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Good Morning Geoff, thanks for appearing.

 

You are a Kona Qualified triathlete which makes you an interesting subject.

You combine work, family and a fairly high level of sports,and you get things

done. You don't spend hours on the forum, but you will put in some good bits

now and then.

 

I think people respect you. That's why you are invited to appear here.

 

MANDATORY INTRO QUESTIONS.

 

Insert your answers and move to Ten Questions. RBR, Brett Weick did them one by one which seems to be a

good way to go. Not to get bogged down and have a breather between each question.

 

 

 

 

1.Who are you in real life? Talk about your life, your work, family. Where did you grow up and where do

you live. You told me you are 52 so in the middle of AG 50-54. Submit your bio narrative form. You are

a busy man, so elaborate on that also.

 

 

2.Earlier sports background. Judging from where you live it had to be either AFL or League? What else?

And how far did you go in those sports. You're a good runner, so did you win races at school? How did

you get into triathlon and when was your first event.

Edited by Kamal2

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TEN QUESTIONS.


1.You did your first race in 1994. Then did Forster '95, the full IM on an old steel bike. You went ok
too. 165th overall racing behind some bloke called Welch and a few others. I reckon you didn't even
know who Welchy was at that point. Talk in detail about that, the training, the build up, race day,
the whole experience.

2.What happened next? Where you hooked from then on?


3. There's a bit of a gap after that, 17 years until your next full IM.
But you were not idle. You raced often and had good results across the board.
Any career highlights you might care to mention. ITU Worlds? How did you get
on there?

4. And as you told me you connected with some pretty high level athletes. The
3 trannies, Hilz and Mjainoz, Michael Anderson, Alex Holbrook all of them no
slouches. Was that a friendly rivalry and have those friendships been maintained?

5. Same era, probably from 2000 onwards up to present day, you started running
solo events. You put up some good performances there too. City to Surf, how
many times now? What was your best finish, AG and overall?

6. Geoff, backtrack a little. You said from 1994 you belonged to the Wagga
tri club. Are you still current there? That's over 20 years, so how has that
helped you along the way. Do you train solo or in a group?




7. So Forster 1995 and no more full IM's until 2012. And got the Kona Q
straight up. So cutting all cinnamon how did you manage that? Where did you
get the KQ?

8. How did you get on at Kona. Talk about the whole experience. The race itself
Here's your race report for people to open and read?

http://forums.transi...showtopic=57767


9. Now Geoff, that is one hell of an interesting story and I hope you elaborated
that. You could have perhaps gone it alone, but you had family with you all the
way. Talk about that and how each family member contributed or blended
into the scene.

10. Mate at 52, you have started to slow down, or at least there's a natural
decline. Since you are still active in the sport, what goals would you outline
for the future? Short term goals within 1-3 years while still racing 50-54.
And long term goals 5-10 years ahead. Edited by Kamal2

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BONUS QUESTIONS.

 

1.How many total medals (Gold, Silver and Bronze)has Australia won in the Olympic Marathon.

 

 

2. The USA, incidentally has 13 in total. 4 Golds, 3 Silver, 6 Bronze.

 

The 1908 event was won by Johnny Hayes (USA) on disqualification. No look up, but you might have

to. The race winner was famously disqualified. Do you have any idea why?

 

3. PEDS are rampant these days across all sports. Especially out of competition regimes with

an objective of avoiding detection. Kenyans and Ethiopians further boost their already high Hct

levels.

 

Given all possible scenarios, drug testing might ultimtely fail to indentify high profile PED

users.

 

How would you tackle this and is there any case for legalization of PEDS?

 

4. I am guessing that Wayne Carey is the highest achieving sportsman to come out of Wagga? Have

you met him? How would he be viewed in the community currently and would he be well accepted

there?

Edited by Kamal2

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Looking forward to this. GE is one of if not the nicest / caring guys I have met in 3+ decades in this self obsessed sport :). The fact that when he trains a little he is a damn good athlete just adds to it.

 

Bring it on GE. Lift your skirt and show us what ya got!

Edited by Mjainoz
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Good Morning Geoff, thanks for appearing.


You are a Kona Qualified triathlete which makes you an interesting subject. You combine work, family and a fairly high level of sports, and you get things done. You don't spend hours on the forum, but you will put in some good bits now and then.


I think people respect you. That's why you are invited to appear here.


Thanks Kamal, I’m feeling a bit special to have been asked to participate in this section of the forum, but I can assure you that there’s nothing all that different about me compared to most of the other players out there trying to get the most out of themselves and life in general. We all share a common interest in triathlon and all struggle with the challenge of fitting our conflicting priorities into the limited time that we have available.


I like to think that I’ve got my priorities right, but who knows. This triathlon caper is a very selfish sport and it can attract some very egotistical and selfish characters that seem to think that the world revolves around them, and yes I’m probably one of them. But I’ve always said that in order to help anyone else you first need to be able to help yourself. My wife has always said that I’m a better person when I’m able to get out and do some sort of exercise, and as much as I hate to admit it, I know she’s right.


I’ll do my best to get this bio done over the next day or so but it’s going to be interesting. We’ve just left home and are currently on our 17 Hour road trip to QLD to participate in the 70.3 World Champs in Mooloolaba. I usually do most of the driving, and we need to call in to visit some people along the way, so finding a few minutes to do this might be a bit of a battle. In the first question you ask me about being busy so this is probably a good example of this… We were meant to be leaving yesterday morning and were going to drive straight up the inland route through Gundy to Brisbane, but my new grandson ended up in hospital being tested for Meningococcal Disease after recently being exposed to another bub and displaying some of the symptoms. Then my brother, who has just had a knee replacement operation in Sydney, has reacted badly and they think might have suffered a minor heart attack which has left him delirious and confused… So, after my wife spending all day at the hospital yesterday with our grandson we are now on our way to see my bro at a hospital in Sydney before finally making tracks to have a week’s holiday in sunny old QLD.


