Ballarat, Victoria (Monday, 10 November 2014) - A trio of Australian sporting celebrities are teaming up to tackle a leg each at the IRONMAN 70.3 Ballarat later this month to help raise money for the KIDS Foundation.
Leading off the quest in the open water swim will be Commonwealth 200m backstroke champion Belinda Hocking. Rowing legend Drew Ginn will then be in the saddle to complete the 90km bike leg before home city hero and 1994 Commonwealth marathon champion Steve Moneghetti takes on the 21.1km run.
Hocking may have competed in triathlons up until dislocating her knee 10 years ago, but the 24-year-old Victorian admits she is a little edgy at the prospect of swimming the 1.9km distance.
“I haven't done a lot of open water swims, so I'm a bit nervous,” she says. “After the Pan Pacific Championships (in August) this year I had some injections in my shoulder so fitness is a concern at the moment.”
Ginn may be best known as a three-time Olympic rowing champion, but he is unlikely to prove a weak link on the bike. The current head coach of the Australian rowing team is also a former Oceania cycling time trial champion and he is relishing the prospect of competing in Ballarat, Victoria.
“To team up with two great athletes will make it a great way to do the event and support the KIDS Foundation,” says Ginn, who celebrates his 40th birthday four days after the event. “It’s been an aim of mine to stay active after competing as an athlete, so that I am fit enough to be ready to push and ride as fast as I
can for the team.”
Moneghetti admits he is delighted to be supporting the event in his home city and even at the age 52 he is still in fantastic shape. Last month the 1997 world marathon bronze medallist ran 69:43 for the half-marathon distance at the Melbourne Marathon - not that he is anticipating pushing too hard in Ballarat on November 16.
“I’m very excited to be a part of the event here,” adds Moneghetti. “The bonus is to have Bindy (Hocking) and Drew on the first two legs, which will allow me to have a casual stroll on the run, because by my leg we will be so far in front.”
***The KIDS Foundation is a charity dedicated to injury prevention and injury recovery.
Race day on Sunday 16 November.
For event information visit http://www.ironmanballarat.com/
IRONMAN 70.3 Ballarat is proudly supported by the City of Ballarat.
Text and images courtesy Ironman Asia Pacific / Ironman.com