One of Navy's aviators has flown through a previous personal best to finish 18th in her age group at the ITU World Triathlon Championships in Chicago.
Lieutenant Natalie Davies, a helicopter pilot at 723 Squadron at HMAS Albatross participated in the event as a lead up to her campaign for the World Ironman Championship in Kona-Kailua, Hawaii, in October.
Lieutenant Davies was part of the the Australian Triathlon Team competing in the Chicago event which she finished in under 2 hours 14 minutes.
She is also one of four Navy members, and the only Navy female to be competing in the World Ironman Championship distance of a 3.8km swim, 180 cycle and 42.2km run.
Before departing Australia, Lieutenant Davies said she was proudly representing Navy at both events, with the word 'NAVY' featuring prominently on many of the uniforms.
“It is so great to be involved in Defence Triathlon and Ironman community,” she said.
“Triathlon is for all levels, everyone in the sport is so encouraging and it allows individuals to succeed at their personal goals, while still being part of a stronger team unit.
“The mental strength of the Ironman community is also something that amazes me.
“I would say it requires 50% physical ability and 50% mental strength to get through an Ironman, and I have the utmost respect for anyone who even attempts the sport.”
Lieutenant Davies is an active member of the Australian Defence Triathlon Club, and recognised in the Royal Australian Navy policy as an 'Elite Athlete'.
Lieutenant Davies is passionate about Aviation and the Navy, as well as maintaining physical fitness in all capacities. She is also currently studying a Masters in Business through the Australian Defence Force Academy with view to finish 2017.
“The Navy and 723 Squadron have been so supportive of me through this venture,” Lieutenant Davies said.
“On a day-to-day basis, my squadron staff are understanding of my training commitments and they help me balance it with my work requirements.
“The Navy has provided me with the flexibility to attend both events this year and to be able to race with Navy written on my uniform, of which I am so proud to represent on an international scale,” said Lieutenant Natalie Davies.
Prior to setting of on her journey to the United States, Lieutenant Davies training regime was at its peak. She covered approximately 300km of riding, 60km running and 10km swimming a week. She trained twice a day, six days a week, and included yoga, core workouts and stretching when she could, as well as remedial massage once a week to aid in recovery and injury prevention.
“With such a busy schedule, I have learnt how important time management is, especially in regards to meal preparations for the week.
“However, I could not do all this without the support of my partner Aaron, who does most of my training with me and helps me stay on track and maintain my motivation through this journey.”
Able Seaman Clearance Diver Josh Muscat from Australian Clearance Diving Team One, in Sydney, finished the Sprint Distance Triathlon in Chicago in under 1 hour 15 minutes, coming 68th in his age group. Lieutenant Colonel Iaian Addinell also did the sprint distance, finishing seven minutes faster then Able Seaman Muscat, and 16th in his age grouping.