Not that I’m complaining about being busy, no doubt most people are busy and we all have things come up at the last minute to keep us on our toes, but we seem to be continually bouncing from one thing to another. We take lots of things on and try to fit as much into this short life as possible. Life’s still good and I don’t regret it one bit!


Somehow over the next few days I’d also like to get a bit of training done. I’ve got what should be one of my most important races of my career next weekend and I’ve done bugger all training for it, including nothing at all for the past week. Partly because of not being well, but also because of other priorities such as work, family and now travel. I often make do on minimal training, but you need to be doing something, especially over this distance.



1. Who are you in real life? Talk about your life, your work, family. Where did you grow up and where do you live. You told me you are 52 so in the middle of AG 50-54.

Submit your bio narrative form. You are a busy man, so elaborate on that also.


Geoff Breese – 52 and Male (last time I checked).


Married to the beautiful Cathy, and have 4 great kids – Dan, Mick, Sam & Nathan. All boys (I kept telling my wife that we should now try for 4 girls, but she didn’t see the funny side of it!). I also now have a 5 month old grandson, Benji. He’s a full on time waster, but once again well worth it.


I grew up in a very small Central West town called Naradhan. It’s about half way between Rankins Springs and Lake Cargelligo (that helps eh!). It’s roughly 5 hours west of Sydney – for those people that don’t get out much. When I say small I mean very small, almost non-existent. When I was in my final year at primary school there were only 11 kids in the entire school. Once the other kid and I finished 6th class and went to high school there was only 9! But school was brilliant, we had the coolest teacher for the last couple of years, a guy by the name of Tony Zerbst. He had a major impact on me and my love of sports as we used to spend most of our days running around the school yard playing all manner of sports from soccer to baseball to made up sports such as slog-it where you used these big timber paddle bats to belt a ball from one end of the school yard to the other in a rafferty’s rules type of game where you could throw it, kick it, tackle your opponent or whatever else you wanted to do. Either way we didn’t spend much time doing school work! Years later I read that Tony and one or two of his sons got into Triathlon in the early days and had some pretty good race results.


Growing up in the bush was brilliant, but there’s not much work out there so I moved to Sydney to get a trade when I was 15 and ended up becoming a Plumber (I guess that explains putting spouts on all 4 of my kids!). After finishing my apprenticeship I worked for myself for a short while in Sydney while renovating a couple of houses in Balmain and Rozelle. I met my wife in Sydney but she was from Wagga Wagga so as soon as we had kids we moved back to her home town and have been here ever since. Life in Wagga Wagga is fairly casual and it’s not a bad place to raise kids.


I gave up the tools about 15 years ago and after short stint teaching at TAFE I took up a role in State Government working for Land & Housing. It’s frustrating seeing the waste in government spending, but I work with a pretty good group of dedicated public servants so I guess I’m a bit luckier than most. We had a restructure about 5 months ago and the job hasn’t been the same since. It’s more stressful than it’s ever been, we are working longer, harder and have been less productive than ever before. I had a chance to take a redundancy but I declined it… silly bugger!



2. Earlier sports background. Judging from where you live it had to be either AFL or League? What else?

And how far did you go in those sports. You're a good runner, so did you win races at school? How did you get into triathlon and when was your first event.


Like I said above we played a lot of sports in primary school. The main sports were Rugby League and Cricket. It was pretty funny when we had to make up school teams to play other schools, because our school was so small we had to combine with another school and even then had to select all the boys from 4th, 5th and 6th class to make up the numbers. We were hopeless but we had a great time! It was bad enough being my size on a footy field and trying to tackle a rampaging front rower that was 3 or 4 years older than I was, but facing cricket balls dealt up by the same kids on a badly cracked up concrete pitch was the pits!


I did enjoy Rugby League, but unfortunately didn’t go on with it after I left school. I also grew up riding motor bikes and doing a lots of water skiing. I did a few zone championships etc, but was never serious enough about it to go any further. The guys I used to ski with went on to have a number of category wins at the Bridge to Bridge and Southern 80 etc.


As far as running and swimming events etc, I did ok but nothing special. Some of the other sports that I’ve had a go at and won trophies in since leaving school include Bike Racing, Squash, Orienteering, Kayaking and Rally Driving. I’d have a go at just about anything and would have a fair crack at it but wouldn’t call myself particularly talented at any of them.


I didn’t actually get into triathlon until 1994 when I was in my 30’s.

Edited by Go Easy
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Looking forward to this...

 

Talk about putting a bloke under pressure! Cheers mate, I'll pay you later! :msn-wink:.

 

Bring it on GE. Lift your skirt and show us what ya got!

 

Ok... Just remember, you asked for it!

 

The above will wet your taste buds until I get a chance to get into the Ten Questions tomorrow. See you in a few days!

Edited by Go Easy
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Geoff.

 

Suggest mate you tackle those questions one by one, maybe over time.

 

Flowing very well so far, so that's what people want. A good informational read.

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Looking forward to this. GE is one of if not the nicest / caring guys I have met in 3+ decades in this self obsessed sport :). The fact that when he trains a little he is a damn good athlete just adds to it.

 

Bring it on GE. Lift your skirt and show us what ya got!

Ditto. When the going got tough at home with dad and his cancer treatment, GE always asked how the old man was going and if I needed any help with anything.

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TEN QUESTIONS.


1.You did your first race in 1994. Then did Forster '95, the full IM on an old steel bike. You went ok too. Talk in detail about that, the training, the build up, race day, the whole experience.


