My first triathlon was an enticer event at Meningie in 2006, 100 m swim, 8k bike, 1km run. That evening at a party everyone I told was so impressed that I’d done such a gruelling event at the old age of 45. Next was Kingston Olympic, finished 2nd last, then some Gatti races. Still finishing nearly last , I picked up Nigel’s business card there and took about a year to get up the courage to ring him, after all I’d never heard of any other middle aged farmer engaging a triathlon coach! Nigel has done his best with me and now on a good day I finish in the middle of the pack.
When I entered my first Ironman, Melbourne in 2012 I thought “I can’t do this on my own” so I joined the Lakers. Living 180 kms from Adelaide on a farm near Coonalpyn there aren’t many facilities here, I’ve left home a few times at 3:30 am some Sunday mornings for a 6am training session or race at West Lakes and driven home afterwards .The local pool is open mid-November to mid- March, 4-6 pm if the weather is over 25 degrees. There are no streetlights on the farm so when I have to run in the dark, I run up the middle of the “Cold and Wet Road” which is the actual name of the road we live on as it is smooth, I can follow the white lines in the dark,and not much traffic. A long Sunday ride I might see 3 or 4 cars . I used to write in my training diary “Cold and Wet ride” or “Cold and wet run”, Nigel thought I was very dedicated and out training all the time in bad weather but it was just the name of the road.
I’ve done 7 Ironman races now but I think my most enjoyable race was Auckland 70.3 in 2015, I did that with my wife Jenni and with a favorable wave start we crossed the finish line together. Jenni is a good swimmer and rider, but she reckons when you put them all together in a race it just buggers up a good run!
I think every Laker I’ve met has inspired me in some way, they are all just average people but they do such extraordinary things through triathlon. I train so much on my own that I really look forward to getting to Adelaide to train with a group, test myself against others and chat over a coffee afterwards.
Most people in Coonalpyn don’t understand anything about this sport, when I tell them about a race, they often ask “Did you win”, and when I tell them that I might have finished 200th or so they just don’t get it! Jenni and I are mostly referred to by the locals as ‘those mad buggers that run and ride everywhere ’,maybe that could be the Lakers new motto!