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Steno

10 Questions with CEM

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CEM, was looking through the 10+ questions last night and read that you helped out Nealo a little for a race he did. I also noticed that you did not appear to have been given the challenge of The 10 Questions. So CEM, when you have the time, let’s find out a little more about you...

 

1. You are country boy, who got into running quiet early at school and later moved into triathlons. I presume you ran to school each day in bare feet after feeding the cows and this explains the country drawl in your voice. Were you the short skinny kid that would always run away from the bully and win the cross country around the school oval by 3 laps? Who did you run with, when did you realise you ran ok and what were some of your achievements?

 

2. Also while we are on your younger years, if you still remember way back then, what other sports did you play? And what lead you to triathlons? Tell us about your first Triathlon? Was it in Ballarat?

 

3. You have been humbled a few times in sport which unlike many of us is rare. There was the occasion of the 5km and 10km Open Water Swimming Championships. You trained and trained for that and from memory made cutoff by a couple of minutes and finished last. You also ran Olympic Qualifiers for 10,000 and again came last. For both events, I know you gave it everything. Are you comfortable that you prepared 100% or does it burn you that you are "just not good enough"? Tell us about your mindset post these races..

 

4. Why we are on negatives, you were never a good (comparatively) bike rider. I know you would have analysed this alot; why do you think you could never overly improve? Also going into a race and knowing you would be one of the first swimmers in your AG and then losing time on the bike. What would you concentrate on in the bike? How much time did you think you could pull back on the run?

 

5. In early 2008, you won everything including a meat tray in a local raffle. From memory in February you had a lazy few weeks. You won the Olympic Distance National title, then the Sprint Distance National Title on a Saturday and backed it up with the Long Course title on the Sunday. Talk us through this period and how you prepared for it? Is this your greatest sporting achievement or is the 9:22 at IM with your family supporting?

 

6. You have your own website with the domain name being your name and went with a global .com domain. Is this because you are still pissed off at Moby for being the DJ you should have been? And Michael Stripe for fronting REM? Discuss...

 

7. After staying with me in Port Mac, you retired from triathlons (yet you still swim and ride a bike). Did you retire because interstate trips could never be as good without me? Seriously, why did you stop? Do you see a day you could do a try for fun, or would you have to give it 100%? Say I had a spot in a BRW race, would you fill it to help out? Also talk to us about your mindset during that last race, an IM? I believe you were going to quit on the run?

 

8. You have a 2:32 marathon PB from Melbourne, which is now a few years ago (2007?). You are now able to go to over 40’s events and have plans of running at New York marathon in Nov for a sub 2:30. You also had plans last year, but injury took its toll. How is the training going? What is a standard week? What will your biggest week be?

 

9. You have a squeaky clean image despite the fact you have a number of tattoo’s. You despise drugs and compression socks and enjoy the simplicity of just putting runners on and heading out. However, you have every single gadget within the first week of release. Explain this? Also, hypothetically someone you coach comes to you and says they are taking drugs to improve their performance. What do you do?

 

10. Now.... CEM you are getting married. Got to say, like many, I am amazed. She is a great catch and your running group is surprised that she said Yes as she is way out of your league! I know she doesn’t really “do” sport. Are you working on this? And what are you most looking forward to with marriage? Also, have you been preparing for your bucks? Or is it one Strongbow and goodnight? I have been preparing with putting on 8kgs in three months...

 

11. Whilst we are on marriage, what size foot do you have? Transitions is going to buy you some compression socks.....

 

12. During the later part of your triathlon career, you moved into coaching. I have seen you immensely proud of people's achievements from sub 2:40 marathons, Kona IMs to 16:45 IM’s. What gives you the buzz in coaching as I would say you genuinely do it for this reason and not the money. How long can you see yourself coaching for and what have you learnt from it? As someone who has been coached by you face to face since day 1 in running, it has been fantastic. Your support before, during and post race’s, is something many can learn from. Personally, thankyou for IMNZ this year.

 

13. CEM, great people where born on the 10th September including yourself and The Customer. Why is that?

 

Thanks CEM, we appreciate the honest replies that are coming. You are someone that I am sure people read the posts off and learn from. By the way the "SANDBOX" message, isn't funny. I am sure you think it is.

 

Steno

Edited by Steno

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Waiting for your replies Mr.Maffett!!

Even though i already know most of your answers except the one of "why did she say yes" i mean really....we were having this conversation on the drive back from Falls Creek....you are a super star!! You followed through!!