Basically, I started doing tri's in 1994 with the sole intention of only ever doing one race, the Forster Ironman in 1995. I’d seen the MMM race at Manly in the early 80’s on WWS on TV and I vowed that one day I’d have a crack at it.


When I first joined the tri club and finally got started in the sport it was only about 9 months before the Forster Ironman in 1995. Forster was the only race that I actually wanted to do and I only wanted to finish it so I just focused on doing enough training to finish each leg within the cut off times. You didn't have to qualify for Forster way back then but they said on the entry form that you had to write down an event that you’d done just to show that you knew what you were doing. I contacted the phone number on the entry form and they said any race would do but mentioned that the NSW Sprint Champs was the Richie Walker Memorial Triathlon at Kurnell and it was on soon, so I thought it would be a good one to do.

I wasn't super keen on doing a 'State Championship' race as I felt totally out of my depth, but I turned up on my old steel Repco bike and had a go. I was hopeless and during the race I kept thinking about how there is no way I could do this sport as it was just too hard!!!


I made it through the race, finished well back in the field, but was feeling pretty happy with myself for making through a full triathlon. Over the PA they were giving updates about some bloke named Greg Welsh who was about to win the Hawaiian Ironman. He was a Shire local, and I think from memory Richie Walker was the guy who introduced him to triathlon in the first place, so the atmosphere was really amazing. There was a lot of cheering and carrying on and I guess I just got suckered in to the whole thing. I’d picked a really cool race to do as my first ever triathlon. It was a pretty special day and I've been hooked on the sport ever since!


Forster 1995


After doing the Richie Walker Triathlon and getting hooked, I had a change of plans and decided to enter and do as many local races as I could get to. It was a good move as there’s nothing better than regular racing to really get some improvements. I did lots of racing on the old steel Repco, but a mate talked me into buying a new Apollo before the Forster race.


Forster was great. The water was cold, the roads were rough and the course was windy. Overall it was probably the best Ironman race I’ve done or even seen. In lots of ways it was even better than Kona. The atmosphere, the volunteers and the people out on the course were amazing. It was a special race and only those that ever raced there would probably really understand. I did much better than I expected and finished in about 165th in 10:38:18. Even back then this time was nowhere near quick enough to get a Kona spot in the younger age groups.


Like I said before, my main goal with this race was just to finish, so I tended to do lots of easy k’s just to make sure I had the ability to complete the distance. I think there’s a lesson in this for all those people on here contemplating doing their first Ironman but are not so sure if they can do it. I reckon the secret is to just focus on the cut-off times and making sure that you stay ahead of them, and from there anything else you achieve is just a bonus. The finishers shirt, the towel and the medal are exactly the same whether you finish in 9 hours or you finish in 15 hours so you may as well get your money’s worth and just enjoy the experience.

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2.What happened next? Where you hooked from then on?


I had a young family, so after Forster in ‘95 I parked the bike and announced my retirement from triathlon. I even tried to sell my wetsuit etc as I had no intention of ever doing another race. I wanted to keep going, but there were other more important things in my life at the time. I’d also witnessed the damage that triathlon obsessions could have on families and I was scared that I could be that person that just didn’t know when enough was enough.


But… my wife and kids were really supportive and encouraged me to stay involved in the sport. I wasn’t doing the training that I’d been doing before and for several years I just dabbled in the sport and did the odd event here and there. Like I keep saying, I’ve never really been worried about results, I just liked getting out and having a go.


I got into bike racing with my kids for a couple of years and that was pretty cool. Cyclists are a pretty serious bunch, but when you show them that you’re prepared to do more than your fair share of the work load to give them a chance at a sprint finish they are usually fairly good to get along with. It all came to a crashing holt in 2003 though when another riding fell in front of me and I ‘T-Boned’ him and flew over the bars to land upside down on my shoulder and smashed my collarbone into a million pieces.


The crash was a blessing in disguise though as although it had to be pieced back together with this OP1 putty (prosthetic bone) stuff and Dacron bands to replace the tendons, it ended up that as a result of the rehab from the shoulder reconstruction I started getting back into triathlons again and ended up going to my first World Champs in Madeira in 2004 before once again pulling the pin and retiring.


Then about 10 years ago I went to the doctors to have a couple of sun spots burnt off and she told me I looked lousy and that she’d better give me a full check-up. She reckoned my blood pressure was through the roof and told me that I’d have to go on blood pressure tablets. I objected vigorously as I’d seen my mother go on blood pressure tablets and she never got off them. The Doc gave me an ultimatum that if I watched what I ate, exercised regularly, lost some weight and stressed less then she’d let me stay off them. I dropped about 20 kilo’s, started doing some regular weekly running races and monthly duathlons again, and gained a newfound love of training and racing hard.


Results started coming and I liked pushing myself to see how much more I could improve. I never took it all that serious, but I did like to push the limits. I had a really good mate, Neil Measday, that I trained and raced with a fair bit. We had a lot of similar race times and seemed to spur each other along to achieving better results. It was a good time and we had a lot of fun.

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3. There's a bit of a gap after that, 17 years until your next full IM.

But you were not idle. You raced often and had good results across the board.

Any career highlights you might care to mention. ITU Worlds? How did you get

on there?


Since I’d already been to a World Champs and my mate Neil hadn’t we both decided to have a go at qualifying for the World Champs on the Gold Coast in 2009. I’d already done an Olympic Distance event so thought I’d do the Sprint Distance this time around. We trained and raced hard at the qualifying races and both got a start. My race at the Worlds was a bit mucked up and I didn’t have the best race. I’m a relatively poor swimmer and usually rely on a good bike leg to get me back in the game. But there were road works, the road was narrow and there were a heap of riders riding on the wrong side of the road and you just couldn’t get past. It was a nightmare. I finished 19th in my Age Group in what I thought was a really disappointing time of 1:08:38, but I did have a great time of it.


