Monday, December 1, 2008

Athlete Profiles for the Ironman

Dear All
This weekend sees the 5th running of the Busselton Ironman event and we have 14 of the team down to race. Accordingly, over the last week or so I have been interviewing the athletes about their motivation, inspiration and what they are hoping to achieve next Sunday. For those interested in future events, programs that we will be running and whether you think "mere mortals" are capable of these amazing fetes of endurance, I thought this may provide valuable reading over a cup of coffee! Enjoy!
Below are profiles for Ant, James, Ursula, Nimal and Andrew (to date):

Name: Anthony Tholet
Age: 36
Occupation: Project Manager
Suburb: Palmyra
Race Number: 1061
Sporting Background: I have tried every sport I possibly could and spent my younger years and teens focussing on gymnastics and rugby union. Rugby union won and I stayed with it into my twenties but I quickly ran out of size and beer drinking took over......................that lasted until about a year ago when I decided to slow that down, or was it the arrival of my daughter?? That said, I have managed to complete the last 4 Busselton Half Ironman events but without any real focus. Since the first HIM I completed I have thought it'd be cool to do an IM but it was always the beer that won, "there's always next year" until June this year when we found out another grommet was on the way.....that's when I decided "there may never be another year...." IM has to be done NOW!
Favourite TRI discipline (why?): Cycle - I secretly want to be a bike mechanic and you have to ride bikes to do that.
Least favourite TRI discipline (why?): hmmm, Swim is only a touch favoured over Run - I don't enjoy running and it's always been the weak link for me. I have worked on my run but I've never gone longer than 30k's so it'll be the big test for me on the day.
What you are looking forward to next Sunday: The whole experience, especially being a "competitor" as I have previously volunteered and had itchy feet.
Inspiration for completing the IM: At this stage it's my "o-n-o" - one and only (not oh no!) so I have to make it count!!
Race strategy: STEADY STEADY STEADY sprint - joy!
Favourite gel flavour: Vanilla
Predicted finish time: without a glow stick - 11hrs23min14sec

Name: James Forbes
Age: 33
Occupation: Financial Services
Suburb: Claremont
Race Number: 389
Sporting Background: Swimming
Favourite TRI discipline (why?): The swim as it is the 'easy' part.
Least favourite TRI discipline (why?): Bike as I am not aerodynamic.
What you are looking forward to next Sunday: A beer with mates after the race who are also doing it.
Inspiration for completing the IM: I blame a mate of mine for entering and forcing a couple of other mates and I to do it.
Race strategy: Slow and steady. Just cruise along.
Favourite gel flavour: Lime
Predicted finish time: I actually don't have one. Focus is on finishing in a coherent state.

Name: URSULA   
Age: 40
Occupation: NURSE
Race Number: 780
Sporting Background: hee hee hee.... what was the question again!!!!!!!
Favourite TRI discipline (why?): buying tri suits
Least favourite TRI discipline (why?): swimming......I can't think why!!!!!!
What you are looking forward to next Sunday: finishing with 8 gels plus in the belly!!!!!!!
Inspiration for completing the IM: don't know.... having a midlife crisis
Race strategy: to say hi to as many of the team I come across
Favourite gel flavour: hee hee hee..... what was the question again!!!!!!!!
Predicted finish time: 16 hours 59 min 59 sec


 Nimal Wickramasinghe


 53 (take off about 15 years please)


 Commercial Manager (I do contracts, negotiations etc)



Race Number:


Sporting Background:

Squash has been my main sport for most of my adult life.  Mainly play now for social reasons but still play a high standard I think.  Started swimming with a mate from work and over years taught myself to swim.  Took a long time. I still swim every Sunday down the beach with that mate, and really enjoy that as part of my lifestyle.  Drifted into triathlon when my daughter was being coached by Sean O'Neill.  Not always fussed about racing but enjoy training, although Ironman training has tested my limits.  Decided I wanted to do one Ironman and realized I needed help so sought out Paul.  Don't think I could have got this far without encouragement from Paul and others.

 Favourite TRI discipline (why?):

I enjoy the swim, I guess because I put a lot of effort in trying to learn to swim (over years) and although I am not that fast I know I can go the distance.

Least favourite TRI discipline (why?):                    

The run, because I feel I should be able to run faster but it never seems easy.

What you are looking forward to next Sunday:

 It will be a new experience good and bad, but I will probably learn a lot about the event, me and my fellow competitors.  And I really just want to enjoy it.  I am in this to have fun and create a health lifestyle.  I want the experience to fit into those perspectives.

Inspiration for completing the IM:

 I have been a TO at the Ironman the last few years and so have seen the race up close, especially the bike leg.  I really loved the last third of the field where seemingly ordinary people were doing this extraordinary thing.  I saw all shapes and sizes, and some very unlikely looking Ironman individuals, but yet they were out there doing this crazy event.  Those ordinary people were so inspiring to me.  My biggest heroes in sport are those that will never win medals but do it for their own lifestyle reasons and enjoyment.  I guess I wanted to be like them. 

Race strategy:

1.      Enjoy it

2.       find a steady maintainable pace.  The training has made me much better at that.

3.       Enjoy it

Favourite gel flavour:

 Berry or Cola

Predicted finish time:

 Have no finish time goal, BUT I do want to finish.

Name:  Andrew Graham 
Age:  27 
Occupation:  Mechanical Engineer
Suburb:  Nedlands 
Race Number:  451 
Sporting Background:  Swimming, and I've done a few short triathlons each year.
Favourite TRI discipline (why?):  Transition, with Swimming coming a close second.  There's nothing like having a quick transition to get you feeling good about your race.
Least favourite TRI discipline (why?):  Cycling because I seem to go backwards through the field.  That's the disadvantage of being a strong swimmer!
What you are looking forward to next Sunday:  Eating some solid food after crossing the finish line.
Inspiration for completing the IM:  I needed a challenge for this year and it's about time I did an Ironman.
Race strategy:  Swim hard, hopefully I'll see some fish around the observatory.  Enjoy the bike and eat a lot while rolling. Run when there are spectators about, and walk the rest!
Favourite gel flavour:  I hate them all and hope to never eat another one - until next year. 
Predicted finish time:  Sub 12? I plan to finish in daylight - that 42km run is a little bit of an unknown! 


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