IT TAKES a lot of guts and determination to compete in an ironman event and a handful of Whitsunday residents know the true meaning of this.
Ten Whitsunday triathlete enthusiasts arrived in Busselton, Western Australia late last week ahead of last weekend's SunSmart Ironman Western Australia race.
At 5.30am on Sunday morning, the local competitors were joined on the starting line by thousands of other competitors from around the country and overseas.
Whitsunday Triathlon Club member Steve Athey was among the competitors that represented the region in the race and said it was a great experience.
“It was a fantastic race,” he said.
“It was a great experience and learning curve for me and I really enjoyed it.”
Sunday's iron man race saw competitors take to a gruelling course which spanned across 226km.
The course included a 3.8km swim, 180km bike leg, followed by a draining 42.2km run.
All of the region's competitors finished the race in less than 13 hours with the best time set by Hamilton Island triathlete Michaella Trigg who crossed the line in 10hours and 21 minutes. Not all Whitsunday triathletes finished the race unscathed though with James Carman crashing on the final lap of the bike leg, which saw him thrown from his bicycle and over a table at a drink station.
To his credit though, Carman finished the race in just over 11 hours. Athey, who competed in the 50-55years age division competed in the event two years ago but said several changes to this year's race made for an even better event.
“It was like a European race,” he said.
“The changes they made this year made it a really special race.
“You were running through a highly populated race area with thousands of people around.”
Steve Athey – 11.02.23
Tricia Athey – 11.52.08
James Carman – 11.13.54
Janelle Eastwood – 11.31.34
Shona Russell – 12.48.36
Steve Jackson – 10.58.35
Karon Handy – 12.29.56
John Hunter – 11.00.47
Michaella Trigg – 10.21.48
Erika Kelly – 11.53.57
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