My best ever world champs race result on paper was probably my 9th in AG at the World ITU Sprint Champs in Beijing in 2009. This race result was made even sweeter because it was done on a $300 bike!


After this I did a number of other ITU World Championships - 9 of them in total including Aquathon, Sprint, Olympic and Long Course.


I won’t list them all here, but my ITU Race results are on their website if anyone is interested - http://www.triathlon.org/athletes/results/32138/geoff_breese


Note – It’s pretty cool being able to go to the ITU website, do a search on your own name and find a listing of all your previous race results. It’s a pity that TA don’t do the same sort of thing here for all the Australian Championship results.


Back home at the Australia Championships, some of my best race results include Age Group podiums in:


2011 Sprint Distance Champs – Canberra – 2nd

2011 Duathlon Champs – Barossa Valley – 3rd

2014 Australian Cross Tri Champs – Bendigo – 2nd

2016 Long Course Champs – Goondiwindi – 2nd


I always wanted to get on the podium at the Olympic Distance Champs as well but so far have only managed to get 4th place twice. I might have to do a bit of training and try again next year eh? But, you’re only ever as good as the ones who show up on the day and even I’m not deluded enough to think that I’ve ever been one of the top 3 fastest guys in my Age Group if they were all fit and all turned up on the same day!


Apart from these big races I’ve also done a lot of smaller low key events, usually because they are so much fun and really the essence of what I reckon triathlon racing should be about. The Triple Tri is a good example, it's about as low key as you can get but it's a great event and a real challenge. It's definitely up there as one of my favourites and it's a race that I’d like to do again. Last year I won the over 50’s and broke the age group record by over 30 minutes, but I reckon I can still improve on that time a fair bit with the right training. Trannies have traditionally done pretty well at this race in the past, with IvP taking out the overall win a couple of years ago and Mungo being a category winner and record holder as well. But don’t be fooled if you’re thinking about doing the full event solo as most people consider it to be tougher day out than most Ironman events.

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4. And as you told me you connected with some pretty high level athletes. The

3 trannies, Hilz and Mjainoz, Michael Anderson, Alex Holbrook all of them no

slouches. Was that a friendly rivalry and have those friendships been maintained?


I knew Alex Holbrook and Hiltz before coming on here, but I didn't know they were Trannies. We'd previously had many good battles at our local club duathlons and road running events. They could both run like the wind in their younger days so were always pretty good competitors. Now they’re just getting older and slower – not like us young blokes!


I first met Michael Anderson (Mjainoz) at the World Champs at Beijing where I watched him get on the Age Group podium, and I have caught up with him at a number of races since then. No real rivalries, I wish them all well and am more than happy to see them beat me. Mjainoz and I would probably give each other a run for their money if we could both make it to the same event injury free and actually have a decent race, but he's a great bloke so I don't really see him as a rival. Plus he’s a whole heap older than me, so I need to take it easy on the decrepit old bugger! Trannies is a great site and it's certainly played a big part in me remaining in the sport and continuing to enjoy it.

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5. Same era, probably from 2000 onwards up to present day, you started running solo events. You put up some good performances there too. City to Surf, how many times now? What was your best finish, AG and overall?


City to Surf this year I was over six minutes slower than the times I was running 5 or 6 years ago but I still got under the hour (59:27) so considering I'm now 52 and haven't really put in any decent training then I'm reasonable happy with that! Previous C2S times were 2009 - 53:52; in 2010 - 53:04; and in 2011 - 53:22. Not sure where these times put me in AG and overall, still well back I’m guessing, but they did get me several ‘preferred starts’ which was bloody brilliant as while the rest of the 60,000 odd people are packing in like sardines behind the barriers, you get to turn up at the last minute and do a few warm ups with the elites jogging up and down William St before getting to start just a couple of rows back from the front of the entire field. It’s pretty cool eh RBR, but somehow I think my days of ‘preferred starts’ is now well and truly over!


Over the past couple of years I’ve also been getting into a bit of Trail Running. Glow Worm Tunnel would have to be one of my favorites and I’ve managed to win the Over 50’s in the half there for the past two years. Might have to go again next year to try and defend my title again. But ultimately it will depend on what friends are going because although it’s a great location and course, it’s the people who help make this a fun weekend.


Last year I also had a crack at doing a 100km run called the Ned Kelly Chase. It’s not a trail run as such but it was a bit of fun. You started in the middle of the night and had to stay ahead of a ‘Trooper’ who was chasing you on a bike. Starting in the middle of the night had it’s own challenges (ask Hiltz) but at least it meant that by the time the sun came up you were well and truly past halfway. I had a couple of friends come down as my support crew and a girlfriend ran the last 40k’s with me which was fantastic. I think you have a certain bond with some of the people who’ve experienced the hard yards with you. There’d be plenty of stories on here about people struggling through the later parts of an IM together at the end of a big day. Anyway, I did the 100k’s in 10:30 which I was pretty happy with at the time, but once again it’s a result I reckon I can improve on with a bit of training.

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6. Geoff, backtrack a little. You said from 1994 you belonged to the Wagga tri club. Are you still current there? That's over 20 years, so how has that helped you along the way. Do you train solo or in a group?

I joined the Wagga Triants Triathlon Club just as it was forming in 1994. We didn't have any formal coaching, we were just a group of people, some with a bit of experience, simply getting out and having a bit of fun. A couple of the founding members of the club were BK Sticks parent’s, Paul and Carmel Kahlefeldt, who are two of the nicest people you’re ever likely to meet. They were both Marathon runners and Carmel particularly was and still is pretty handy in a pair of running shoes. All of the family are pretty sporty and have all had some good results in a range of sports. I regularly still run with some of them and they still feature in plenty of race results.

