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!

Published by westlakelakers

WEB Administrator for the - The Lakers are one of South Australia’s oldest clubs, formed 30 years ago.

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