Our guest speaker this week was Kayla Morton, Iron Woman.
Originally from Buxton, Kayla is employed by the Reddrop Group, as is her mother and greatest supporter, Janet.
In 2019 she competed in her first triathlon in Portarlington, on a borrowed bike, without clip-in pedals. This ignited a passion, so she got a coach, and trained with a club in Geelong.
In her first Half Iron Man – a 1.9Km swim, 90Km bike ride followed by a 21Km run she qualified for her the World Championships planned for New Zealand in 2021,which were cancelled due to Covid.
For her next competitive effort, she left work at Mt Buller, collected gear at Buxton, then met her coach (with her bike) at Tullamarine in time to reach Cairns just before Victoria’s borders slammed shut. Her first attempt at Full Iron Man (3.8Km swim, 180Km ride and 42.2Km run) was completed in 11hrs, which qualified her to compete at Kona (Hawaii). This has lapsed due to passage of time.
This event requires a huge commitment in training time, and international travel, to compete in qualifying events, and Covid has been a huge disruptor.
Kayla typically trains  at 4am for 2 hours, does a full day of work then does another 2-3 hour training session in the evening.
Specialized triathlon bikes come in at about $10K and need their own hard travelling case to survive air travel.
Family and friends take photos in competition and keep track of split times.
Michael and Tina Reddrop have been sponsors along Kayla’s journey, much appreciated. Kayla’s parents have also been great supporters.
The bike and run legs are Kayla’s strongest- running is her ‘safe place.’ Depending on event location, the swim can be in a lake or in the ocean, in any weather. Friends can follow competitor’s progress via a dedicated app.
Kayla’s long term target is to qualify for World Iron Man at Kona, while her target this year is to compete at the 2023 Ironman 70.3 World Championship at Lahti, Finland August 26-27, after qualifying at Port Macquarie in May.
An outstanding talk and a person all of Murrindindi should be proud of.