You are one of the great guys of this sport CEM.

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I don't think he needs to answer those questions with all the info Steno has spilt! Apart from refute a few claims and defend himself, if he feels the need.

 

Campbell is always a great person to bump into around a race, always got time for a chat and a gidday, even to slow middle aged chooks :lol:

 

Don't forget his great work with Relay for Life, either!

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Great questions, and I'm honoured to be featured. Here goes...

 

 

1. You are country boy, who got into running quiet early at school and later moved into triathlons. I presume you ran to school each day in bare feet after feeding the cows and this explains the country drawl in your voice. Were you the short skinny kid that would always run away from the bully and win the cross country around the school oval by 3 laps? Who did you run with, when did you realise you ran ok and what were some of your achievements?

 

We lived on various farms mostly in Western Victoria, at one time attending a primary school with only 20 kids. My sports were mainly tennis and AFL, but also did a little bit of swimming - I remember mum giving me Violet Crumble the first time I swam 50m, in about grade 4. I swam OK'ish, but never any stand-out. I went OK in tennis, eventually playing in the Geelong Grammar School firsts team, and in footy was once captain and best & fairest in the local U/14 team, and in the school team.

 

At the same time I used to be pretty good at running, which I realised in about yr 7-8 (and won whole school lap-of-the-lake Wendouree, Ballarat, in yr 9) and in year 10 trained for the old Big M Melbourne Marathon, but was DNS due to injury (first of many...). Finally in yr 11 I gave up footy to do cross-country at school, which I loved and really didn't miss the physicality of footy.

 

 

2. Also while we are on your younger years, if you still remember way back then, what other sports did you play? And what lead you to triathlons? Tell us about your first Triathlon? Was it in Ballarat?

 

See above for other sports. Back then (mid-80's) triathlons were very new and I used to read about them in the newspaper and thought it would be great, as an extension to the challenge of just a single sport. My first triathlon was in Jan 1985 (aged 15) at Port Fairy where we used to go for holidays every summer. I still remember running into the nearby toilet / changing block during T1 only to find no one else there, to my surprise!!! I only did tris in summer holidays from boarding school in 85 and 86, but looked forward to finishing yr 12 so I could commit to them a little more.

 

I remember on our farm of training on the roads and measuring the distance on topographical maps, and swimming back and forth in the dam using some baling twine with bits of wood tied to it as a lane rope...and being careful not to stand in the mud for too long because of leeches!!! Triathlon races were much more basic then - no transition fences - but have a lot of great memories from racing in the late-80's.

 

 

3. You have been humbled a few times in sport which unlike many of us is rare. There was the occasion of the 5km and 10km Open Water Swimming Championships. You trained and trained for that and from memory made cutoff by a couple of minutes and finished last. You also ran Olympic Qualifiers for 10,000 and again came last. For both events, I know you gave it everything. Are you comfortable that you prepared 100% or does it burn you that you are “just not good enough”? Tell us about your mindset post these races..

 

Add to that list the 2006 Alpine Classic...OMG!!! I know I'm not the best at anything, but I like to commit 100% to whatever I do...same with these events...to see what it's like, and learn from the process. The Sydney Olympic 10,000m qualifier was an opportunity not to turn down, in mid-Aug in Stadium Australia with the full set-up of screens, timing, etc, and entering the stadium via the underground tunnel from the warm-up track. I got in to make up numbers, basically, via the girls I was running with at the time who went on to run in the 5000m at Sydney. I suspected I'd come last, but didn't care...the experience was worth it. (For the record, I ran 32:44min, splits of 15:52 and 16:52, and got lapped 3 times by the winner).

 

That swimming event gave me a challenge while I was injured, but as usual gave it 100% of my attention. The 10km was seriously the hardest mental thing I've ever done, but once again, the journey of knowing what it's like to train for it and know what it's like to blow-up and die swimming was great, and gave me new respect for swimmers.

 

The common theme was the challenge and to see what my body could accomplish and experience. It was me against me and the course, and I've learned so much from it all that I have no regrets about.

 

 

4. Why we are on negatives, you were never a good (comparatively) bike rider. I know you would have analysed this alot; why do you think you could never overly improve? Also going into a race and knowing you would be one of the first swimmers in your AG and then losing time on the bike. What would you concentrate on in the bike? How much time did you think you could pull back on the run?

