This weekend’s World Triathlon Championships in Rotterdam will be a family reunion for the Scottish-born Australians that make up “Team McShane.”
Elite Australian team member Charlotte McShane has certainly made a name for herself on the international triathlon scene wearing the green and gold of Australia.
The former Under 23 world champion from London in 2013 and a bronze medallist in last year’s Elite Women’s Grand Final in Cozumel has qualified to make her Commonwealth Games team debut for Australia on the Gold Coast next year.
And on Saturday the 27-year-old McShane will line up with fellow Australian girls, training partners Ashleigh Gentle and Natalie Van Coevorden and Emma Jackson and Gillian Backhouse, trying to go one or even two better than she did last year in Mexico.
But when it comes to triathlon Charlotte is not the only McShane family member riding around in the green and gold in Rotterdam this week.
She will be joined by father Frank and big sister Colette who will also strut their stuff amongst a 270-strong Australian Team.
And if you listen closely when Frank is talking about his daughters then you may well overhear him saying something like “Guid gear comes in sma’ bulk.’
Translated from Scottish means: “good things come in small packages” with the diminutive McShane girls certainly packing plenty of punch in their tiny frames.
And Charlotte is immensely proud of her family and proud of her Scottish heritage and thanks her dad for introducing her to triathlon.
“I grew up watching my father and older sisters compete in triathlons in Scotland, so of course they were my inspirations to get in to the sport,” said Charlotte.
“My family are my biggest supporters and I’m really excited that they will also be out there competing themselves and are also able to watch me on the Saturday.
“Fortunately they will race the day after me so I’ll be able to watch and support them in their race too and hopefully I can give them some tips on the course!
“One of my favourite things to do in my off season when I’m at home is to head out for a run with my dad and sister - although I’m normally pretty unfit at that time of year and they’re usually the ones pushing the pace and I have to tell them to slow down.”
Frank, a member of the Riviera Triathlon Club in Bairnsdale, will be competing in the 55-59 male standard distance event but is no stranger to World Championships.
Frank had competed in four Age Group Worlds championships, two for Great Britain and two Xterra Worlds as well as representing Australia and placing second in the 2009 ITU Age Group Long Distance event and sixth in the 2016 ITU Age Group Cross Triathlon event at Lake Crackenback in NSW.
Big sister Colette, who hails from Yarraville in Victoria, will be competing in the 35-39 female sprint distance in what will be her Australian team debut in the ITU Age Group Worlds.
Although she too had contested the Age Group Xterra World Championships previously.
And Charlotte’s final thoughts on her Rotterdam race:
“I’ve had a really hard training block in the lead up to Rotterdam since my last race in Montreal and we’ve been focussing on some of the specific aspects and challenges that the course may bring,” McShane said.
“I’ve definitely pushed myself to my limits so I looked forward to freshening up over the last week and getting out there, testing myself out and putting the hard work I’ve done into play.”
And no matter what the results are for “Team McShane” you can rest assured they will all have earnt just a “wee dram” when they get together come Saturday night.