Cameron Wurf has taken on the best triathletes all over the world throughout his career and will finally welcome them to his hometown this Sunday at Ironman 70.3 Tasmania.
Wurf is back home for the first time in four years and will take on the second running of IM 70.3 Tasmania, lining up against some of the top athletes from home and abroad.
“Like everyone at the start of the year it’s a mix of excitement to get the season underway and nerves and apprehension about the unknown of where your form is at but it’s the same for everyone,” said Wurf. “I think I’ve demonstrated over the last number of years on the IM circuit that every time I line up in a race, I do everything I can to first and foremost get into the lead and then try and stay there, my intention for Sunday will be no different.”
The 40-year-old has enjoyed his summer back home, providing a great change in training scenery as he continues to juggle his commitments as both a professional triathlete and cyclist.
“I’ve been home for six weeks and it’s been four years since I’d been here with the COVID restrictions, having a child and commitments with the team has meant it wasn’t possible, so it’s been fantastic to be back with everyone,” he said. “There’s a really great youth development program in triathlon and swimming particularly going on down here, and athletics, so I’ve actually been training with a lot of the TIS groups, every session is full gas with 16-year-olds so it just reminds me of being back in the rowing days, morning and afternoon, absolutely flat out. I’ve certainly had to increase my mid-afternoon nap quota back to how it used to be.
“I’m really excited to get out there on Sunday and have a good race, it felt like a Tassie summer of training and racing like it was 20 years ago, we have the local triathlons, the local aquathons, we had a swimming race the other day, I’m really excited to be here and race on roads I ride on every single day,” said Wurf. “The reason I ride on those roads, I live on the eastern shore and when I ride over to Mount Wellington almost everyday when I’m training I go via the Bowen Bridge and through Lutana and those steep walls and I do that because they are hard and they are steep and they’re a great warm up before you get to Mount Wellington.
“I know every little inch of the road so I’ll do everything that I can to try and turn that into an advantage for myself and if the wind blows it can also add another element to it to make it extremely challenging but I don’t think it would matter where you put the bike course in Tasmania, it’s probably going to be the toughest bike course in Oceania,” he said. “You don’t get many free kicks on the roads here, they are pretty tough to pedal on and the wind can be brutal, the little rollers are quite deceptively steep seemingly everywhere so I’m really looking forward to that part of it, I think it will make for a really exciting race and a really fair race and give everyone an opportunity to try and play their cards.”
Ironman 70.3 Tasmania features the most elevation of any bike course on the Oceania circuit and Wurf is looking forward to the challenge that presents.
“I ride on those roads every day and have done for as long as I’ve been an athlete, 25 years really, it goes along the Derwent River where I spent all those years rowing, the Bowen Bridge, I’ve ridden under that quite a number of times over the years so I know what the wind conditions can be like on that bridge particularly,” he said.
Fellow Tasmanian Jake Birtwhistle claimed victory in Hobart last February and with Birtwhistle away chasing his Paris 2024 Olympic Games goals Wurf is looking forward to plenty of local support.
“It’s obviously exciting, I’m going to see a lot of familiar faces, I’ll hopefully get a little bit of a home ground advantage racing against the guys from out of state but also the Kiwis who will be here, Javier (Gomez, ed.) as well but he’s sort of a Kiwi too so we’ll put him in that basket, hopefully the crowd get behind me but most importantly it’s up to me to show up on the day and give them something to cheer for, I’m really looking forward to the challenge of stepping up to the task on Sunday and giving it everything that I’ve got and hopefully giving everyone something to cheer for,” said Wurf.