DUATHLETE Matt Smith is making headlines across the world for his ability in the sport.
The 21-year-old is currently number 12 in the world duathlon ranking and ranked sixth in the world’s biggest duathlon series, Powerman.
The Vines resident has had an incredible climb to the top, competing in his first duathlon at 18 years old and winning the national championships the same year, to taking home two World Championship Duathlon wins and looking to compete in his first Powerman World Championship in Zofingen in Sweden in September this year.
Smith placed second in Powerman Malaysia last month, beating about 3800 competitors in the gruelling race, consisting of a 10km run, 60km bike ride and another 10km run and will head to Jakarta next week to compete in Powerman Indonesia.
Smith said his love of running started in school.
“I started running at school and noticed I was quite good at it. A mate of mine was doing triathlons, so I gave it a go but I wasn’t very good at swimming,” he said.
“I decided to try duathlons and I really enjoyed it.”
Smith said he enjoyed pushing himself and improving every day, with his focus on getting stronger and faster rather than winning.
He said his social life had taken a step back, with a 15 to 20 hour a week training schedule, work, and having just completed his Bachelor degree is sport and health science, and biomechanics.
“It takes a lot of dedication and you have to be 100 per cent committed,” he said.
“I enjoy what I’m doing but it takes up all my time. My social life is basically riding with friends to get a coffee.”
Smith said his goal was to make duathlons a full time career.
“Once you break into the top five, people start paying for you to compete, making it a financially viable career,” he said.
“It’s also a way to see the world, because you’re travelling for months on end.”