Yes, I’ve been a member of the club for over 20 years. It was a great club in the early days, and we had a heap of fun training and travelling together to races. We took a bus to the Club Championships at Port Stephens in 2004 and it was one of the best weekends of triathlon racing I’ve ever had, and I was once again ready to retire from the sport after the event as it just couldn’t get any better than that! It’s still a pretty good club but I think too many people just take the sport far too seriously. Sport should be fun and inclusive of everybody, not just the ones who want to do Ironman or look the best in the latest triathlon fashion.

We’re pretty lucky in Wagga Wagga in that the Tri Club, the Cycling Clubs, MTB Club, Wagga Road Runners and a number of other sporting groups all get along fairly well together and share their resources etc. When I was riding I used to love doing the group rides, but over the past few years there seems to be too many cowboys who not only make it unsafe for other riders in the group but some don’t seem to care about other road users either. I guess maybe I was spoilt by the way it used to be in ‘the good old days’!

Either way I don’t mind training on my own anyway, it just depends on the mood I’m in at the time. Looking forward I'm not sure what my Triathlon future holds, I guess I'll just keep doing it while I'm enjoying it. I've always had more running mates than triathlon mates and running is probably my main love now days anyway. Every Wednesday night, rain, hail or shine we run around a hillside for about 8k's and then sit down and have a beer together. They are a great group of people from all walks of life. The 'stubby run' as it's known has been going for over 20 years and it's the thing I'll miss most if I ever have to give this caper up.

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7. So Forster 1995 and no more full IM's until 2012. And got the Kona Q straight up. So cutting all cinnamon how did you manage that? Where did you get the KQ?


I mentioned earlier about training and racing with my good mate Neil Measday. Neil had never done an Ironman but I had, so he decided that he wanted to have a go at the 2011 IM at Port Macquarie and he asked me to do it with him. I’d been fairly busy at the time and I had no intention of doing another Ironman so I declined and Neil went and did the race on his own. He did an 11:02:11 which he was a bit disappointed with, especially his run. He knew he could do better so, although he said he’d only ever do one IM event, he decided he wanted to do it again in 2012. Thanks to a tip-off from someone on here I told him he should hold off entering Port IM because they were about to announce a new IM race in Melbourne set to kick off in 2012. He didn’t believe me and entered Port anyway. So basically we set about working on a plan and doing some training together to help him get the result he deserved and nail his IM run. We talked about goal times and I told him he should be targeting 10 hours. He reckoned I was nuts and said that since we usually did about the same times in most of the races we did I should do Melbourne IM (which had now been announced would be held several weeks before Port IM) and prove it to him that a sub 10 for us old blokes was still possible... So that’s what I set about to do!


Melbourne IM, despite what IvP will tell you, wasn’t that bad a race. The swim start was a bit of a joke, with a number of us sitting at the start cans or trying to get down to the beach while watching the rest of the field swim off into the distance while waiting for the official start. But apart from that the bike leg was fast and the point to point run was interesting with plenty of crowd support along the way. I’d been having a great race up until about 10k’s into the run when I started feeling really crook. I’d been on target for about a 9:45 if I could maintain anywhere near a 5 min/km run pace but it just wasn’t meant to be. Neil and another mate had been following Cam Brown and a few other elites on the run course on their bikes, and then they doubled back to support and follow me over the last 8 or so k's where I was really starting to suffer. They were great and kept me going when I could have easily just pulled the pin. They had the Km markers on the path so I kept looking at my watch and was constantly recalculating my pace and my expected finish time to make sure that I was coming in under 10 hours. The only trouble was that I was working it out based on the Marathon being 42km, when in fact it's actually 42.2km… my finish time 10:01:07. Bugger!


I remember Neil phoning me as soon as I came out of the medical tent really excited about my result. I don’t have many regrets in life but I do remember saying that I was really disappointed that I hadn’t broken my goal of 10 hours. I’d run a really fair race and stuffed up my nutrition and that was it, I should have been over the moon with my result but at the time I wasn’t. My mate Neil had a heart attack a couple of weeks later and past away shortly after. It was a total shock and really devastating for his family, his friends, myself and a huge chunk of the Wagga sporting community that knew him. He was really well respected and his attitude to sport and his support of others was the best I’ve ever witnessed and I constantly endeavor to be even half as good as him.


Anyways back on track, after failing to achieve my goal in Melbourne IM and courtesy of some free airfares that Alan Joyce and his mates at QANTAS had organised for us after cancelling a flight due to the baggage handler dispute several months earlier, I entered the race at Cairns which had recently changed from being a Challenge race to being yet another WTC Ironman event. With Neil’s funeral and time spent with his family, together with a general lack of motivation to train, I went into the Cairns race really not expecting too much at all and just prepared to have a crack and see what happens. My swim was good (slow like usual but ok for me), my bike was good and spot on 5 hours, and the run was hot… damn hot, especially through the cane fields. Running’s my favourite bit so I just kept enjoying it and pushed hard confident that this time I’d break 10 hours. We ran multiple laps of the promenade and the first time I passed my wife Cathy she told me that I was winning my age group. Cool, I thought, I didn’t expect that! Macca’s wife was standing next to Cathy and heard her say it so she pointed out that there were two race trackers and that there were a couple of people who weren’t showing up on one of the trackers – one of them was Chris Southwell and sure enough he was in my age group. When I came back passed her she broke the news to me, but said I was still in second and third was a couple of minutes behind. By this stage I was starting to feel a few cramps starting to pinch and knowing that I was susceptible to them I decided I didn’t really care if I came second or third but didn’t want to drop out of the top three so I finished the race fairly comfortable, really happy with my result of 9:51:16 and feeling really good! Once again I ended up in the medical tent and this time even in hospital, but that’s a whole other story on its own.


