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When Kate took part in the 2015 Noosa Triathlon with the Smiddy team, there was a lot more than tactics, timings and targets going through her mind. She was thinking of a friend.
Kate’s friend and colleague Michelle had been diagnosed eight months earlier with advanced pancreatic cancer in December 2014.
Before being diagnosed with cancer, Michelle was set to compete in the 2015 Noosa Triathlon, as part of Team Smiddy.
Kate made Michelle a promise—that she would take her place in the team.
"When Michelle asked if I would do it for her, she said ‘I’m not going to make it','" Kate explained.
"She found out she was sick at Christmas (2014) and has already registered to compete in 2015."
It was overwhelming when she asked me to compete for her, but I felt like in every training session that I wasn’t training, I was training for her.
From that day, Kate set her sights on competing in her first full-length triathlon.
Despite little cycling experience and even less equipment, she threw herself headfirst into training.
As Kate says,"Once I put my mind to something, I will make it happen.
"I’d done no cycling before then. I’d done gym spin classes, but nothing on a bike!
"I knew I’d be fit enough, I just had to learn how to ride a bike. I trained myself through YouTube and Google."
Fast-forward eight months to November 2015, Kate not only kept her promise to Michelle, she beat the target time her friend had set her all those months ago.
"Michelle had set me a goal," she said. "I ended up beating that by five minutes and finished in the top five female Smiddy competitors."
Sadly, Kate was never able to tell her friend that she finished.
Michelle had passed away just three months after being diagnosed with cancer, in March 2015.
"On the day, I could feel Michelle the whole way and was talking to her—I did it for her."
Kate continued on to train for the Noosa Tri, and one thing she knows for sure, in any event, Michelle will be in her thoughts every step of the way.
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