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An ultra-challenge to recognise frontline workers

We’ve all had to bear the brunt of an unprecedented 2020. The Coronavirus pandemic has had a profound impact on our daily lives and none more so than our frontline workers.

Erica Riley, a triathlete and emergency department nurse, has seen first hand the effects of Coronavirus after being on the front line of our state’s defence.

The Davey Black and Triathlon Victoria Member is giving herself a new challenge by preparing to take on one of the world’s most physically gruelling events – the Ultraman Endurance Challenge.

Held in Queensland and split over three days, the Ultraman totals 515 km which includes 10 km of swimming, 420 km of cycling, and 84 km of running. In honour of her colleagues, Riley plans to wear full PPE during the final 5km.

Both mind and body preparation is required to get through the physically demanding race.

“My strength is probably the bike, but you also have to have good mental endurance to be able to pass that pain barrier,” Riley told Candice Wyatt for 10 News Melbourne.

With Melbourne in lockdown, training has been challenging for Riley but virtual training came to the forefront and provided a solution in a less than ideal setting for athletes.

“Covid restrictions have made it a bit more of a challenge. The indoor bike trainer has been an absolute blessing, so I can still ride for as long as I need to.”

Earlier this year Riley was involved in a cycling accident during a training ride in Melbourne. The incident highlighted the importance of having a Triathlon Victoria membership, which provided Riley with the necessary coverage and peace of mind.

The Ultraman Endurance Challenge is scheduled for May 8-10, 2021 in Noosa. We wish Erica the best of luck as she embarks on this exciting challenge.

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