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Ashleigh Gentle cements status as Noosa Triathlon legend with emotional tenth title

Ashleigh Gentle gets her tenth win at the Noosa Triathlon.

Staff Reporter
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PTO World #2 Ashleigh Gentle ended her season in style with a fantastic tenth title at the 2023 Noosa Triathlon, as the 32 year old cemented her spot as a race legend at the event’s 40th anniversary.

Taking the tape for the ninth consecutive year, Gentle was untouchable on the run course and cut an emotional figure as she crossed the Garth Prowd bridge and was welcomed with open arms by the home crowd down the finish.

Sharing that it had been a big build up into the race, with media commitments and interviews adding another level of emotional fatigue during race week, Gentle managed expectations and her own strength perfectly to take the tape once again.

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“Each year has been really enjoyable”

Gentle shared her satisfaction with getting the job done at the finish, adding that no matter what, she was proud of the fact that after a long and hard season, she always managed to show up on the day in Noosa.

Ashleigh Gentle winning her 10th Garmin Noosa Triathlon title in 2023
Ashleigh Gentle wins her 10th Noosa Tri Crown [Photo Credit – Korupt Vision]

“Each year has been really enjoyable, and I’ve had fun each year but 10 victories, what else can I ask for. It’s an incredible feat and I’m actually really proud that each year no matter what happens I kind of find a way to bring the best out of myself at Noosa. I think from here on in I’ll just enjoy it even more.

“Just before I ran over the Garth Prowd bridge it was a bit of a heck yes moment, that kind of summarises the day, it was pretty surreal and I think it is a weight off the shoulders for sure.”

Commending her opponents, Gentle said that she made the decision to go for it early on in the run to gap young talents like Richelle Hill, who had a fabulous race to finish on the podium.

“I didn’t underestimate the other girls, they’re really quick over 10k and Richelle Hill is a great new talent for Australia, I knew she was a good runner so I made sure I hit my stride really early on and try to break the elastic band pretty quickly and just try to extend that lead as much as I could over the 10k.”

Calm before the storm

Despite the tremendous amount of pressure on her shoulders, Gentle revealed that she felt in control during the race, having made a real effort to stay composed in the build up despite the hype surrounding her potential tenth crown.

“I actually felt really good today, it was a fast day. I felt in control and quite composed the whole time so it more just the relief. I did feel quite calm before and into the race, but there’s definitely been a huge build up to this race.

“There was a lot of media interviews and sponsor commitments before the race and obviously the 40th anniversary happened to coincide with going for my 10th win, it kind of added another layer of emotional, not stress, but fatigue during the week so to be able to actually get a good race under my belt and that victory, it was just relief.”

With five wins to her name this season, including a victory at the PTO Tour Asian Open and the IRONMAN 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship, it is hard to believe that Gentle only made the switch to middle distance after the Tokyo Olympics. Getting better every year, it will be exciting to see what 2024 holds for Gentle.

Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.

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