How to become an age group champion – the long way!
6 easy-to-follow steps to becoming Ironman Australia Age Group Champion
•Sign up for the inaugural Shepparton Half Ironman to get a taste of longer distance racing
•Suffer through mid 30s heat in Shepparton, walk half the run and finally finish, saying you’ll NEVER put yourself through a full Ironman race.
•Decide to do a full Ironman race after qualifying for Forster at the 2nd Shepparton Half Ironman (Old School fact: years ago people had to qualify to race IM Australia)
•Suffer through perfect conditions in Forster, walk half the run and finally finish, saying you’ll NEVER put yourself through a full Ironman race again.
Result: 150th in the Age Group
•Get really annoyed by your result and commit to learning to race an Ironman “properly”, no matter how long it takes*
•Race at Forster 3 more times in that age group, each year being certain that this will be the year you nail it.
Results: 51st, 57th, 52nd
* It takes a long time
•Age up – the last resort for the talent-challenged athlete.
•Finally start to see some material improvement* over the next 4 Ironman attempts at Forster and Port Macquarie.
Results: 23rd, DNF, 22nd, 11th
*Improvement can also be a ‘Did Not Finish’. By pushing the envelope we can learn a lot about ourselves and how to improve next time – e.g. don’t ride fast over speed humps one-handed.
•Age up again, a year early due to WTC rule changes.
•Continual improvement + getting old = success.
•Race at Kona a few times to acclimatise and then hope for a hot day at Port Macquarie
•Race day max of 30 degrees celsius, no cloud cover, wind strengthening
So that’s all it takes, get out there and do it. Or use the alternative approach: have some talent, train a bit, race once, RESULT!!! (not nearly as much fun though, is it?)