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Ironman transitions to virtual world

Maighan Brown has taken on the world’s best athletes from the comfort of her Ashmore home.

The sport that once seemed virtually impossible is now virtually optimised.

Ironman competitors – including Bond University's Brown -- competed in the first ever online competition at the weekend.

“Ironman has gone virtual, which is the best news I’ve had in a while,” Brown told the Gold Coast Bulletin.

“They have developed a program in which we sync our Garmin and heart rate monitors.

“It’s exciting and the first time they’ve done it.”

The competition worked with the help of wearable technology, heart rate monitors and smart training devices linked to online devices.

Essentially, it was the sport’s answer to eSports.

Brown, part of Bond University’s elite triathlon squad under head coach Craig Walton, is using the online competition to continue competing during COVID-19.

“It is such an amazing thing. I adjust my training virtually sitting indoors in my own home and I’m talking to my friends all over the world,” Brown said.

“I do a lot of my training rides on a virtual program called Zwift.

“I’ll be riding in front of a laptop and I can see myself virtually and that keeps things a bit fresh.

“The most exciting thing for me is to have something to train for."

Brown said she was ready for lockdown with all the training facilities she needed in her home.

"I don’t want to waste the training I’ve done, so I get to implement it in a race, which is virtual. Who would have thought!

“The hardest thing about the race is mentally, because it’s like a massive time-trial. There is really no-one to match-race against, you have to be able to push yourself.”

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