Blaxland triathlete Andrea Oracki is unlikely to forget this October and November.
Last week she was crowned the International Triathlon Union (ITU) world champion in her 25-29 age group after winning the world championship title in Auckland.
And in just three weeks she will be smiling in her wedding dress as she marries her fiancee Rodney Forrest in Katoomba.
The 27-year-old has competed in triathlon events since the age of 12 but said she only got “serious” about the sport two years ago.
Her win in Auckland on October 22 now opens the door to being a professional triathlete.
“I just love the training and variety of exercises that triathletes have to do,” she said.
“And I think the input of my new coach James Sweeney has been the big factor to me improving in a big way this year.”
Oracki qualified for the Auckland event by winning lead-up races in Geelong, Canberra, Sydney and the Australian Championships in Moloolaba, Queensland.
She won the world championship title by just nine seconds from New Zealander Megan Roper with a time of 2:16:43 in tough, windy conditions and said consistency in all race legs — the one kilometre swim, 40km bike ride and 10km run — proved crucial.
“I think that was the key. The swim was quite tough because the water was choppy in Auckland harbour and it slowed everyone down but I finished fourth and then I was able to finish sixth on the bike — probably my weakest discipline — on a very hilly course.
“Compared to a year ago the average time on my bike stages are four minutes less, so the training is paying off.
“The run leg in the race (third fastest) was close and I had to overtake Megan with about 300 metres to go, but I still wasn’t sure or confident that I’d win until about 100 metres from the finish line.
“I heard Rodney say from somewhere in the crowd that I was ahead.”
Oracki’s immediate goal is to enjoy her wedding day, but in the longer term she aims to try Ironman events in 2013.
“One day I would love to be able to compete in the Hawaiian Ironman,” she said.