Long story short, by finishing top 3 in Age Group I qualified for Kona, yet I had no intention or desire to even go to Kona. My wife was the one who talked me into accepting my Kona spot and for that I’ll be eternally grateful. It was a great call and for someone who doesn’t really follow triathlon she read that one well. Roll on Kona!

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8. How did you get on at Kona. Talk about the whole experience. The race itself

Here's your race report for people to open and read?




Wow, it’s pretty cool reading that again. It brings back lots of good memories. The Undie Run, the show ponies wandering around in the days before the race, the people out smashing themselves in the lava fields, the coffee boat, the swim course, the Island itself, the volunteers, the people and the Trannies that were there all contributed to an amazing experience. I’ll never forget the feeling of my hand hitting the sand when I finished the swim leg and running up the stairs like I’d seen so many others do. Also the relief I felt when I realised that I’d finished the bike leg and there was nothing that was going to stop me finishing the rest of the race.


Like I said in my report, the finish of Kona is like no other event. It’s special, and to run my fastest ever marathon there was just the icing on the cake. I reckon Neil might have been keeping an eye on me that day and I hope I did him proud. He was certainly in my thoughts anyway.


I also got to experience going back to the finish line and watching the rest of the field come in. It's my favourite part of any Ironman and it's something that I missed out on in Cairns.


Not much more that I can add to that except that the whole experience is well worth it. Sure it’s over the top and it’s wanky, but that’s Kona! Legacy is also a great idea and it gives some of those who have proven their dedication to the sport the chance to go. If you ever you do get the chance to go it’s well worth it!

Edited by Go Easy
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9. Now Geoff, that is one hell of an interesting story and I hope you elaborated that. You could have perhaps gone it alone, but you had family with you all the way. Talk about that and how each family member contributed or blended into the scene.


Family has always come first. I couldn’t have done any of this stuff without the support of my wife and family. Those with families would know that it's a real balancing act trying to do the training required while still attending to the other priorities that come with being a parent and partner. My family made it easy for me by encouraging me to get out there and have a go. They all thought I was nuts, but they knew what it meant to me and always supported me in my choices. I hated being away from them so I pretty much only did races at places that they wanted to go to or that they were happy for me to do.


I guess family also helps keep it real. Last year I navigated for one of my sons in a Rally Car, and that was one hell of an experience! One weekend I’d be doing an Australian Championships triathlon, a couple of weekends later I’d be flying through the forest doing a rally somewhere, and then a week or so later I’d be at a 100km Ultra or some other stupid bloody thing… It was an interesting year!


I've never had a coach or followed a set training program, and I don't use a power meter or any gadgets at all... I don't even have a bike computer. I do the sport very much on the cheap. What I save on equipment I put into race entries and travel, or simply just spend on the family, which at least makes me feel a bit better about being involved in such a selfish sport for so long.


My wife and I recently went on holidays to Thailand. It was our 6th trip overseas since our honeymoon and the first time we've been anywhere without it being for a race. My family has always been really supportive and my wife has been by far my biggest supporter. She has been brilliant and there's no way I could have done any of this without her. She isn't really into the sport herself, but loves seeing me involved. None of my kids really took up the sport although I am doing the World Cross Triathlon Championships with my son Sam at Lake Crackenback in November. Neither of us will be all that competitive but it'll be fun to be in the same World Champs race with him.

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I've only met GE a couple of time however, he is one of those rare humble guys that makes you feel great about life. I am enjoying the read and awaiting the rest.

 

Mick

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10. Mate at 52, you have started to slow down, or at least there's a natural decline. Since you are still active in the sport, what goals would you outline for the future? Short term goals within 1-3 years while still racing 50-54. And long term goals 5-10 years ahead.


Assuming that I get through the 70.3 World Champs on the Sunny Coast in a couple of days’ time, and then the Cross Tri at Crackenback later this year, then I will have qualified and competed at all the popular and well recognised World Championships on the Triathlon Calendar. This is something I'm quite proud of, especially considering that several of these were done on a $300 bike.


There'll definitely be some more trail running on the horizon. Logistically it's just so much easier than triathlon as you only need a pair of running shoes and you can go just about anywhere. There's some great runs both here and overseas and they don't need to cost you a fortune to do. It's just a case of getting out there and enjoying it.


Maybe some adventure racing for a bit of a change and possibly some team stuff like they do at the Tripple Tri in Canberra just for the social side of it. Lots of options, but I'll just see how I feel at the time.


Recently I’ve been picking off a few events that I’ve always thought would be nice to do. I’m not worried so much about times and results anymore but just like the thought of saying that I’ve actually done the event.


One day I wouldn’t mind having a go at the Escape from Alcatraz event and maybe do Alpe d'Huez. They also tell me there’s a little event at Noosa that I should do one day.


In fact I’m currently wearing an old Noosa Tri shirt that I bought at a New Balance clearance sale bin many years ago for about two dollars. On the back of the shirt it has a saying the pretty much sums up my 20 odd years in this sport…


'There’s no logical reason on earth to do a triathlon… Cool huh?'

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I've only met GE a couple of time however, he is one of those rare humble guys that makes you feel great about life. I am enjoying the read and awaiting the rest.

 

Mick

 

Cheers mate, I hope the family's all well and you're enjoying your holiday. Missed seeing you at the C2S this year, but I did have a beer for you with RBR, Ten Pints and Clappers. We'll have to get sorted and make it or some other event a regular catch up for us infrequent friends!

Edited by Go Easy

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Suggest mate you tackle those questions one by one, maybe over time.

