SEVEN years is a long time between drinks, but Kawana ironwoman Kirsty Holmes says she cannot help being caught up in the hype of the rejuvenated IronWoman Series.
Yesterday at the "tender" age of 37, Holmes was granted a wildcard entry into the 2011-12 series - reward for a strong showing at the last month's series trials at Noosa.
Holmes, the sister of ironman great Zane Holmes, has been back in training for only six weeks.
The two-time Australian ironwoman champion stressed that her first series appearance since 2004 would be a one-off, adding her interest had been piqued after some positive changes to the event over the past few years.
In this year's series the number of rounds will be bumped up from five to six and live television coverage is to continue.
Holmes said that after having little interest in top ironwoman competition for so many years, she believed the sport was heading in the right direction and she wanted to be involved.
"When I finished back in 2004, I was well and truly over it and I have not been interested in it in that time until now," she said.
"Obviously, seven years is a long time to have a good rest and I've done other sports, but nothing is as hard as elite competition in ironwoman racing.
"I haven't ever wanted to train that hard for something. When I started in the sport it was about challenging yourself mentally and physically, and it's not different now at 37.
"I want to see what I can do and I want to take a different approach. I've taken seven years to think about how I would have done things different had I had my time again. This is my opportunity to try a few things out."
Holmes finished ninth at the series trials, missing a berth in the series by two spots. She was thrown a lifeline, along with Northcliffe's Harriet Brown - who finished eighth at the trials - and former Australian champion and Coolangatta Gold winner Hayley Bateup, who missed year's series due to a shoulder injury.
Tanyn Lyndon (Northcliffe), Tom Atkinson (Queenscliff), Phil Clayton (Kurrawa) and Trent Martin (Avoca) have been given wildcards in the Nutri-Grain ironman series.
Lyndon, Atkinson and Clayton occupied the eighth, ninth and 10th places at the trials, and Martin was given a fourth wildcard on sympathetic grounds as he was forced to withdraw from the trials due to a family reasons.
She said she was not aiming to win the series, but hoped to get on the podium at one of the rounds.
"I'm not going in with high expectations," she said.
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