Nicola Wadey: the athlete from Melbourne intent on living her triathlon dream

WE TALK to Australian triathlete Nicola Wadey about her triathlon successes and her goals in the sport for the months ahead.

Nicola Wadey

Nicola Wadey was first encouraged to take up the sport by her brother, who must have had no idea how much she would go on to achieve.

NICOLA WADEY was encouraged to take up triathlon by her brother and when she finally did give it a go she hit the track running in more ways than one. 


So far in her short triathlon career she has racked up some impressive results including second in an Olympic distance triathlon in Melbourne. She placed in her age group in her first ever Ironman and has recently qualified for the 70.3 World Championships. The sport has taken her across her home nation of Austrlaia as well as several Asian countries and and the US.


Here Nicola talks to us about her successes in the sport to date as well as the hard work and training she’s putting in to get ready for the 70.3 World Championships next year. 


When did you start out in triathlon and who encouraged you to give the sport a go?


Just over four years ago I attempted my first ever sprint distance triathlon. It was something I had watched my brother take part in and he encouraged me to give it a try.


It was something new that my brother thought I would enjoy to mix up my passion for long distance running, so I thought why not. After all if my brother could do it… I had to try to do it better!


I borrowed my boyfriend’s bike and jumped straight in… and I fell in love with it.


Since then my passion for long distance triathlon has grown, and the support form my family and friends has been unreal.


What were some of your earliest triathlon successes?


When it comes to triathlon success its been a bit of a surprise packet. Only starting the sport at 25, I have always seen success as the improvement to my own race. I have worked hard to train more efficiently and therefor improve my race times not just overall but in the respective legs.


My view of success is finishing my races knowing I have given it my all, and taken a leap of faith to follow a race place without fear of falling short.


Having said that, one of the most surprising and satisfying races came at the end of 2015 when I placed second in an Olympic distance tri in Melbourne. This was my first ever medal in tri, and one I will always remember. I raced my heart out with the soul focus of pushing myself to my own limit… and it paid off in more ways than one.


My first ever full distance Ironman was in May 2016, and in this I placed ninth in my age group and to me this was a huge success and has given me the confidence to dream of placing in the top three one way in an the full distance Ironman event.


More recently I qualified for the 70.3 World Championships, and this is one of the biggest successes I have achieved, and one I never dreamed I would ever have the opportunity to take part in.


70.3 World Championships

Nicola has recently qualified for the70.3 World Championships.

At which discipline of triathlon do you excel at and at which do you have to work the hardest?


I come from a swimming background, so the swim leg is the one I can get the most advantage in. I love the swim because it’s the part of the race I feel most relaxed and confident in.


The bike is my weakest link… only having started riding when four years ago, I have a lot of strength and speed to build. However it’s the most satisfying because all the hard work pays off on race day and I can see how far I have come.


Where in the world has the sport taken you and what have been some of the highlights?


So far I have been lucky enough to race in several locations within my home state of Victoria, Australia.

In 2016 I headed to Port Macquarie NSW Australia for Ironman and in December 2016 I traveled to the coastal town of Busselton, Western Australia to complete in a 70.3 race, which is where I qualified for the 70.3 World Championships.


Currently I am in Chattanooga U.S.A, for the World Championships and feel so incredibly lucky to have the chance to travel here for this event.


I cannot wait to travel to Indonesia and Vietnam in the coming year to complete also.



Nicola’s talent for triathlon is starting to take her around the world.

What do you see as your biggest triathlon triumphs?


My biggest triumph is completing in my first full distance Ironman. It was such a big goal of mine, and I will never forget the feeling of crossing the finish line having worked so hard to achieve that goal.


Also qualifying for the 70.3 Worlds has been an epic surprise and a huge triumph.



Nicola has set herself some big triathlon goals for the months and years ahead.

How hard are you currently training and what races and events do you have coming up in the near future?


Over the past few months I have been training consistently in preparation for the Worlds. I like to do quite a lot of training, which includes the usual swim, bike, run, and also some strength work, yoga and pilates.


All up I spend about 26 hours a week training when preparing for an event.


December this year I will be taking on my second full-distance Ironman (Ironman Western Australia), and also attempting a few 5km Open Water swims in Victoria.


In 2018 I hope to complete in Ironman 70.3 Bintan and Ironman Cairns… and who knows maybe ITU World championships and Kona one day.

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