Jess Faulkner and Chris Rees are two of the growing number of triathletes on the Southern Downs.
Jess Faulkner and Chris Rees are two of the growing number of triathletes on the Southern Downs. Contributed

First placings for Southern Downs triathletes

START small, conquer and then think about a longer distance - that is the motto of two Southern Downs triathletes who won their classes at the Kingscliff Triathlon.

Assumption College teacher Jess Faulkner and Chris Rees, of Allora, did their first triathlons at Kingscliff in March over the tempta distance, 300m swim, 10km cycle and 2.5km run.

Eight months later, they returned to the same course and won their classes, Jess in the 21-29 years age group and Chris in 30-39 years class.

Jess was fourth overall female across the line in 39 minutes, 39 seconds, an outstanding effort for an athlete who won a state 200m backstroke medal and competed in the nationals in swimming.

She trains with boyfriend Jeffery Rees, brother of Chris, but work commitments kept Jeffrey away from the November event.

Jess said the aim last month was to set a new personal best.

"Chris and I both bettered our personal bests by nine minutes," she said.

"Triathlon is a bit of a challenge, I like the cross training.

"If you have a sore knee, you can still keep cycling."

She works part-time in the gym at WIRAC and teaches Maths and PE at Assumption so is never too far from fitness work.

While Chris is aiming for longer triathlons, Jess and Jeff hope to improve their current times.

"I did Gold Coast half marathon in 2014 and want to do 2015 marathon."



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