Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
CEM

10 questions with Steno

Recommended Posts

Steno has been around here for a long time, and is well known to many here...I'm fortunate to be one who know him pretty well. So it's quite overdue to feature the man in the 10 questions series - I hope these questions will provide some insight.

 

1. You've played a number of sports in the past - footy, basketball, etc. Tell us about your sporting history.

 

2. Your first tri was the BRW - what was it that appealed to you about triathlons to take up the sport? Tell us about your early days or training and first few races?

 

3. Your knowledge of the sport has always impressed me, along with your understanding of what is required. How did you learn so much ahead of having the actual experience? What are/were the most important things you learned?

 

4. You moved into IMs very quickly - tell us about your path to being an Ironman and your experieces preparing for it?

 

5. Your first IM also featured a unique proposal...tell us what happened?

 

6. You are a very sociable fellow and know / have met many other Trannies. Tell us about some of the notable Trannis you've come to know?

 

7. You have a busy job that has high periods of workload and stress, plus enjoy an equally busy social life. How do you manage the work-life-sport balance?

 

8. You reckon I love gadgets yet you have a great array of equipment yourself, not just limited to your bike. What is your favourite/best piece of gear and why? What are you buying next?

 

9. After a couple of IM disappointments you put together a good day in NZ this year with a big PB on a wet and awful day. Tell us about that day and your best memories from any other race / events you've done?

 

10. What is ahead for you? What are your dreams and aspirations in triathlons?

 

11. What the hell is that picture of in your avatar?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steno has been around here for a long time, and is well known to many here...I'm fortunate to be one who know him pretty well. So it's quite overdue to feature the man in the 10 questions series - I hope these questions will provide some insight.

 

First of all, I have done 10 questions before. Back just prior to IMOZ 2008 I think. Cottoneyes wrote them.

 

1. You've played a number of sports in the past - footy, basketball, etc. Tell us about your sporting history.

 

Best described as a jack of all trades, master of none. I was ok at pretty much everything, but not good at anything. I played a lot of basketball as a kid until about 5years ago where injury and work (perspective of not being in Melbourne for games) caught up. Outside of basketball, cricket was probably my next best sport – I last played in one of the first games of year 12. I was a batter with a good defense and not much else. Cricket annoyed me as we used to leave school on Friday for a game from 2-6pm and 60 overs and then play 110overs from 9-6pm on the Saturday. Essentially a lot of the weekend. I also dabbled a bit in sailing (owned a Minnow, Laser and Laser E at various times), karate, swimming and surf life saving at Gunnamatta.

 

I never really had a competitive streak except with myself.

 

2. Your first tri was the BRW - what was it that appealed to you about triathlons to take up the sport? Tell us about your early days or training and first few races?

 

 

Yep, first tri was BRW 2006. I hadn’t swum for more than 10 years, didn’t own a bike and had never run 4km. A few blokes at work knew I played basketball and roped me in. Next thing I know I am in the pool at lunchtime. I swam fifty meters and clung to the edge of the pool. Wow, reality check! I ran two kms and ended up in a heap on the couch panting for the next hour. I have learnt how to pace myself since then! Race day came around and I loved the atmosphere of it. I loved how you are effectively pushing yourself and doing the best you can. Your position really doesn’t matter, your effort does.

 

 

 

Interesting you ask about my next few races. I would guess that I have done around 10 tri’s in my life. 4 being IM’s. The next race was a gatorade race in Dec 2006. It was 40 odd degrees. I walked most of the run and past a lot of people! I got across the finish line and loved it. Signed up for an Olympic distance in March 2007 in Geelong and did it, again walking a bit of the run. I have not done an Olympic distance race since. I signed up for IMAUS in April 2007 for the 2008 race. And the journey was just about to start!

 

 

 

3. Your knowledge of the sport has always impressed me, along with your understanding of what is required. How did you learn so much ahead of having the actual experience? What are/were the most important things you learned?

