WHEN Renee Baker joined a women’s only triathlon 11 years ago, she found herself instantly hooked on the sport.
Training twice a day on most days, Baker has thrown her energy and commitment into becoming the best triathlete possible and is currently preparing to tackle the 70.3 Busselton half ironman next weekend, her favourite race on the calendar.
“The Busselton 70.3 is such a great event and the local support is unreal,” she said.
“It was my very first race as a professional and it set the bar very high, no other race has really matched it since then.”
Baker’s dedication to triathlon has led to her being named a finalist in the sport category of the 2017 West Australian of the Year Awards, a category that has been won by stars such as Caitlin Bassett, Nathan Fyfe, Justin Langer and Andrew Vlahov.
She said she felt honoured to be a finalist.
“This nomination is the pinnacle of my career as a professional athlete,” she said.
“I have always been one to give back to the sport so to be recognised in this way is special. I think it is great not only for my sport of triathlon but to women in sport in general.
“I started out as your every day girl having very little talent rocking up to races just for fun and I worked hard to get myself to the level I am.”
Marcus Canning, the creator of the sea container rainbow artwork on East Street, has also been named a finalist in the Arts and Culture category.
The 2017 West Australian of the Year Awards is on June 2.