Leon Griffin pursues more success in US Ironman series

KANGAROO Flat's Leon Griffin has sights on more victories in next year's triathlon campaign across the United States.

Griffin's first year of being in the US on a full-time basis netted a victory in Maine and placings at several other Ironman 70.3 contests.

A highlight was seventh placing in the Ironman 70.3 world championships in Las Vegas.

"The biggest breakthough of the year was the world championships," the 33-year-old said.

On Monday the triathlon ace was back at the Bendigo East Swimming Pool.

It's been many laps and summers since that he has devoted to his sport.

"There have been a lot of challenging times over the years," Griffin said.

"No matter what sport, you want to be the best you can be."

Griffin reached the summit when he won the world duathlon championship in 2006.

His feat earned the Bendigo Advertiser Sports Star of the Year award.

A key player in Griffin's campaign in the US is his wife, Merridee. The couple married two years ago.

They will head back to their home in Boulder next week.

A lot of work went into preparing for this year's races in Maine, Wildflower, Racine, Timberland and more.

The Ironman 70.3  is called so for the distance covered in miles. Competitors race 1.9km swim, 90km cycle and 21.1km run.

Griffin said the swim was a discipline he kept working to improve.

"I am nowhere near the fastest swimmer in the field, but I am not giving as much ground as I used to."

The gun triathlete said the world titles result had done a lot to raise his confidence.

Griffin's foray in triathlons began during a football pre-season with Kangaroo Flat Junior Football Club when he was 15 or 16.

It was not long before triathlons, and duathlons, were his No.1 sporting choice.

After a well-earned rest, which includes Christmas and New Year with family and friends, Griffin will soon be back swimming, cycling and running through Boulder and in events across the States.

It's a long way from when he was doing so in the streets of Kangaroo Flat and around Bendigo.

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