The youngest contender in the Lake Hayes triathlon will battle girls up to five years older on Tuesday.
Arrowtowner Jodie Llewellyn, 13, has been competing in the Southern Tri Series since she was just 12 and proved to organiser Tracey Neil she could handle the grind last year. The normal age restriction is 15-years-old.
The dedicated youngster trains every night – including three times a week in a competitive swimming squad, karate, rowing and speed racing in the winter. She ultimately aims to follow in the footsteps of local triathlete Amelia Kinnaird, who she raced alongside in an event last summer.
“I want to try to do what Amelia did – get up to a national level and see what happens,” the Wakatipu High student says.
For Tuesday’s race her first priority is to cross the line quicker than last year and improve her biking time – her weakest discipline. Llewellyn says she’s been putting in the hours practising her pedalling.
Next year Jodie’s off to boarding school in Dunedin, but hopes to get home in the weekends to complete the February and April races in the five-part triathlon series.