 

Ahhh, bike riding. It's only since I stopped that I realised what a torment it was just to go out riding. I learned to like it, but it was tough love for sure. Not sure why I couldn't quite crack it, but did lift my performance over sprint & oly dist to being OK, which took a lot of hard, hard work. In the end I rationalised that I just wasn't cut out to be a good cyclist, especially over IM distance...experiences which also rate as very humbling.

 

In races my approach was that I'd ride as hard as I could and fall back on my run leg to catch up, thinking that even if I ran badly I'd still be catching people - how much I'd make up would vary from race to race and who was in it. Matty Lewis was the toughest racer in this regard in my last season - good rider and runner. This is perhaps why I blew up so many times in 1/2 and full IMs and never quite ran to my potential. But the results are taken at the finish line, not on intermediate splits so I'd aim to be the best I could over whole race however much discomfort was involved. Freak saw the aftermath of that at Shep in 2007...

 

 

5. In early 2008, you won everything including a meat tray in a local raffle. From memory in February you had a lazy few weeks. You won the Olympic Distance National title, then the Sprint Distance National Title on a Saturday and backed it up with the Long Course title on the Sunday. Talk us through this period and how you prepared for it? Is this your greatest sporting achievement or is the 9:22 at IM with your family supporting?

 

I almost achieved the triple the previous season, except for a (dubious?) blocking penalty in the sprint race, so the seeds were already planted. The actual planning and preparation started in about Sept the previous year, aiming for a season long build-up to a peak in Feb, using races as part of the peaking process - I raced 9 times in 8 weeks in that Jan-Feb (3 x sprint, 3 x Oly Dist, 2 x LC, 1 x aquathon). I went to Perth feeling fit and quite confident but the plan was nearly derailed by Bulldog who rode like a demon to about 3-4min up the road. Fortunately for me his dicky calf slowed him up and I managed to edge past him on a hot, hot day. The final pieces were on Sat / Sun at Husky, on a course I knew well and against people I was familiar with, albeit from interstate. The sprint race came down to a very hard run leg against a guy (Roger Souter) I wasn't sure I could outrun...until he dropped back at about 4km mark, but I burned some serious matches doing so. The long course race had the strongest field of all, but there was really only 1 guy I was looking out for, 2006 LC World Champ Matt Wolstencroft (sp?). I was tired and lethargic before, and not sure how I'd go once we started...but to my pleasant surprise I had just about the most perfect race of the my career, physically, mentally and tactically and pulled it off. The finish photo showed my absolute delight in achieving the goal that day. Something I remember from that weekend - and of racing in general - is that even your toughest rivals are such nice people, which made me want to be a good person in turn.

 

The preparation involved a periodised plan aiming for Feb, mentally preparing for the schedule ahead and using races as part of the preparation. For that summer I raced 14 time and won my AG in 11 of them. That summer is up with my greatest sporting achievements (along with Cancun 2002 and GC marathon 2006), whereas 9:22 in Hawaii 2005 was just a pure highlight.

 

 

6. You have your own website with the domain name being your name and went with a global .com domain. Is this because you are still pissed off at Moby for being the DJ you should have been? And Michael Stripe for fronting REM? Discuss...

 

You see, in order to register a com.au you need to have an ABN, and I couldn't be bothered with the hassle of registering my name as a business!!! It also helps that there seems to be no other people with my name in the whole universe (Google + Facebook)...and helps to identify me separately from similar looking Moby, Lee Troop and Mr Stipe...

 

 

7. After staying with me in Port Mac, you retired from triathlons (yet you still swim and ride a bike). Did you retire because interstate trips could never be as good without me? Seriously, why did you stop? Do you see a day you could do a try for fun, or would you have to give it 100%? Say I had a spot in a BRW race, would you fill it to help out? Also talk to us about your mindset during that last race, an IM? I believe you were going to quit on the run?

 

It's hard to say why I retired, except that it seemed the right thing at the right time. For a long time I wondered if I'd become a crusty old triathlete still hacking away in my latter years, since triathlons for me was a huge focus of energy and attention. So in a way I was releived that the urge to keep competing passed, and I made a clean break away from being a triathlete. Part of it was realising it was only my expectations I was trying to meet, and that I was the one who controlled those and they didn't control me. I've got no regrets stepping out of triathlons.

