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Couple Ready to Take on the World

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Couple Ready to Take on the World

A Whakatane couple are chasing world titles.

Sean Martin and Jess Barnes will both compete in the standard distance at the World Triathlon Championships in Mexico in September.

Barnes placed 19th in the 20-24 female section at the world champs in Canada two years ago, racing the sprint distance. Mexico will be Martin’s first time racing at this level.

“We coach each other and we both work full time, so it is good to come home and motivate each other to get out there,” Martin said.

Barnes said they are putting in 15 hours a week into training.

“We are doing the base work at the moment, getting that strength and running up hills. In July we are reducing our work hours to accommodate more training. I have been there once and I want to come home with something this time,” Barnes said.

Martin is a green prescription lifestyle coach with Sport Bay of Plenty and said doing the triathlon was a natural fit with his job.

“I have to inspire people to be active so hopefully this will inspire people.

“Sport Bay of Plenty gave me an entry to the Port of Tauranga triathlon. I said I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t swim. I trained and completed it.

Jess beat me in that one, so then I trained to beat her.”

After his first race, Martin stopped playing rugby and dropped 12-kilograms to get into race shape.

“We have goals for the individual disciplines. We have done our pre-training, so we have the benchmark.”

Barnes said it can be difficult to set race times as the conditions can make a difference.

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