RUNNING HARD: Noosa ironwoman Lana Rogers at the Maroochy Classic earlier this year. Picture: Warren Lynam.
RUNNING HARD: Noosa ironwoman Lana Rogers at the Maroochy Classic earlier this year. Picture: Warren Lynam.

Champ trains alone after virus threat derails state carnival

SURF LIFESAVING: Star ironwoman Lana Rogers was supposed to be gunning for another state title on the Sunshine Coast this weekend but the reigning champion is instead quietly doing her own thing, as the threat of coronavirus hovers.

The three-day carnival at Alexandra Headland was cancelled three weeks ago, along with the Australian titles, which were scheduled to be held on the Gold Coast in April.

"My mind was all over the place when I got the news (the events were cancelled) but Surf Life Saving Australia and Surf Life Saving Queensland are looking out for our best interests," she said.

"It's taking me a while to wrap my head around it, but health comes first."

Rogers had already won the Coolangatta Gold and the Nutri-Grain Series and would have loved a shot at the national title, to win all three of the season's major events.

"I'm very thankful for the season I've had but I'm not going to lie, it really hit me in the gut pretty hard that I couldn't have a crack at having the triple crown this season but it is what it is and I've slowly got over that."

Rogers has won the national title before, in 2018.

But she's enjoyed her most startling summer in 2019/2020 and, ominously for her rivals, she's itching to race again.

"I've proven to myself that I'm able to do it and I honestly can't wait to race again."

"I want to be here (in the sport) for a while. I'm not going anywhere and I'm excited to race again."

While there is no competition or group training at the moment, because of the virus, the 23-year-old is still planning and preparing as best she can.

"It's a great time to reassess goals, for what I want to do next season, whenever that will start," she said.

"I'm going to train until the Australian titles were supposed to happen, doing my own thing.

"I'm doing different sort of training, keeping myself fit as best as I can, without a pool and without any surf coaching as well.

"I'm enjoying the ocean a bit more and am doing a bit of cross training until the Australian titles were supposed to be held and then will have a bit of a break."

Rogers, who has also "created a home gym", is determined to defend her Coolangatta Gold title.

The endurance event is usually held in late spring or early summer.

"The Coolangatta Gold is really on my mind for next season, so I'm hoping it runs and I get to have a crack at that again."

The state championships and youth state championships were initially due to be held on the Sunshine Coast during six days of competitions this month, attracting more than 3000 competitors.


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