Current Subaru National Road Series leader Ruth Corset has not forgotten triathlon roots

Current Subaru National Road Series women’s leader Ruth Corset (Holden Women’s Cycling) [photo: Tim Bardsley-Smith]

Former women’s National Road Champion and National Road Series winner, Ruth Corset (Holden Cycling Team), is currently sitting atop the overall standings after three races in the 2014 Australian domestic cycling season with just four races remaining.

With 39 points accumulated, Corset holds a narrow two-point lead in the overall series standings over Lizzie Williams (Specialized-Securitor) and four points over Tessa Fabry (Jayco/Apollo/VIS).

But the triathlete-turned-cyclist and mother of two is feeling no pressure and attributes her roots in triathlon as a major factor in her cycling success over the past decade.

“Balancing work, family and sport can be a struggle,” the recently turned 37-year-old (May 9) told TriRadar. “I started triathlon when I was just 19 and competed at local races, including Noosa, just for fun.

“I love triathlon and when I am training extensively on the bike, I miss running and swimming,” said Corset, who won her age group in her first triathlon in 1996. “I find training for all three disciplines liberating and enjoy the balance all three sports give me physically, mentally and emotionally.”

Corset who has finished in the top 10 in her age group at Noosa, met her husband and cycling coach, Jason Corset, at a triathlon in 1998.

Of the three disciplines, the Queensland native is strongest on the bike. Corset finished 12th in the UCI World Championships in Switzerland in 2009, before winning the Australian national championships in 2010 and playing a critical role for compatriots Rochelle Gilmore and Chloe Hosking who won gold and bronze medals respectively at the 2010 Commonwealth Games 100km road race in Delhi.

Time spent away from family while racing overseas made it more difficult to be away for long periods, especially on her two children, Caitlin, 10, and Stephanie, 12. So Corset decided to retire from professional road cycling.

“It was after I had a little time to reflect on what I wanted to do, that I decided to again try to get back to my grass roots and train for the Cairns 70.3 in 2012,” said Corset. “That began a new chapter in my life, where I managed to finish seventh female overall and second in my age group.”

Corset’s improved overall fitness and rekindled competitive fire allowed her to return to cycling and win the 2012 National Road Series Championships.

“I have continued cross training and participating in triathlons, and using the running and swimming elements to mix up my training in preparation to race the women’s NRS this year,” she said. “But I have not been able to do much running or swimming lately as I have been so focused on the season.”

With a two-month break until the remainder of her cycling season resumes, Corset is looking forward to mixing it back up with running, swimming and even a bit of mountain biking in the RRR Mountain Bike Challenge in Port Douglas on June 1 to kick off the week-long festivities surrounding Ironman Cairns and the Cairns 70.3.

“I have not been back on my mountain bike since January so I have a week to get back into it,” said Corset. “I just went on my first run yesterday, so I am a little bit sore after that. I am keen to get back into my running and a little bit into the swimming.

“I will definitely be back competing in triathlon, but first I have to concentrate on finishing the NRS season and mentoring a fantastic group of young women cyclists on our Holden Cycling Team,” she concluded.

“But I will always return to my triathlon roots.”

Former Australian national champion (2010) and Subaru National Road Series winner (2012) and current leader, Ruth Corset (Holden Women’s Cycling), talks to media after a stage win at the Mersey Valley Tour in Australia [photo: Tim Bardsley-Smith]