 

That last IM was a big mistake, in hindsight. I won the entry in the 1/2IM series, and after Husky only had about 5 weeks to do some long rides...which was my default weakness anyway. But doing it seemed like a good idea at the time. When I got to about 100km and reached the familiar point of going all weak and pathetic like in most of my IMs, I decided I'd pull out so got back into town, saw some friends and pulled over saying something like "I'm sick of it, not enjoying, don't need to be out here...and I'm going to pull out." They said "You can't do that!!". After a few mins of contemplation I rolled off without any motivation and finished the race, not really enjoying much of, in my slowest IM time of 9:52 or something. At least I beat YoYo!!!

 

I've got no inclination to do another tri at the moment because other things are fulfilling me desires.

 

 

8. You have a 2:32 marathon PB from Melbourne, which is now a few years ago (2007?). You are now able to go to over 40’s events and have plans of running at New York marathon in Nov for a sub 2:30. You also had plans last year, but injury took its toll. How is the training going? What is a standard week? What will your biggest week be?

 

My motivating dream at the moment is a sub-2:30 marathon, which in my advancing years I'm not sure if it is possible. But I really want to give it a try after 3 years plagued with injuries - this time last year I was in a CAM boot just 2.5 weeks post achilles surgery. New York is the big race for the year, but not known for fast times so I'm going to enter Melb marathon and decide closer about whether to race or run it.

 

It took a long time after the operation to re-build both myself and my running - a lot of on-going re-hab and doing some different things. It was a running renovation, to start from scratch. So far so good. Last week was 135km, and with some double run days from now on I hope to get up to 150-160km / wk or so...but I'll see how things go. Generally running is feeling good. I've got some spring in my stride and had some encouraging races...I'm not as fast as I used to be over short distances, but still feel I can run a good marathon. We'll see...but I'll still enjoy the beautiful simplicity of just running.

 

 

9. You have a squeaky clean image despite the fact you have a number of tattoo’s. You despise drugs and compression socks and enjoy the simplicity of just putting runners on and heading out. However, you have every single gadget within the first week of release. Explain this? Also, hypothetically someone you coach comes to you and says they are taking drugs to improve their performance. What do you do?

 

Haha!!! Yes, gadgets are good and useful tools but I see them just enriching the experience rather than changing it. It's great to know exactly how far you've gone and how fast, but doesn't change that you actually still need to run. These tools complement the training, and help to make it more specific to achieving your goals, so to that end they do help. BTW...the new Garmin 610 is sweeeeet!!!

 

If a drug taker came along to our training - and admitted it - I'll tell them how stupid they are and to go away. Same with people who do other unhealthy things like sun baking, smoking, etc.

 

And those tatts...well, the Mr Happy one is there to remind me that come good or bad, to stay upbeat and positive.

 

 

10. Now.... CEM you are getting married. Got to say, like many, I am amazed. She is a great catch and your running group is surprised that she said Yes as she is way out of your league! I know she doesn’t really “do” sport. Are you working on this? And what are you most looking forward to with marriage? Also, have you been preparing for your bucks? Or is it one Strongbow and goodnight?

 

No one is more amazed/surpised than me that I met someone who actually likes me...and we're getting married!!! Wow, what a spin-out!!! It helps that she is also a fantastic catch in so many ways, and I'm absolutely fortunate that we met when we did...I've said to her many times that if we met while I was doing tris I'm pretty sure it would not have happened. To be getting married is surreal since that's always what other people do, not me, and I've thinking about it as "the" wedding rather than "our" wedding. But we're both looking forward to it...last Friday we moved into a house we've bought together, so we're in it for a loooong-term. It's a big change for both of us, but a good change. Good times.

 

Marriage will be good in lots of ways, most of which I don't even know of. Just having her around is a positive influence, so more of that can only be good. I'm going to learn every day about being a better person...even a better husband (that sounds weird!!).

 

When we met she was active, riding a bike to/from work, paddling a kayak, doing some exercise sessions with a friend but always saying she didn't like running. So knock me over with a feather when she and friend say they are doing the Run Melbourne 10km in 12 days time!!!! They're been running consistently since easter, and she even takes her running gear when she goes away...and she's enjoying it!!!! Needless to say I'm wrapped she is enjoying it.

 

The bucks will be good, and I can trust you guys who are organising it. Might pop a no doz since I think it will go way past my bed-time...

 

 

11. Whilst we are on marriage, what size foot do you have? Transitions is going to buy you some compression socks.....

 

Size 9.5, but my due to the surgery my calves are different sizes...

