Renee to tri her heart out

Professional triathlete Renee Baker.
Picture: Andrew Ritchie         www.communitypix.com.au   d446650
Professional triathlete Renee Baker. Picture: Andrew Ritchie         www.communitypix.com.au d446650

TRIATHLETE and former Cecil Andrews Senior High School student Renee Baker is no stranger to 5am starts and trains for up to six hours a day to prepare for competitions.

The cause for her current stringent training regime is closer to her heart, with an event on May 2 to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation of WA (MDFWA).

After teaming with Triathlon WA, MDFWA will host its third Triathlon For Someone Who Can’t as part of a Busselton Ironman competition.

Along with other entrants, Baker will swim 1.9km, cycle 90.1 km and finish with a 21.1km run along the Busselton coastline. Baker said as a nurse, she had treated patients with muscular dystrophy and had seen the effects first-hand.

“We can be quite selfish in sport – what with training, racing, travel – so sometimes you kind of forget about real life,” Baker said.

“I’m privileged to have the opportunity to give back and raise money for muscular dystrophy.”

Baker said she trained for 20 to 25 hours per week to make sure she was in peak condition.

“My off-season is coming up soon and that’s about two weeks off but for the rest of the year, training and competitions are a full-time job,” she said.

According to MDFWA, muscular dystrophy is a hereditary condition that progressively weakens muscles and affects more than 20,000 Australians.

MDFWA chief executive Hayley Lethlean said the organisation was excited to have highly regarded local athletes as ambassadors.

“We are grateful for the opportunity provided to us by Triathlon WA and we look forward to making the 2016 Ironman 70.3 Busselton a significant fundraising success,” Ms Lethlean said.

The event raised $35,000 for MDFWA last year.