Finn Askew shaved an incredible 25-minutes off his previous Coolangatta Gold Short Course time to finish the Under-19 division in fourth place.
Askew completed the 10.5km ski paddle, 2km swim, 3km board and 5.5km beach run in a time of one hour and 25 minutes and the St Paul’s College student, who celebrated his 17th birthday on raceday, was only six-minutes behind Joe Collins, who finished in first place.
Askew credited his drastic improvement to better preparation.
“Last year I was suffering from an illness for the two weeks leading up to the event and it definitely impacted my ability,” Askew told the Argus.
There was no sickness this year as Askew was 100 per cent and pushed his body to the limits.
“I was happy with how I went, considering I was up against some tough competition,” Askew said.
“I was feeling it at times but you just have to keep pushing yourself.”
The three opponents who bested Askew all train at prestigious clubs and alongside teammates, meanwhile Askew’s determination and motivation to training comes from within.
“The only time I am training with someone else is when I am swimming at Tony Hudson’s pool in Kempsey,” Askew said.
“Everything else I do on my own; I train ski, board, run and the gym all on my own, and it’s a mental battle.”
While Askew acknowledges there’s plenty of positives to training with a partner, he claims to have an edge as a result of practicing by himself.
“I have a great understanding of my body and what pace I can hold, whereas when you’re training with other people sometimes you will go faster or slower depending on who you are training with,” Askew said.
“Because I am training on my own, it’s the same experience when I am competing and I think it helps me to win the mental battle.”
Askew’s determination to training at a high level and putting in the extra efforts helped him accomplish the remarkable feat.
Askew, who is in preparation for the start of Year 12, will transition into training for shorter events for the Surf Life Saving season.
“My training now changes from endurance to explosive,” he said.
“I am looking forward to competing at the Interbranch, Country and State Championships.”
Askew believes his best performances are in the endurance events but acknowledges he needs to focus on the shorter events to reach his goal of competing in the Nutri Grain Ironman in the future.
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