Three years ago Wyndham man Warren Ross had never competed in a triathlon – now he will represent his country in one.
Ross has been selected for the New Zealand age-group team to compete in the ITU World Championships in Rotterdam in September.
He qualified for the team after placing fourth in the Sovereign Triathlon in Wanaka in January.
It will be Ross’ first venture overseas for the sport after competing for just the three years.
Ross’ first triathlon was the Lake Hayes Triathlon in 2014, which he was inspired to enter by his wife.
“It stemmed from her doing it and I thought I’d give one a go and it turned out quite good,” Ross said.
Since then he had been training regularly in between his share-milking duties in Wyndham.
“It gets you off the farm. I still milk every day, so it is not often I get away. Usually I run when I can between milking and get away every now and then for an event,” he said.
He has also been able to add the Challenge Wanaka ironman event to his achievements.
This was the second time he had qualified to go overseas.
Last year he was surprised to get an email after qualifying to go to Brazil for the New Zealand age-group team.
“I didn’t even know I was in a qualifying event when I entered at the time, until I received an email a couple of weeks later letting me know I had qualified,” he said.
While he decided against heading to Brazil, the prospect of a trip to Rotterdam gave him extra motivation when competing this year.
The finish line was Ross’ main motivation.
“The satisfaction of hopefully getting a personal best and overcoming the conditions of each race.”
The biggest challenge he had faced so far concerned his swimming.
“When I first started, I had a panic attack in the water after 750m. You can’t really do too much other than float on your back for a minute and then carry on for the next 750m,” he said.
While he expected there would be many similarities between conditions here and those in Rotterdam, there would be differences as well.
The roads there were faster, as they were made using hot mix rather than having a chip surface, he said.