 

Flowing very well so far, so that's what people want. A good informational read.

 

Thanks for the questions Kamal, it's been good reflecting back on some of the stuff I've done. I've definitively given them plenty to read!

 

I think I'll leave the bonus questions for a couple of days. It might take me a while to google those answers! :smartarse:.

 

But as to Wayne Carey being Wagga's most high achieving sportsman I think you're dreamin'! I reckon I could almost name a dozen Wagga Sports people who have been more successful, he was just well known. Anyway, more on that later... Enjoy!

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Thanks for the questions Kamal, it's been good reflecting back on some of the stuff I've done. I've definitively given them plenty to read!

 

I think I'll leave the bonus questions for a couple of days. It might take me a while to google those answers! :smartarse:.

 

But as to Wayne Carey being Wagga's most high achieving sportsman I think you're dreamin'! I reckon I could almost name a dozen Wagga Sports people who have been more successful, he was just well known. Anyway, more on that later... Enjoy!

Would like to hear more on that. The Duck has been named as the top AFL player of all time or 3rd

top depending on the poll, there have been a few different ones.

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Haha, yeah ok maybe I was exaggerating a bit, it was late and I was a bit tired. But there have been some other pretty good sports people that would come to my mind before Wayne Carey. I guess it's an indication of how he is currently perceived by the people of Wagga Wagga (or maybe it's just me). Either way I reckon there's at least a couple of others who've achieved more.

Edited by Go Easy

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Just read back through a bit of the other stuff I posted as well. There was probably a couple of bits that maybe didn't come across right.

 

It sounded a bit like I was saying you were selfish if you had a family and you still did triathlon. That's not correct, I think people should do the things they love and we all need some 'self' time to defrag from the stresses of life.

 

The other was in regard to some people being far too serious about the sport. This is not a reflection on the abilities of the best guys, it's more about the attitudes towards those who are just getting out there and having fun regardless of their ability.

Edited by Go Easy
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Ok, I still haven't had a chance to google the answers to these here goes anyway...

(Maybe someone else can answer them).


BONUS QUESTIONS.


1.How many total medals (Gold, Silver and Bronze) has Australia won in the Olympic Marathon.


I’m guessing none, but couldn’t be too sure. I’m keen to know the answer though.



2. The USA, incidentally has 13 in total. 4 Golds, 3 Silver, 6 Bronze.

The 1908 event was won by Johnny Hayes (USA) on disqualification. No look up, but you might have to. The race winner was famously disqualified. Do you have any idea why?


I’m guessing it wasn’t PEDs... but you have got me interested. Anyone???




3. PEDS are rampant these days across all sports. Especially out of competition regimes with an objective of avoiding detection. Kenyans and Ethiopians further boost their already high Hct levels. Given all possible scenarios, drug testing might ultimately fail to identify high profile PED users. How would you tackle this and is there any case for legalization of PEDS?


Wouldn’t have a clue! I get frustrated enough with drafting issues in local races let alone drugs in high profile sports people. The whole drugs in sport thing bugs the crap out of me but I don’t think legalising PEDs is the answer.


Serious question… I’ve heard that drug testing is very expensive, and that is the reason why testing is currently fairly limited – especially in Age Group athletes. What about if they just take regular blood samples from lots of athletes, and only test a random sample of them if and when suspicions are raised. Surely it wouldn’t cost too much to take and store lots of small vials of blood. Nobody would know when their blood would be up for testing.


Apart from this and maybe really increasing the penalties for drug use I’ve got nothing.



4. I am guessing that Wayne Carey is the highest achieving sportsman to come out of Wagga? Have you met him? How would he be viewed in the community currently and would he be well accepted there?


As mentioned earlier I’m not so confident that Wayne Carey would be our highest achieving sportsman. Personally I’d rate Paul Kelly, Steve Mortimer, Peter Sterling, Arthur Summons, Steve Elkington, Michael Slater, Mark Taylor, Josh Collingwood and even Brad Kahlefeldt as being better sportsmen than Wayne Carey.


Nope, never met him. Given his off field antics, I wouldn’t say that he was viewed very highly by most people here. Even though Wagga Wagga is the size of a small city it’s still just a country town. No surprises there!

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1. One medal, Silver. Lisa Martin.

 

2. Yes, the question is still open. There's an old news clip newsreel film on You Tube.

 

3. On PEDS, no one has really come up with an answer, except the PEDS themselves have financial

backing, and the drugs keep improving. One step ahead of the testing.

 

4. Since Carey's first wife comes from Wagga didn't she? I would not expect him to be well viewed

or well liked. Even now his personal life is messy.

 

In the absence of any prior scandals, Carey would rank above those you mentioned. Plenty of

Aussies would never had heard of Brad Kahlefeldt, despite his standing in triathlon.

 

Carey also had 2 arrests in the USA, where after brief detention he was let go, on condition

of leaving the country. And has subsequently been refused a visa there. After the first expose

with Andrew Stevens wife, Carey was "chilling" in Las Vegas, which tells me he was there to

have a good time and felt no remorse over the incident. Getting voted out at North Melbourne, by

the player, tells you just how much he was hated there.

Edited by Kamal2
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Lisa Miller, yes of course. I should have known that!

 

As for Wayne Carey, it shows that it just doesn't matter how 'good' you are when it comes to being a good sportsman. What matters is the way you play the game!

 

Plus, regardless of how good you are at AFL it's still a game that's pretty much only played in Australia. Brad Kahlefeldt got Bronze at three World Championships, a Commonwealth Gold, and represented Australia at 2 Olympic Games... Just sayin!

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Just an update on Question 10.

