Good luck to Duffy mum Ntasha Gerebtzoff, who competes in the world ironman triathlon championships in Hawaii this weekend, including having to bike through the lava fields of the Kona district on the Big Island.
"There are kilometres of vast open black lava rock and not much else. I am under no illusions that the bike course is going to be easy. And did I mention that it's hot!" she emailed us this week.
Hot, windy and humid, to be exact. But no actual flowing lava. The swim leg will also be something else.
"The water is magnificent, making the swim course one of the most magical I've ever swum," Ntasha told us.
"It's crystal-clear with beautiful marine life everywhere, brightly coloured tropical fish and turtles . . . I've been told you might even be joined by dolphins on race day!"
Ntasha will be competing in the 40-44 age group and says the back half of the marathon will also be into the lava fields.
"There's no shade and the heat is brutal. I am expecting this to be tough," she said.
Canberra and its generous residents who helped fund her trip to Hawaii will be her motivation.
"When the going gets tough, I will think of all those wonderful people back home who made it possible for me to be here and I know that they will all be my driving force to make it to the finish line," she said.
Ntasha is expected to start about 4am on Sunday (Canberra time).
Canberra's Sex appeal
The Australian Sex Party has its sights set on Canberra. It plans to "win a number of seats in the upcoming ACT election" next year, acting secretary Steven Bailey says. You can't accuse them of being shy about their ability to perform. Let's just wait and see how that plays out. Former Canberran and Australian Sex Party leader Fiona Patten, now a member of the Victorian Parliament, will return to the ACT on Monday night to talk about issues important to the party, from voluntary euthanasia to fireworks. Free beer is apparently promised to anyone who joins the party on the night. The meeting starts at 7pm at Smith's Alternative in Alinga Street, Civic. For details and to RSVP, visit facebook.com/events/841147669332950/.
Shaun a sheepish celebrity
Chris, he of the work-record-breaking fleece, is not the only famous sheep in Canberra. Shaun the sheep has his fans, too. The live ram, not the cartoon star, happily grazes on a lawn in Mlidura Street in Fyshwick opposite the Salvation Army outlet. A family who live on the street has owned Shaun for two years, acquiring him from Cowra, moving him first to Dickson and then to Fyshwick about 12 months ago. And he's fast becoming a bit of a local celebrity, with people pulling up to take a selfie or two with him. "He's had more photos than Lady Di," the owner told us.
Bartholomew has the eye of the tiger
Sunrise's Edwina Bartholomew was presenting the weather in Canberra this week, showcasing the Australian War Memorial, Floriade and the National Zoo and Aquarium, including Jamala Wildlife Lodge where only the glass separated her from the rather relaxed looking tiger, Bakkar. Sunrise host David Koch was suitably impressed by the chance to sleep overnight with the animals, declaring he would book in a trip with his grandchildren when they visited from Hong Kong.
Cowboys a ratings winner
We really love our footy. Just a footnote to the Townsville Cowboys' stunning win in the NRL grand final last weekend. WIN Television tells us the game had an average audience of just over 79,000 viewers and a peak just shy of 101,000. In the ACT, an average audience of 88,231 tuned into the presentation, with a peak audience of 113,423.
Catering to Aussie men
Seventy-year-old family-run Melbourne menswear label Peter Jackson has opened its first Canberra store, at Westfield Woden. Marketing manager Nick Jackson is the great nephew of the label's founder and namesake. "We hope men in the ACT will respond positively to our mantra of not being too precious about fashion and cater to the tastes and lifestyles of 'real Aussie men'," he said. Real men do wear pink, they say.
- It's Parties at the Shops time at the Erindale shopping centre in Wanniassa on Sunday from 11am to 2pm. Markets, food, face-painting, scavenger hunt and an open day at PCYC Erindale are all part of the fun.
- The Tuggeranong 55 Plus Club is presenting a matinee screening of Mao's Last Dance at its Cowlishaw Street clubhouse in Greenway from 1pm on Saturday, October 17. There will also be a showing of the The Phantom. Cost is $4 for members or $7 for non-members including an ice cream. For bookings ring 6293 4004 or email email@example.com.