Like everyone, I have many labels. I’m a Dad and a boyfriend. I’m a working professional and a PhD candidate. I’m an ex member of the Australian Defence Force and a graduate of the California High School system (go Bulldogs!). I’m also a wannabe triathlete.
I probably started my journey in Dili, East Timor in 2007, when, feeling out of shape, I made a point of running laps of Camp Phoenix in the evening heat. From that point onwards, I have been driving myself to longer distances and greater challenges. I did my first race in 2008 over 10km at the Nike Human Race, and followed up with my first half-marathon the next year. I realised a dream in 2012 when I ran my first marathon in Edinburgh, though my time was disappointing.
I signed up for Ironman UK in October of 2012 on the back of the Edinburgh Marathon and the London Triathlon (Olympic distance). In my first week of training I fell down the stairs in my cleats, slightly twisting my knee and putting me out of commission for a few days. I then focused on getting the swim right, which with the addition of exhaling (rather than holding my breath) rapidly improved. Given the dwindling light and increasing cold, I invested in a cheap (relatively) turbo trainer to help build my bike endurance. Unfortunately, over the winter months of December to February, my training significantly fell away as I had difficulty overcoming the twin perils of a cold winter and mid-training-programme apathy. I find most training sessions an effort to maintain discipline and motivation – but know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
In March I had to withdraw from Ironman UK due to financial reasons. To compensate, I decided to focus on my key limiter – bike endurance. I did so by signing up for three sportives for the year; at 90km, 130km and 160km in duration. I also threw in a marathon for the year because it was local, and I really wanted to bring my PB down below 5 hours. I managed one of the sportives, but had to pull out of the other two due to transport unavailability. I completed the marathon in personal best time, and also squeezed in an extra half marathon for good measure.
Towards the end of 2013 I committed myself to completing at least one half-iron distance triathlon in 2014, and commenced training towards that end. After completing another marathon in 2014 (Edinburgh again…PB again!), I committed to my stated goal of one half-iron distance tri; signing up and ‘training’ for the Eton Man event in West London. I finally completed that triathlon in 2014, meaning that I was half-way to my Ironman dream. I also managed to complete the swim that day, not finishing last. That was amazing.
In 2015, with renewed focus, and amazing support, my personal bests tumbled as things started to fall into place. I planned to complete two 100 mile sportives, an Olympic distance triathlon, a half marathon and another half Iron distance triathlon. All setting things up for a tilt at the full Iron distance in 2016. With 9 new personal bests in 2015, it was a banner year to say the least. I completed the two 100 mile sportives, the Olympic distance triathlon, the half marathon and not one – but two half Ironman triathlons (Weymouth and Ballarat in Australia). I topped things off by signing up for Ironman UK again, but for 2016, this time far better prepared.
In July 2016 I achieved my goal, with a 13:45 Ironman completion at Ironman UK.
After that, I set out to go faster at shorter distances and generally continue to develop as a long course triathlete with that major goal completed.
And that pretty much brings you up to speed!