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They go how far? ...3.8/180/42.2...ok, wait, how far?

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This is what I asked, several times, when watching Kona 4 years ago. I could not comprehend going that far in any of the sports let alone all at once, on the same day.

For the time poor the summary:

Swam a bit, rode a bit, ran a bit, walked a bit; smiled A LOT.


Illustration courtesy of Mank.


I could go on and on about the whole week, it was brilliant and filled with so many great moments that I could fill a novella. I am going to stick to the race and try to stay on topic... well I’ll do my best.


Pre Race

4 am I am dropped off at transition by my trusty Iron Sherpa/House Biach Magoo. It’s so cool lots of nervous energy floating around, and lots of lycra clad fit men – ahh life is good. I proceed to the tent, get branded, pump up tiers and I am done! I like this handing over all the junk the day before, it makes race morning so much simpler. Now all I need to do is get the wetty on. I begin this in transition get to my usual sticking point: one leg in and being totally over it. I get the second leg in and it is announced that transition is closing... mmm could pose a problem. I manage to get the wetty halfway up my legs, while grinning like a loon at my “stable mates” (I should clarify: I have a coach and a training group, my stable mates are all skinny Thoroughbreds, I am the token nasty Shetland Pony, but they are a great group). So wetty halfway up legs I waddle out of transition to Magoo and continue the wetsuit struggle. Then out of the blue comes my personal volunteer for the day Bored@work, who leaped over the transition fence and was immediately helping me into my wetty, while reassuring another vollie that I was his sister.... Then more assistance from stable mate and sometimes poster Bears1, apparently the “rack area” needed adjusting on my suit. Now I was not aware this was an issue, but it was my first IM and his wife was taking pictures so I assume it was legit....

Then we are off to the start, heaps of people it is so cool. My friend Magoo, who has been a great support and made the week for me, began tearing up a little – fark I am so lucky I have some genuinely great friends. We say goodbye and I head to the beach.



Seriously how flippin good is a big swim start! GAWD I LOVE IT.


Photo by Hyphen

I wonder over to the pier Jetty side of the start. And have a chat to John, who may be a Trannie he is in the Beer Mile photos, and just relax & enjoy. I spy Otter, have a couple of words and then stand alone looking at the jetty. This is why I am here. For a year I have thought how cool it would be to swim around that jetty and now I get to do it. You couldn’t have knocked the smile off my face if you tried. The swim was lovely. I was dropped within minutes and swam solo, with my personal lifeguard, the whole way. Just after turning personal lifeguard lost a little interest and kept floating in front of me, but that’s ok, I don’t think it cost me a Kona slot.

Swim exit I see Trinube with his camera. His words form the day before come to me “Sorry I’m going to have to go, I just can’t swim that slow...” Trinube having swum for a team had managed to swim 3.8k, hand over his chip, go home have a shower and nap, and come back as “Media” while I was swimming.



I trot out of T1 after much hilarity, lube and being told “No you can not have a look in the men’s tent, that’s our job” straight into my personal volunteer Bored :lol: He guides me to the exit, giving me encouragement and advice. And so I am off on my first ever ride over 141.3km – ACE.

The course is magnificent, beautiful roads, great scenery, fantastic aid stations. I love it. Once out of town I am cruising at around 32kph, this can only mean one thing – tailwind. The wind was fine on course there really was just one bit coming back to town where the headwind was a bit hard. Everything was going just fine for the first 10k then drama & confusion, a situation I had not planned for. I was coming up on two riders, fast, I was not sure what to do at all, I have not had to overtake people before. Yes they seemed to be old and or injured but could I get past them in 25 seconds? I hung back and had a think about it, grabbed some water from the aid station and then decided to go for it. WOOOHOOO I passed people!


Kept going on into the forest, it is so pretty in there, heading on out to Mary Jane turn-around (I swear there is a crop out there) and back along the forest road. People going past the other way. Riding feels easy and fun. Goofy smile still intact. Still cruising along a big paceline begins to pass, and I feel splats of, um, moisture, I begin praying it is rain and not some speedy AG boy taking a “nature break”. Thankfully it is rain, for about 5 mins – thank goodness.

I spy Hyphen out in the forest, running up and down with her camera... I reckon she did a marathon that day too.


More riding, smiling, drinking... I am then passed by Bears1 who gives me a colourful description of his level of excitement and it’s affect on his physical state: I wobble on the bike laughing, onlookers are shocked, appalled and embarrassed – feakin’ gold. And on I go. Before I know it Garmin Gadget says 160k, that means just 20k to go! I am amazed, I feel so good, way better than any training ride ever. I am 20 kilometres from riding 180k! That is amazing :lol: Just the final headwind bit to do and I am back to transition.


Photo by Trinube

I hand off my bike, smile, think of Hymie at an Altona race.... And went off to T2.

