THE woman they call “Nitro”, Hayley Bateup, felt more like unleaded petrol over the past couple of surf seasons following major shoulder surgery three years ago.
But a second clean-up operation after a disappointing Kellogg’s series ended in a 15th placing last February has her back on her board and ski in near mint condition.
Bateup had the biceps tendon reattached via screws in her left shoulder in 2009 and missed the 2010 Coolangatta Gold marathon and Kellogg’s ironwoman series.
She returned but was still troubled by the joint.
“I came back racing but it just didn’t feel right, and I had no strength in it or anything,” the 32-year-old said.
So, this year, surgeons went back in and removed a lot of scar tissue.
“It’s been way better and I’ve been able to handle the training load,” Bateup said. “The last three seasons I just haven’t been able to train properly.”
The injury forced her to compete in the two-day Kellogg’s trials in Tugun last month because she had finished outside the automatic placings.
With that item ticked off and the new series due to start in December, Bateup’s next priority is up next weekend — her seventh Coolangatta Gold race over 30km (swim, paddle board, surf ski, run).
“Last season was just horrible. I still continued to race and I’d turn up hoping it (shoulder) would be all right. But it was just a struggle every race,” she said, explaining how she contemplated giving away her 15-year career.
“I thought if I have to go through all this again, it might be time to hang up the togs.
“But I had this other operation and instantly I could tell how it had helped.
“So I went from thinking I was retiring to now being able to really compete again.”
A winner of the Coolangatta Gold three times (2005, 06, 08), Bateup has finished on the podium on two other occasions, including a third last year, three minutes behind Courtney Hancock.
Source: The Australian