How Ipswich triathlete is meeting his toughest challenge

Ipswich triathlete Jarrod Harvey is ready to test his mental and physical strength at next weekend's world ironman championships in Hawaii.
Ipswich triathlete Jarrod Harvey is ready to test his mental and physical strength at next weekend's world ironman championships in Hawaii. Rob Williams

WHEN Ipswich triathlete Jarrod Harvey tackles "the toughest sporting event on the planet'' he will be in elite company.

His massive mission awaits in the hot and testing volcanic conditions in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, next weekend.

The Ironman World Championship endurance event features a 3.8km swim, 180km ride and 42.2km marathon run.

Harvey, 26, will be among 2000 of the best athletes from around the world to qualify to face the incredible cocktail of challenges.

However, far from fearing what lies ahead, the Redbank Plains-based triathlete is embracing his ultimate goal.

"This is the one to get to,'' Harvey said, stoked about his opportunity.

"I'm as ready as I'll ever be I think.''

After getting on top of some injury issues, the West Moreton Anglican College HPE teacher feels all the ingredients are coming together.

"They call it the toughest one-day endurance event on the planet,'' he said.

Harvey left Ipswich on Thursday to give himself a week to acclimatise to the conditions.

"There's not much training on now,'' he said. "It's more just about getting used to the heat.''

Before leaving for Hawaii, Harvey modified his preparation.

"It's hard coming out of an Australian winter and going over there in their summer,'' he said.

"I've been doing a lot of sessions at home, indoors with beanies and stuff on, and trying to simulate it.

"Just a normal day temperature is not actually that different to here - it's about 28, 29 up to 31 - but because everything is just black, it's a reflective heat and it's windy.''

Harvey has also increased his training along the highway between Yamanto and Springfield.

"It's all carved out so it gets all windy there and there's no trees so it gets hot,'' he said.

Another of his favourite courses is a loop taking in Peak Crossing through Middle Road.

"It's a bit bumpy as well, which is good,'' he said keen to experience as many testing conditions as he can.

Harvey qualified to compete in Hawaii after finishing second in his age group at the Busselton ironman event in Western Australia last December. That was his first time over the ironman distances.

"That was a good thing in a way. I'm not scarred from bad performances,'' he said.

Another pleasing performance was contesting the half ironman world championships at the Sunshine Coast in September. He placed 25th in his age group.

"I was pretty happy with that,'' he said, having conquered the 1.9km swim, 90km ride and 21km run.

Harvey had previously competed regularly in major triathlon events around Australia.

He also contested the 2014 world half marathon championships in Canada, coming 26th in his age group.

Having recently started teacher at WestMAC, he's been looking to help the next generation, along with other international competitors like Bec Ungermann.

"A lot of our kids that are coming through have got triathlon potential so I've been referring a couple of those to Bec as well,'' Harvey said.

Topics:  jarrod harvey triathlon west moreton anglican college