 

 

12. During the later part of your triathlon career, you moved into coaching. I have seen you immensely proud of people achievements from sub 2:40 marathons, Kona IMs to 16:45 IM’s. What gives you the buzz in coaching as I would say you genuinely do it for this reason and not the money. How long can you see yourself coaching for and what have you learnt from it? As someone who has been coached by you face to face since day 1 in running, it has been fantastic. Your support before, during and post race’s, is something many can learn from. Personally, thankyou for IMNZ this year.

 

Coaching, for the short time I've been doing it, has been really rewarding for the people it's brought me into contact with, and the relationships and friendships I've built. It's humbling the faith athletes put/have in you, and their trust. So I feel I have a duty to respond in kind and put my faith and trust in them - and respect - so it is a two-way thing. I put into coaching the energy and enthusiam I hope the athletes put into training, even if they don't. It's kind of leading by example...coaches are leaders to motivate, inspire, support and lift the athletes to do things they only dream they could.

 

I've learnt that athletes are involved for all kinds of reasons, but with a common enjoyment of the actual activity, regardless of what level they're at. Each athlete has their own story, and my job is to understand them for who they are and in doing that, you realise that their actual performance level is irrelevant since each athlete is a real person deserving of the same respect. I want to be "present" whenever an athlete needs me.

 

I've also learned about not over coaching, and that there's a limit to how much you can do...to teach athletes to be self-sufficient both in training and on race day. As a coach you ride and ups and downs with each athlete, during training, racing and more...it's quite involving!!

 

I also think that to be a coach who still has their own sporting goals - as long as coaching and training don't clash - allows athletes to relate to you as an equal, so they know you're going through the same things as they are. It also keeps me in touch with what hard work is all about, so I don't set a session that I don't know what it feels like.

 

 

13. CEM, great people where born on the 10th September including yourself and The Customer. Why is that?

 

9 months after the best xmas party of the year!!!

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11. Whilst we are on marriage, what size foot do you have? Transitions is going to buy you some compression socks.....

 

Size 9.5, but my due to the surgery my calves are different sizes...

 

The greedy b*stard wants TWO pairs!! :lol::D

 

Good read CEM. I still remember your report from the 10K swim and thinking you were mad! :lol:

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Nice job Steno & CEM :lol:

 

look forward to meeting you in person one day and good luck with the wedding!!!

 

BD

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Great read. Thanks.

 

Nice guy. Sorry Cam but you are.

 

Best coach I ever had and I learnt that my limits were way higher than I thought. Had me believing I could run a sub 3hr marathon. Was never going to happen but I believed I could when I lined up, which is a big piece of the puzzle. Ran better that day than I ever thought I could and loved every minute.

 

Catch up soon

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Nice job Steno & CEM :lol:

 

look forward to meeting you in person one day and good luck with the wedding!!!

 

BD

I believe you have already had an encounter on the race track as he ran passed you. Don't feel too bad, it was only a 4minute lead you gave up. :lol:

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Too much innuendo and double entendres for my liking :lol:

 

I know! Marriage and foot size! It's disgusting.

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Good work guys.

 

Humble as always Campbell.

 

Apart from a couple of Fijian friends, I've never met a more quietly spoken guy, your outlook on life has certainly made me look at myself more then a few times!

 

Enjoy your wedding and everything that comes with it Campbell

 

Matt

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That last IM was a big mistake, in hindsight. I won the entry in the 1/2IM series, and after Husky only had about 5 weeks to do some long rides...which was my default weakness anyway. But doing it seemed like a good idea at the time. When I got to about 100km and reached the familiar point of going all weak and pathetic like in most of my IMs, I decided I'd pull out so got back into town, saw some friends and pulled over saying something like "I'm sick of it, not enjoying, don't need to be out here...and I'm going to pull out." They said "You can't do that!!". After a few mins of contemplation I rolled off without any motivation and finished the race, not really enjoying much of, in my slowest IM time of 9:52 or something. At least I beat YoYo!!!

 

I also remember that you qualified for Kona again at that race......................... :lol:

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I also remember that you qualified for Kona again at that race......................... :lol:

It was a roll-down spot and I was hiding in a porta-loo outside when my name was called...

Edited by CEM

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It shouldn't go without mentioning the great work that Campbell has done for the Cancer Council in getting the Moonee Valley, Hobsons Bay and City of Melbourne Relay for Life events up and running. Campbell spent countless hours on these events and helped raise many thousands of dollars for this great cause.

 

Good luck with the wedding mate !

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Well done CEM, great answers from a great fella who gives a lot back to the sporting community and local community (as Max Walker mentioned).

 

BTW - who is this Matty Lewis punk you speak of ??

 

All the best mate.

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