IM Age Grouper – ‘How to’ Guide

How to become an age group champion – the long way!

I like a trophy that holds beer

6 easy-to-follow steps to becoming Ironman Australia Age Group Champion

Step 1:

•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.

Step 2:

•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

Step 3:

•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

Step 4:

•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.

Step 5:

•Age up again, a year early due to WTC rule changes.

•Continual improvement + getting old = success.

Result: 6th

Step 6:

•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

Result: RESULT!!!

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?)

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