BEST PRACTICE: Wayne Schnitzerling uses the Stanthorpe Australia Day Triathlon as training in the run-up to his first Hell of the West.
BEST PRACTICE: Wayne Schnitzerling uses the Stanthorpe Australia Day Triathlon as training in the run-up to his first Hell of the West. Erin Smith

Swim king ready for Hell

TRIATHLON: Seven months after buying his first racing bike, Warwick Swimming Club president Wayne Schnitzerling is preparing for more than four hours of fun and torture in the Hell of the West Triathlon at Goondiwindi on Sunday.

A winner of eight national masters swimming medals, Schnitzerling is one of nine triathletes from Warwick and Texas preparing for an individual event, which is a half ironman.

Schnitzerling competed in the inaugural Southern Downs Tri Club event at WIRAC in November, which was a short event compared to the 2km swim, 80km bike leg and 20km run he will contest on Sunday.

He has had little practice in the Condamine for the swim leg in the Macintyre River.

As for what he expects in the river, his answer is simple: "If you can't see, you can't see."

Before tapering his training in the past fortnight, Schnitzerling was swimming 2km, riding 300km and running 25km each week.

"It is a big step up for me to Hell of the West but I'm not scared, " Schnitzerling said.

"Everyone has been helping me out, I train on the bike with the Bracker boys."

He admits his swimming training is a bit light on but has concentrated on his weakest leg, the run, and his newest discipline, the bike.

Schnitzerling has won a national 400m individual medley gold medal in masters swimming but won't be trying all the strokes onSunday.

"I hope to complete the freestyle swim in 28 minutes, which should put me in the first 20 at that stage."

Club official John Creed said the 5am start for the first wave of swimmers would suit.

"The earlier the better; it's cooler," he said.

Always the statistician, Creed has set some target times for each of the individual swimmers. He will receive plenty of reminders if he misses his own five-hourtarget.

Twenty Southern Downs triathletes are expected to be in team events, including star cyclist Robert Partington from the Bracker Boys.

Last week, Neil Vickers was keeping wickets for Condy Sports in the cricket carnival.

This weekend, his event will go a lot longer than a T20 cricket match.

Hell of the West

Target Times

  • Jacqueline Henricks - 4 hours 20 minutes
  • Wayne Schnitzerling - 4.20
  • Julius Sakrewski - 4.20
  • Jaime Scott - 4.30
  • Joe Cook - 4.35
  • Lee Schwenke - 4.40
  • Neil Vickers - 4.45
  • Danielle Slater - 5.00
  • John Creed - 5.00


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