CAMPERDOWN triathlon export Kurt McDonald is loving life in the United States.
The 20 year-old has been living in Asheville, North Carolina since May training as part of the Triathlon Gold program headed up by Australian mentor Jarrod Evans.
The program is based out of the University of North Carolina’s Asheville campus under the tutelage of Evans, who was head coach for the USA men’s triathlon team at the Rio Olympics, and has also included a body of work with world renowned running instructor Bobby McGee.
“Living and training in Asheville has been fantastic,” McDonald said.
“Not only is the terrain ideal, the daily performance environment keeps it very enjoyable and competitive.
“The training has certainly been a step up from what I had been doing in prior months and it’s nice to be back at a high level now that my body is able to endure the load.
“We have been consistently training over 20 hours per week, with the biggest week so far being just a touch over 30 hours.”
What was initially planned as a three month exercise has now evolved into something more.
Originally slated to contest five races across North America, McDonald has so far completed events in Canadian cities Montreal and Magog, while also making his first start on African soil.
McDonald travelled to Larache, Morocco to take part in the African Triathlon Union sanctioned African Cup as he pursued additional world ranking points.
His best finish of the tour has been a sixth place result in Magog, to go along with a pair of 21st placings.
“The Morocco and Canada events provided a great opportunity for me to be reintroduced to the international standard of racing,” he said.
“Overall I was pleased with the results, but I’ll be certainly seeking better placings come September.”
Next up racing wise, McDonald heads west from his North Carolina base to Avon, Colorado where he will compete in Major League Triathlon competition early next month as part of the North Carolina Gliders squad for both individual and relay events.
Following this stop, attention then turns to the Asian circuit as the southern hemisphere season ramps up.
“From Denver (Colorado) I will fly straight to Japan to race the following two weekends at Asian Cup level,” he said.
“Building world ranking points will be high on the agenda, as well as improving on small components from my previous races.
“After these events, I will head to Thailand for a two-week training camp in preparation for my final race in Hong Kong in mid-October.”
McDonald is due back on home soil following the Hong Kong event, and in time for the start of the Australian season.
“After this intensive racing stint I’ll be taking a break at home for a couple of weeks,” he said.
“It will be nice to relax a little and catch up with my family and friends.
“Then it will be back into training to prepare for key Australian events in February-March, with some local racing in Melbourne commencing early December.”