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What a year for Stella Barber

03 Oct 2018

What a year for Stella Barber Image

Docklander Stella Barber likes to challenge herself more than most of us.

The 57-year-old has just returned from her second World Age Group Triathlon championships in as many years. And, if that’s not enough, she is also completing a PhD, had a new book published this year and won a scholarship to be able to deliver a paper at an international conference in the UK.

“We all need goals to keep us inspired, active and challenged,” she said. “Ever since I got home from the World Age Group Triathlon champs at Rotterdam last year I was determined to give triathlon one more shot – before a planned retirement.”

Held on Australia’s Gold Coast this year, she wasn’t about to let such an opportunity slip and qualified to be included in the 25-strong contingent chosen from each age group.

“Who wouldn’t want to represent their country in their favourite sport in the optimal climate offered by Queensland’s Gold Coast?” she asked.

Making the national squad was a just reward for a rugged training regime through a Docklands winter. But, while the wind can be bitter, the facilities are first class.

“We are blessed here to have a perfect 5km running loop with no traffic lights, be close enough to ride Beach Rd on the weekend and also have places to swim nearby,” Ms Barber said.

“I am able to train in my apartment pool, picking a time in pre-dawn hours when only crazy triathletes think it’s a good idea to haul themselves out of bed and do their 50-plus laps.”

“It was sometimes hard to brave the weather, the famous Docklands winds and the occasional sub-zero morning temperature. But I made it to race day in relatively good shape and, despite the nerves, enjoyed the magic of being part of the team with an opening ceremony.”

The event itself was tough and Stella didn’t break any records or finish on the podium.

“But I know I did my best as my heart rate hit 173 at the finish,” she said. “And what a joy to have my son, Kieren and his girlfriend Cin (both Docklanders), waiting at the finish line with a bouquet of flowers.”

She said it was a delight to represent Australia and wear the green and gold.

“To me it was all about the journey, training, qualifying, being selected and making it to the start line in one piece and staying fit and well as a mature age athlete.”

“Life is busy, challenging and always interesting. I try and balance my sport, study and work as a professional historian by singing with the Docklands Open Door Singers, chilling with my beautiful cat, Chloe, and supporting the Pies.”

“2018 will be the perfect year if we are premiers,” she said.

Stella also confided that she didn’t think she will be retiring from triathlon this year!

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