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HOOP DREAMS

Basketball and triathlon are both non-contact sports, at least according to the rules.

Anyone who has played basketball, or been at the front end of a swim start during an IRONMAN®, will tell you that’s not strictly true.

Former WNBL and Under 19 World Champion basketballer Catherine Guest can attest to the physical nature of basketball, she’s still learning about the occasional contact nature of triathlon and will continue her education on Sunday at the IRONMAN® 70.3® Geelong triathlon.

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The 25-year-old, originally from Tasmania now based in North Melbourne, took up triathlon after her burgeoning medical career meant she could no longer commit enough time to basketball.

Guest started playing basketball at under 10 level and continued until she retired in 2013 at the age of 22. During that time, she represented her country, played for the Launceston Tornadoes between 2005 and 2008 before moving to Melbourne and playing for the Dandenong Rangers until she retired in 2013.

“Basketball had taken up every weekend since I was 14 due to state and national commitments, so it was quite nice to have the flexibility once I started working,” she said.

As is the case with most professional sports people, you can retire the body, but retiring the competitive drive and spirit can be far more difficult. A new competitive outlet is needed, and for Guest, that outlet has become triathlon

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Post basketball she received a bike under her Christmas tree, and before long found herself adding a swim and run to her regular bike rides.

“I injured my knees and ankles a lot playing basketball, and I got the bike because I thought it would be better for my knees,” she said. “So far I haven’t injured a knee or ankle since I’ve switched to running in a straight line.”

Guest had always wanted to do a triathlon, and even remembers the first time she dabbled in the sport.

“I did my race one summer back home in Tasmania. I remember my second triathlon being at Bridport, where I beat professional cyclist Richie Porte on the bike leg by 5 minutes, mind you I only did 20km and he did 40km,” she said with a laugh.

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Knowing the value of a coach from her days in elite sport Guest sought out Sean Foster from Fluid Movements and credits much of her improvement to him and his squad.

“As soon as I did it I knew I wanted to improve, so I joined Sean and the guys at Fluid Movements soon after my first race, I’ve loved it and owe my improvement to them. I enjoy the environment the most – I love training with other people,” she said.

As expected given her background Guest’s favourite leg is the run, while her least favourite is the bike.

“I find the ride most difficult because I am out there for a while,” she said.

Over 1,600 age group athletes will be racing across the IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong weekend.

About IRONMAN
The iconic IRONMAN® Series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Since the inception of the IRONMAN® brand in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines at the world’s most challenging endurance races. Recognized for excellence through distinguished events, world-class athletes and quality products, IRONMAN has grown from a single race to a global sensation with more than 250 events and five unique brands: IRONMAN®, IRONMAN® 70.3®, 5150™ Triathlon Series, Iron Girl® and IRONKIDS®. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.

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