Gunning for glory on the Goldie in grand final
TRIATHLON: NOOSA triathlete Leigh Gunn was a professional soccer player for most of his young adult life, based in Sydney.
His family is from the Philippines and he had always felt a close connection with the country.
At the age of 18, Gunn went over to the Philippines to play soccer at the national level, where he played and represented for 11 years.
"My mum is from the Philippines which is how I am representing the national team for triathlon.”
He played with them for 11 years but had childhood memories of holidaying in Noosa and watching the Noosa Tri.
"I always said I would stop soccer when I got seriously injured and that happened,” Gunn said.
"Coming here, to Noosa, on holiday and seeing the Noosa Triathlon transition area set up really got me thinking about it.
"I have always ridden bikes socially with friends at school and I have always wanted to get into cycling. I knew I could run because of soccer but the swim scared the hell out of me. I saw that as a challenge. It scared me every time I jumped in the water.”
"Straightaway I felt something with the sport and that inner drive to push as hard and as far as I can.”
Now set up in Noosa with his own young family, Gunn is proud to have been selected to represent the Philippines in triathlon, and will be lining up for the 2018 World Triathlon grand final on the Gold Coast on September 12-16.
"When I moved here I didn't know anyone and now everyone I know is through triathlon.
"All of our social network is involved in the sport, it's awesome. I am super-motivated ahead of the Grand Final. It's starting to hit home now and the training is becoming specific to the event and it's just down the road so I don't need to worry about jetlag.”
His three young girls will be there on race day to cheer him on.