We were absolutely delighted to welcome Emily Loughnan to the 15th Annual Karri Valley Triathlon. Emily had never raced Karri Valley before and boy did she give it all she had on the day. Emily’s swim wowed spectators (Paul Newsome would be proud) as she rose out of the fresh water of Lake Beedelup in 21 minutes 41 seconds. Little did they know she was killing it at the Rotto Swim Run the previous weekend which meant is was by no means fresh! She hammered the bike course with the wind howling and aggressive terrain it only made her stronger. Once off the bike she was in her element sailing into the finish with an amazing 03:00:04 final time. Emily is now hooked on Karri Valley and of course will be back to defend her title.

Stadium Triathlon President Niamh Moloney had a chance to catch up with her after her win on Saturday while Emily was helping giving out medals at the Karri Valley Kids Triathlon (not only is she a great athlete but willing to get stuck in and give back to triathlon too!)

NM: What year did you start triathlon and what enticed you to it?

EL: My first triathlon was Busselton 70.3 in May 2014. A colleague and I from work took to the challenge in order to raise money for Breast Cancer Care WA.  I absolutely loved it and was hooked straight away!

NM: Do you train solo or with a group most of the time?

 EL: I do most of my training solo aside from three weekly swims at SwimSmooth, Perth. I have a coach whom prescribes me a weekly training schedule and a few buddies who join in with various sessions.

 NM: When you train is it only in Perth?

 EL: Yes most of my training is in Perth. I feel very lucky that over the last three years the sport has taken me all over the world and this has been one of its greatest rewards.  I love nothing more than combining an overseas race with a few weeks of training and in doing so exploring new places.

NM: What leg of the race is usually your favourite?

 EL: The run is usually my favourite! With a background in running, I always love slipping into the racing flats and heading out of T2!  The run is undoubtedly the most challenging leg of long distance triathlon and I love how it tests me physically and mentally.

 NMWhat was your favourite leg of Karri Valley this year?

 EL: I loved the swim! What a stunning location for a race! So easy to sight each buoy, no stingers or sharks…it was superb!

 NM: Was there any part of the race that was particularly tough?

 EL: The bike leg was tough! Challenging undulation and a fierce wind, I think it was truly testing for many of us!

 NM: Do you think the swim at Karri Valley is a defining factor being in a lake and fresh water?

 EL: Yes I think it is. It reminded me of a race I did in Austria. A setting we are not so used to here in Australia and I think for many of us a very welcomed change to ocean style racing. 

 NM: How was the atmosphere on the run? Have you experienced similar?

 EL: The run atmosphere was awesome. I think it is brilliant having a three lap course for both athletes and spectators.  Having family and friends on the side line cheering us on as well as passing fellow team mates multiple times on course exchanging words of encouragement.

 NMHow did you find the resort?

 EL: The resort was brilliant! I stayed in a studio room and had everything I needed. Staff were exceptional, the restaurant and food superb.  I loved the fact there was no phone reception. It was so much more than a triathlon race. It was a stunningly unique event where a group of like-minded individuals and families could come together and celebrate the sport of triathlon and share in the joy and satisfaction it brings to all of our lives.  For me, Karri Valley Triathlon epitomises what Triathlon is all about.

NM:  In three words how would describe Karri Valley Triathlon.

 EL: Stunning, Challenging, Unique