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Backhouse back for 2017

Backhouse back for 2017

2014 Goodstone Group Devonport Triathlon winner Gillian Backhouse is in rare form and can’t wait to return to one of her favourite events on the calendar, despite being ‘horrendously jetlagged.’

“I love Devonport, I’ve raced there maybe 6 times.  It’s also generally a course that suits me, the bike is my best leg so the harder that is, the better for me,” Backhouse said.

The 25-year-old just returned from racing the World Triathlon Series in Abu Dhabi on the weekend, where she had one of the finest races of her career to date.

“My form at the moment is really really good.  I’ve literally just got back from Abu Dhabi and I finished 6th there, which I was really happy about as it was my second best ever world series result,” she said.

Having raced so many times at Devonport, Backhouse recalls her 2014 victory fondly.

“2014 I managed to get the double Aus titles, so that was exciting for me.  I got the sprint distance title in Elwood a couple of weeks earlier and then got the Olympic distance in Devonport so that was a beginning of special year for me.

“From memory we pushed the bike pretty hard and got a fair lead.  In fact, we pushed so hard I cramped at the end of the bike, but fortunately I didn’t cramp on the run and was able to go on with the win.  So it was quite a hard race,” Backhouse admitted.

After winning the race as a 22-year-old and announcing herself as a star of the future, things didn’t all go to plan, especially in the lead in to the Rio Olympics.  However, the Brisbane based athlete feels she is far wiser now coming into the peak of her career.

“Three years ago I was on the improve and just from the general training I was doing I was getting better.  But as you mature with training, the benefit you get from training becomes smaller, so you rely on all those other things like technique, how you race and recovery to play a role. 

“It was difficult to not get selected to Rio and it opened my eyes on what you focus on when racing.  In all the selection races for Rio I focussed on the Olympic games too much last year and I lost the joy of racing.  But coming back from that now I can enjoy each race as it is and not allow racing to become everything,” the Stephen Moss trained athlete added.

With more balance her life, the professional triathlete is now studying a masters in Environmental Science and Management. 

“I’m interested in going into conservation and research one day,” she declared. 

But for now, her focus will be on her next race, the Goodstone Group Devonport Triathlon Olympic distance.

Devonport Triathlon feature a number of events, including;

  • Tri It (Community Triathlon).  250m Swim/10km Ride/3km Run
  • Tri Kids
  • National Age Group Standard Distance Qualifying Race – 1500m Swim/40k Ride/10k Run
  • OTU Para-Triathlon Oceania Championships
  • Australian Elite/U23 Standard Distance Triathlon Championships Oceania Cup


Sunday 19th March will see Devonport Sportspower Run Devonport, with distances of 10km, 5km, 2.5km and 1km.

Devonport Triathlon and Run Devonport start and finish at the Devonport Surf Life Saving Club at Mersey Bluff.

Further information, contact:

Mike Bonney (Event Director) – 0459 117 221

Richard Welsh (PR Manager) – 0409 820 248