10. Mate at 52, you have started to slow down, or at least there's a natural decline. Since you are still active in the sport, what goals would you outline for the future? Short term goals within 1-3 years while still racing 50-54. And long term goals 5-10 years ahead.

Assuming that I get through the 70.3 World Champs on the Sunny Coast in a couple of days’ time, and then the Cross Tri Worlds at Crackenback later this year, then I will have qualified and competed at all the popular and well recognised World Championships on the Triathlon Calendar...


World's 70.3 done and dusted... Only one to go!

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Cheers Geoff. The Ten Q's was brilliant, I am a bit disappointed we did not get more views.

 

 

Question No.2 still open. Anyone?

 

1.How many total medals (Gold, Silver and Bronze)has Australia won in the Olympic Marathon.

 

 

2. The USA, incidentally has 13 in total. 4 Golds, 3 Silver, 6 Bronze.

 

The 1908 event was won by Johnny Hayes (USA) on disqualification. No look up, but you might have

to. The race winner was famously disqualified. Do you have any idea why?

Edited by Kamal2
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Finally got through it. Noice GE.

 

Yes, I had to look it up. Seems like it was a fairly significant Marathon, in the world of Marathons. Already forgotten the name of the guy who crossed first, but he received some assistance towards the end. I'm gathering he was pretty trashed. But initially went the wrong way in the stadium, but also had some help, I'm guessing, just standing up. The next day was awarded a special medal by the Queen. And the first official 26mi marathon which then became the standard.

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It sounded a bit like I was saying you were selfish if you had a family and you still did triathlon. That's not correct, I think people should do the things they love and we all need some 'self' time to defrag from the stresses of life.

 

The other was in regard to some people being far too serious about the sport. This is not a reflection on the abilities of the best guys, it's more about the attitudes towards those who are just getting out there and having fun regardless of their ability.

 

Couldn't agree more with both of these qualifications.

 

A very nice read and shame I can't buy you a beer.... although if you're ever in London or Dublin, look me up.

 

Thanks for sharing.

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Great read Geoff - I'm still reading, but just on this bit:

 

But school was brilliant, we had the coolest teacher for the last couple of years, a guy by the name of Tony Zerbst. He had a major impact on me and my love of sports as we used to spend most of our days running around the school yard playing all manner of sports from soccer to baseball to made up sports such as slog-it where you used these big timber paddle bats to belt a ball from one end of the school yard to the other in a rafferty’s rules type of game where you could throw it, kick it, tackle your opponent or whatever else you wanted to do. Either way we didn’t spend much time doing school work! Years later I read that Tony and one or two of his sons got into Triathlon in the early days and had some pretty good race results.

 

Tony was a triathlon legend around the Riverina in the 90s, and his son Jo went alright too. Here he is in the USA in 1996, where he came 2nd in the Oly Worlds in Cleveland and then 2 weeks later won his age group at the Long Course Worlds in Muncie, Indiana (the race Welchy won to complete his grand slam). He was a mad keen paddler, and that took over from triathlon eventually as his sport of choice. Very talented in the beer sculling area too.

 

14292471_10153735313866927_8257148737298

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Thanks for the share. I hope to still be racing & traveling at 52 :)

that about sums GE up doesn't it. Races. Travels. Hasn't trained since 1997.

Lol. Or so he will have us believe ;)

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Tony was a triathlon legend around the Riverina in the 90s, and his son Jo went alright too. Here he is in the USA in 1996, where he came 2nd in the Oly Worlds in Cleveland and then 2 weeks later won his age group at the Long Course Worlds in Muncie, Indiana (the race Welchy won to complete his grand slam). He was a mad keen paddler, and that took over from triathlon eventually as his sport of choice. Very talented in the beer sculling area too.

 

14292471_10153735313866927_8257148737298

 

Cheers H, great info. Yes, I knew he did well but didn't realise he was quite that good!

 

He was a funny bloke, but like I said, I really liked him. When he was at the school at Naradhan (1973-75 roughly) he was big on soccer and I think played for a Griffith Team which was about 100k's away. He also liked riding his road bike but we only had really rough old dirt roads back then... It didn't stop him!

 

PS - Is that you with him in the photo?

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Races. Travels. Hasn't trained since 1997.

Lol. Or so he will have us believe ;)

 

Life's pretty good eh!

 

I do train, just not as much as you other mad buggers! :smartarse:.

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PS - Is that you with him in the photo?

 

Um, that is Greg Welch.

 

 

 

 

 

Oh the other photo - yes that's me. I think I might have been a little bit tipsy there, judging by my rosy cheeks. The other chick is Mel Ashton, who was racing as an age grouper back then.

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Haha, yeah ok maybe I was exaggerating a bit, it was late and I was a bit tired. But there have been some other pretty good sports people that would come to my mind before Wayne Carey. I guess it's an indication of how he is currently perceived by the people of Wagga Wagga (or maybe it's just me). Either way I reckon there's at least a couple of others who've achieved more.

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Wagga always seem to have plenty of participants at Port.

 

Yeah, we've always had a fair few head up to Forster and more recently Port.

 

Busso, Melbourne and Cairns races coming on board split the fields up for a couple of years but Port still seems to attract the most starters.

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Plenty from Wagga would agree. Geoff lawsom was pretty good too.

Wagga always seem to have plenty of participants at Port.

I think it's because all the boys and girls get around each other in the lead up to port. Most sessions are done together in the lead up to port so the vibe in the group can be pretty sureal.

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Most sessions are done together in the lead up to port so the vibe in the group can be pretty sureal.

 

If I did half of the K's those guys do it would probably kill me, but yes it's pretty cool training with a group that's got a common goal.

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If I did half of the K's those guys do it would probably kill me, but yes it's pretty cool training with a group that's got a common goal.

Or you would probably kill them even more come race day

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