Stellenbosch University student Taryn-Maie Wille has been selected to represent South Africa at the 2018 ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships in Fyn, Denmark, in July.
She will compete in the U23 category.
This will be the second time that Taryn-Maie, a second-year Conservation Ecology student, competes abroad. She kicked off her international sporting career at the 2017 ITU Multisport World Championship Festival in Penticton, Canada, last year.
“I feel very honoured and excited to represent South Africa. My aim is to race my hardest, hopefully getting some personal best times."
She would also like to introduce more South African women to triathlons and cross triathlons specifically. Cross triathlon, or X-tri, is an off-road triathlon discipline that typically takes place over a 1 km swim, 20-30 km mountain bike and 6-10 km trail run.
Being a cross-country athlete has contributed to Taryn-Maie's appreciation of nature, and she hopes to use her sport to raise funds for conservation one day.
“My aim is to be one of the best conservationists in whichever field I go into and to help the environment in as many ways as possible."
As a student-athlete, Taryn-Maie has to adjust her training programme to her academic schedule.
“I try to balance studies and training. I do sessions in the mornings and evenings or between classes if I have time, and then also on weekends. I mostly train alone because I like to get into a zone and base my intensity on what feels right rather than racing other people. I do some long runs and cycles with friends, though.
“Being able to make my parents proud and that indescribable feeling of racing your heart out while doing something you love, motivates me to continue," she says.
Taryn-Maie is a member of the Maties Cycling Club.