Ferguson prepares for hot Hawaii ironman

Last updated 22:17 25/08/2008

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Gina Ferguson has sacrificed watching New Zealand's Olympic Games highlights as she counts down the days to the Hawaii Ironman.

Christchurch's Ferguson has been in Australia since July 28, travelling from the Gold Coast to Cairns in a bid to acclimatise to the heat expected at the world championships in Kona, Hawaii on October 11.

The plan has come at a cost though; the Australian TV networks care little about the Kiwis' exploits in Beijing and Ferguson has missed most of the deeds of the Kiwi medallists.

Unless an Australian athlete competed in an event involving a New Zealander, she has had little hope of seeing a competitor in a black singlet on the victory dais.

Ferguson, who had a breakthrough ironman win in Wisconsin when she set a new course record last September, will next week compete in a half-ironman in Singapore before flying back to Darwin.

Soon after she will relocate to New Zealand before basing herself in Hawaii for two weeks to train before the race.

"That race in Singapore will be a chance to get used to the humidity I expect in Hawaii. I am not going to taper for that race because I want my body to be quite tired."

The primary goal will not be to win the September 7 race. Instead she aims to use it as one of the final building blocks of her preparations for the gruelling Hawaii event which will be staged in heat of around 35 degrees and heavy humidity.

"I have always been a lot more successful in the full ironman than the half."

Ferguson and her coach Greg Fraine have been travelling up the eastern seaboard of Australia, heading northwards to find hotter weather as part of her 35-hour training weeks.

Fraine won his 45 to 49 years age-group race in Hawaii last year and has tipped Ferguson off as to what she can expect. Still, she acknowledges it will be a massive hop into the unknown.

"You have to go into it with the mindset that it is just another race. I just want to do my best and not get caught up with the hype of it all."

Last month Ferguson was third in the Quelle Challenge in Roth, Germany which was staged over the ironman distance of 3.8km for the swim, 180km cycle and 42.2km run.

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- The Press

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