 

 

Everything in life that I do I try to maximise the potential outcome. I knew I didn’t have the fitness/base nor was I prepared to make triathlon my life. It is part of who I am, not who I am.

 

 

 

So logic told me to surround myself with people who had achieved in the sport and were willing to share. I am very analytical in what I do at work and need to rely on a number of people for my team to have success. I semi-built a team around me for Ironman. People needed to understand where I was coming from and what I wanted and on the other side I needed to understand them. I have no interest in spending 20hours a week on triathlon and missing going out with my mates on a Saturday night. People who were assisting me needed to understand this, I also by nature of the work that I do, don’t have regular hours. In 2007, I travelled for 22weeks of the year. Regular training in groups was not possible.

 

 

 

So who was the support group? I had no friends who were into triathlon, but I had found Transitions. “Out in the Country” without a doubt made me realise it was possible and provided me with a strong foundation to work from. Every fortnight we used to correspond, he would listen and create a program around me for the following fortnight. The Grinch was invaluable in her help and assistance and words of wisdom. She was the only person that I could chat to face to face. We went for a long run and a ride together and she made me realise it was up to me. She tee’ed me up with other athletes and do some training together. She was fantastic. These two people directly enabled me to complete IMAUS 2008.

 

 

 

I also read a lot – every single night I tried to educate myself in every aspect of triathlon. Every weekend I went and watched a race to learn. Every message on Transitions was a potential gold mine. I learnt a lot from the likes of Jimmy C, Fluro, CEM, AP, Green Machine and Plazbot; as well as others.

 

 

 

What was the most important thing I learnt? Along with listening to people and that includes everyone, not just those with trophy’s in a cabinet. Consitency is key. Execution of sessions – understand the purpose and do. And finally, know yourself and your equipment. Special mention must go to Otter at Cyclespeed and also Dr.Karl who used to work there. I was in the shop at least once a month as we dialed in my position. Never did I feel it was a hassle to them and I am forever thankful for the time they spent with me.

 

 

 

 

 

4. You moved into IMs very quickly - tell us about your path to being an Ironman and your experieces preparing for it?

 

 

Why did I do an Ironman? It was a test; I test myself mentally most days. This was an opportunity to test myself physically. In the end as long as you do the training, it remains a mental challenge.

 

 

 

Essentially I got a program as mentioned above and followed that. I quickly learnt consistency and execution was the key. I learnt not to try to make up for missed sessions. I learnt to ensure I was not neglecting any particular leg. I learnt that running was boring and riding was long! But what I really learnt was about myself. I was lucky that my then GF was working in regional Victoria, so I could be selfish with my time. Can’t exactly remember the program but I had a long run mid week (maybe Wednesday night). It was for up to 2:30hours. I hated it but knew I had to do it. Basically I would run for 1:15hour, turn around and run back the exact same way. If I got back in less time than 2:30hours then it was ok. I must have negatively split every run! I hated it and would get home in a shaking mess looking for anything to eat. I remember on shorter runs I had a 10km loop and a 12km loop. I would do either/or and would visualise the race over and over in the 3 to 4months prior. I would run along with my arms in the air hearing Mike saying “You are an Ironman” like when I used to watch on Wide World of Sport.

 

 

 

Riding: I am teamed up with a mate’s riding group. I still ride with these guys who are all 20+ years older than me. It is an absolute pleasure. I ride with a guy who is 60 one morning a week at 5:20. I love that he has a son my age (I do not know him) and he is still fit and active and a role model. I wish to be the same.

 

 

 

Swimming: Well, I swam and swam and swam until I got my fitness back. No where near the speed I was in the mid 1990’s but am confident. I learnt quiet quickly that swimming was not going to be a problem; in essence it is an entrée to the main course of Bike/Run.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.
Your first IM also featured a unique proposal...tell us what happened?

