Jaenke a true professional
WHEN you've conquered the world as an amateur, only one real option remains - turn professional.
That's the next challenge Ipswich's latest world champion Kym Jaenke is pursuing after returning from Las Vegas.
Jaenke, 36, enjoyed a well-deserved break after winning her female age group at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships.
She adjusted quickly to unexpected desert conditions to collect a gold medal from her 1.2 mile (1.9km) swim, 56 mile (90km) bike ride, and 13.1 mile (21.1km) run.
With rain falling at stages, she covered the journey in four hours, 45 minutes and 17 seconds.
"It was hard,'' the Ipswich-bred achiever said, having added a world half ironman title to her world triathlon triumph and a second at last year's Hawaii Ironman world championships.
"It was a good course for a world championship, (it) tested a lot of people. The bike ride was very hilly and in the desert.
"I trained for temperatures over 40 degrees and then I woke up race morning and it was raining.
"It rained for about six hours until about 70k's in my bike ride, which made race tactics I did have sort of go out the window.
"It was a matter of being cautious on the downhills and staying upright really.''
Having crashed off her bike in Hawaii last year made Jaenke aware of another nasty mishap.
However, her skilful race showed why she's a world pacesetter in amateur competition.
Now, being the second amateur overall and 18th female finisher in Las Vegas, Jaenke has applied for a professional licence in open competition triathlons.
"Before I did Hawaii last year, it probably wasn't on the cards, something I hadn't thought about,'' she said.
"I've got a gold medal at Olympic distance, got a medal at ironman distance, got a gold medal at half ironman.
"To continue to challenge myself, I want to continue doing triathlons (as a professional).
"I'll give it a try.''
She's already qualified for future prizemoney events.
"I'll pick my races and hopefully get some good results, get some podiums and experience it from different perspectives,'' she said.
Jaenke works as a client manager at Ipswich firm Harding Martin Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors.
However, she maintains a training program at Limestone Park and on the roads around Ipswich that only the elite could emulate.
That work proved its weight in gold, literally, as Jaenke handled the 30-38 degree temperatures in between the Las Vegas showers.
Having won an half ironman in Cairns and the Ipswich Park2Park half marathon before leaving, Jaenke felt well prepared.
"I knew I had done the work,'' she said. "I knew I was fit.
"Everything went well.''