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Busselton Ironman WA
CBD Cycles - 01/12/2010
Coming into SunSmart Ironman Western Australia as the proverbial “dark horse” for the women’s race, Tasmanian Amelia Pearson will be able to avoid the nerve-inducing attention that may help or hinder her rivals.

“It’s nice to go to races and not have pressure; just focus on doing a PB rather than getting on the podium,” Pearson said.

“I would like to go under nine and-a-half hours and if I have a good race I should do that.”

That would put her just half an hour outside the women’s race record of 8.59, set by New Zealand’s Gina Ferguson in 2008.

Pearson’s previous best is a 9.42, set at Challenge Roth in 2008, closely followed by the 9.46 that earned her third place at Ironman Australia in March.

Just two months ago she clocked a personal best Half Ironman time – a competitive 4.24 – on her way to finishing fifth at the Gold Coast race.

She also has the advantage of some local knowledge, having competed in the Busselton Half Ironman three times, with a fifth-place finish earlier this year.

“I have been getting in some pretty good training; it’s going well and I’m looking forward to a good season,” said the Craig Redman-coached athlete.

Pearson has been under the instruction of the Triathlon Australia high performance coach since she started triathlon as a 15 year old, and has been racing with a professional license for five years.

“This year I’ve done more training than ever before: more intensity on the bike, and running more k’s,” she said.

“I hope to be feeling fresh by the race; I’m pretty tired at the moment!”

At 27 Pearson is a relatively young professional Ironman triathlete, and has not yet embarked on a US competitive season like some of her competitors.

She balances her training with her career as a school teacher in her home town of Devonport.

“I will look to qualify for Hawaii in the future – I think everyone ultimately aims for that – but for now I’m pretty happy working and training,” she said.

And her picks for the podium?

“It’s pretty hard to go past Bek Keat and Kate Bevilaqua, and hopefully me!”