 

Yep. I proposed to my GF during IMAUS 2008. It was planned and the fantastic Scuba Steve who I have not meet or been able to thank in person provided a sticker that I could stick on my back that said “Will you marry me?”. During the run leg, on the second lap, an assistant got it out of special needs and stuck it to my back as I was refuelling. I ran past my GF and got a yes. It made for an even more special day. I chose to do it out on course rather than cliché in the finish shute. The finish shute for me is all about the athlete and a recognition of their effort. I don’t believe in it being anything else: including children down the shute!!

 

 

 

6. You are a very sociable fellow and know / have met many other Trannies. Tell us about some of the notable Trannis you've come to know?
Yeah I like to meet people. I love how everyone is different and how this makes up the fabric of society and the world. I am lucky to have travelled extensively throughout Asia, Europe, Africa and the Pacific. I have a piece of paper at home saying that I have a degree in Human Behaviour with a focus on Cultural and Change Behaviour. It intrigues and fascinates me. So back to people from Trannies. Yes, I have meet quite a few and won’t name all as I am bound to miss people; so will share some experiences. You create beliefs for what people from Trannies are like and then you can see how this matches in real life. On the whole, only one person has been different.

 

 

 

The WSTC mob of Pete, GSP, Matty, The Grinch, Smoothie and Sam (whatever his trannie name is) have always been of great support. Matty continues to inspire me and I wish him the very best for Kona.

 

 

 

Kitesurfa: One of the nicest blokes you will ever meet and would do anything for you. I am glad he achieved his dream at IM.

 

 

 

Girls: PJA, Fezza, Simone, Humdrum and Jester and Boys; Prhino, Cottoneyes and Damien613: Saw them at a lot of races in 2008 and they were always smiling and positive.

 

 

 

The Alpine Classic crew of The Customer, Bourne, Will and T-Bird, Mango, Jen Runs, Kal, Fatpom, Donncha and various others. Even Tyler Durden who had a chat to me up Falls Creek one year. I love the fact that I can go to a bike ride and speak to some great people. Still surprised that T-Bird said yes to Will and that Kylee is a girl!

 

 

 

People I have meet at IM’s. Will The Frenchman and Bulldog in particular. I had a very difficult Busso 2009. It is my proudest race and by far my hardest thing mentally. Bulldog and WTF had a chat to me the following day when I needed it. The probably don’t realise the difference it made to me.

 

 

 

Funny enough, AP. During the same Busso race AP saw me on what probably was his last lap, he also most stopped to ask if I was ok and to keep moving. He had no idea it was me other than wearing a Trannie hat. Things like that, show you what a special community triathletes are and also Transitions.

 

 

 

The Shep crew of Hymie, Mrs Hymie and Ayto: Seen me at my worst and at my best. Every single time they could not have done any more. Fantastic people who have a great viewpoint on life and triathlon.

 

 

 

I am sure there are more that I have missed and this is not deliberate.

 

 

 

 

 

Edit: Quotes
:angry:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Steno

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

7. You have a busy job that has high periods of workload and stress, plus enjoy an equally busy social life. How do you manage the work-life-sport balance?

 

Yeah work is challenging: I love it. It gets me out of bed. I love to achieve at work and more importantly I love for my team to achieve in making a difference. My role is unique that our (my teams) work output directly effect’s the livelihood of 10’000’s of businesses in Australia and New Zealand. It is not something I take lightly and we commit to make a real, measurable difference.

 

Socially, I have a wide and varied friendship group and my wife even more so. I would do anything possible to help out and support my friends and family. This is a non-negoatiable. Triathlon fits in as my number three. For the last 12weeks before a race, triathlon probably goes up the list a little and work, family and friends can accept this for a short period. For instance, I had a number of friends in 2009 who held their wedding after Ironman Australia. I had 10 weddings in 11 weeks post race! You can’t keep neglecting your family and friends. I work on average 7:30-7:00pm and my wife works shifts. It is a bit of a balancing act and if anything gets cut back outside of three months before a race, it is training.

