Steve Pullen.

Old-timers aim for ironman spots

THEY are out to prove that age is no barrier.

Noosa Heads' former Australian ironman champion, Steve Pullen, and former world champion Phil Clayton are confirmed starters for the Kellogg's Nutri-Grain Ironman Series trials at Noosa later this month.

Pullen, 36, and Clayton, 34, are the standout names in a list of 48 men who will vie for just seven spots in the 2011-12 series.

Noosa Heads coach and ironman legend Darren Mercer said he expected Pullen to give the field a shake-up at the August 27-28 trials.

“You can't beat race experience and Steve is a great racer,” Mercer told the Daily.

“He gets in there and gives it his all. He's shed about 15kg and training really well. He's pretty excited about giving it a go.

“He's one of the guys you can never count out.”

Mercer, who rated Clayton a strong chance of qualifying, said Pullen's greatest challenge if he were to qualify for the elite series would be maintaining his fitness.

“When you're around that age you have to pace yourself and train smart,” he said.

“That's the biggest thing, keeping fit and in race condition.”

The Sunshine Coast has nine men competing for a place, seven of those coming from Mooloolaba. Nine women from the Coast also have entered the two-day trials.

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