rogaining events.

Q: What did you enjoy the most at the Grampians Challenge?

Wendy: Grampians Challenge was fun event.  The atmosphere was very relaxed and the stunning scenery of the Grampians made the actual racing a little less painful!   Adventure Junkie also did a fantastic job at marking the course; it would have been almost impossible to get lost or miss a turn out there. 

Q: Words of wisdom for those who just started and want do to their first race event.
Wendy: My best advice would be to get out and give a sprint adventure race a go first up. They are a great introduction to the sport and having a team mate makes it more fun!

 

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wendy paddling