 

 

8. You reckon I love gadgets yet you have a great array of equipment yourself, not just limited to your bike. What is your favourite/best piece of gear and why? What are you buying next?

 

Best piece of gear? Probably a power meter. It means I know exactly where I am at with riding and pacing strategy for a good run. If you can find $1000 it is worth it! Favourite piece of gear? Di2. Most realiable piece of gear? You! What am I buying next? Haven’t purchased anything for over a year. Next thing on my list is a new road bike. I am looking very hard at a Baum. I am probably 12months+ away from purchasing one. It is likely to be my last bike for 10years.

 

9. After a couple of IM disappointments you put together a good day in NZ this year with a big PB on a wet and awful day. Tell us about that day and your best memories from any other race / events you've done?

 

The day and whole event was interesting. After a shocking IMAUS 2010 where I let my guard down and tried to be more relaxed in prepartions, I was fastidious with my preparation for IMNZ. I had a pretty good run in training and was confident coming into race day that I could achieve my three goals: Sub 6 bike, Sub 4:30 run and Sub 12hour IM. All were PB’s. The swim got off to a shaky start as sighting and body size usually my key strengths. On the way out to the turn around I could not sight the bouys at all and wen massively of course a number of times; once I was swimming to the return bouys! Coming back the sun had risen and I must have neg split by over 5mins.

 

Onto the bike and everyone passed me in the first 50km. The last 30km, I passed probably 50+ people and had people yelling at me that I had to learn to swim better; not realising that I was basically pacing flat for the entire ride. My confidence grew. I ran into the change tent and out and was on my way.

 

I ran into Sunnygirl, not long into my run and I would have to say that is my best memory of my race. We kept each other going and pushed ourselves. The cold took effect on both of us and we kept on going. Not allowing each other out of our sights. This continued for near 35kms. She is what the sport is about. The other great memory of the race is the support I got from spectators. It was horrible conditions. To have my tri club’s support all around the bike and run course was unbelievable. To have a coach freezing and saturated out on course supporting you the whole way made it special. It showed to people how important others are in your life: not just in a race.

 

10. What is ahead for you? What are your dreams and aspirations in triathlons?

 

Mate, you should know this. I have no dreams left in triathlon. My life is gearing up to move into the next phase….. I will enter IM Melb, but I may need to pull out due to family and work commitments. I can accept this. Either way, I will not commit to IM Melb any more than 10hours a week of training as triathlon is not my priority. Some can’t cope with that, I can and I am the one who is doing the sport. I look forward to doing a race in front of family and friends so they can experience what keeps pulling me back to IM. It really is a feeling that is indescribable.

 

11. What the hell is that picture of in your avatar?

 

It’s a pair of flippers on a beach. Probably the only thing I could do when I joined Trannies was swim, so that was the picture.

 

Cheers for the questions.. hopefully that gives you a little more insight into who I am.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great read Steno- I love how you created an 'Ironman team' around you before your first Ironman, and also admire how you maintain such a great balance between work, home and triathlon in your busy life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice work Steno.

Was great to see you put a good race together in NZ last year. I had a ball spectating this year and you are part of the reason I signed up. Hopefully I can put a day together like you managed to.

Cheers

Ayto

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cant believe i didnt get a mention, gave u no doubt the best arse grope of your life..... Or was that grinch.... Actually it was probably both....

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"My life is gearing up to move into the next phase…."

 

Cryptic, anyone taking bets?

 

No need for bets. Looks like I am becoming a father in the same week that I do IM Melb.......

 

Still doesn't change my opinion on kids in the finishers shute!! :lol:

Edited by Steno

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Soooo, if Amber goes in to labour On Saturday the 24th of March, do you still race?

 

Negative, I would withdraw. Her doctor goes on leave on the 23rd, so it is unlikely to be the 24th which is lucky.

Edited by Steno

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×