I was met immediately by Bored who was my personal helper for bike to run transition, making me laugh, while getting me out the door quickly... well with a quick photo :D


Photo by Bored@Work



Weird as. I had just rode 180k and I felt amazing and began running better off the bike than I have ever run. I just felt amazing, like I had ridden 20k, what a great feeling. So I trotted off at around 5:45 pace (FYI that is blasting fast for me) and my first marathon had begun. (ACE!) I kept going for a while then ran into a couple of guys sitting on around 6:15-6:30 and decided to join their train. Which worked well, one dropped off and I ran with Michael (an aussie living in the US, his and his wife’s first IM) We ran together for some time and then came to the Goose where Supporters were cheering and the classic “I told you to wear a sports bra” was yelled. Michael asked if I knew that person, I said yes, he is a bit special it is ok :D filppin pi$$ing myself laughing. Though I think Bored may have a point, I am going to look into a more aero titanium set-up for next time... I’ll do some drawings and get Fishboy to run the numbers on it.....

Anyway kept running and feeling great, I knew the pain was coming and that was fine. I ran the first 20k to plan and then walked. I had a bit of an injury going in so I knew it was coming, really my only disappointment was to start walking so early as I was feeling so good apart from my foot. Ah well, I let Michael go and went on. Oh yeah still smiling.


Photo by Trinube

Now the run course is quite clever, you see the distance between the aid station in the park and the one at Ford Street was different for each lap. Lap one, a bit too far, lap two getting a little silly.... lap three I knew it would be about 15k between the two. So coming back up around past the finish chute, in fairly intense pain but smiling, I felt a little guilty and sad I knew I could not make it by 9pm for Bored to be there and also my mates had been out there all day. I got to the turn and saw Bored, he told me “I am waiting here for you to finish” I smiled blew a kiss and felt really lucky again. And on I went, bit more pain but never close to quitting and still happy.


The last lap was pretty hard but great too. The vollies at each aid station were amazing. It was dark and cold and they were still there, still looking after us – even more so now. The track out from the park to Ford St was now around 34k and to be honest a bit creepy to be walking alone in the dark in the middle of nowhere was not so nice .... But I knew I would finish there was no stopping, slowing maybe, but no stopping. Then I caught someone, Ken. Ken is a Port Mac legend and came 3rd in his age group 70-74 we moved along together for a while. What a great man hell I could only hope to be that strong. Ken stopped for soup at Ford St and I went on. The party strip was still going, the house with the balcony music still going, the house with the crew who had been out there all day cheering and drinking (amazed they were still standing) now had Christmas lights out making an arch for “us” to walk under. So cool how the whole town seems to get behind the event. Now I was slow, in immense pain, but still happy. Then the Media turned up, Trinube, worried had come to look for me, we walked back to the roundabout and I was almost there. Almost. And then to my delight Hyphen, still running around pops in and walks with me to the girls with the magic bands! I ask for an Orange band and almost snog the poor girl handing it to me, we are almost there, Hyphen on the other side of the fence. Me hobbling along, feeling pretty darn privileged to know so many great people and to have the opportunity to do this.



I don’t usually like to be centre of attention but I have to say the finish chute is pretty special. So many people still there after 16.5 hours pretty cool. I got to walk down the aisle

which I found and still find quite amusing. I find Magoo and Steve and give them a big hug – they have had a long day. And then make a bee-line for number one vollie Bored, still there, still smiling. I hug him and we walk off. I see Tri_Mel, Humdrum, Steve Foster, Robyn, Trinube... so many people still here waiting for me – I can’t even say how that made me feel. Thank you. We go off to recovery Bored still looking after me. Seriously Bored thankyou you looked after me all day I can’t say how much that means.


Photo by Trinube

Big thank you to all who have made this amazing event so special in particular: Magoo, Bored, Trinube, Hyphen, Bears1... and many others... oh yeah and Otter for getting me into all this.


One of, if not the, best days on my life. Totally hooked and I’ll be back next year.


Hell long report but then “it is a very long way to go” after all.



Edited by TheAntiSport
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Sen-bloody-sational Zoe! I wish I could have been over there to see you achieve your Ironman dream.

You have certainly come a long way from venturing over to race the WSTC races and our early Beach Rd rides.

Well done ! I am so proud.

Big hug coming your way when we meet up.

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Zoe, it was an absolute honour to walk with you in the last stretch. I bolted around there as fast as I could. Then when I dropped you at the finish shute ran down the street screaming she's coming she's coming to all the trannies waiting for you. Running into a street sign in the process wasnt exactly in the plan though! (oops!)


As I said to you as you entered the finish shute.......you are my hero! and you most definitely are.


And maybe one day I'll do an Ironman.......you know the rest.




Edited by Hyphen
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I hand off my bike, smile, think of Hymie at an Altona race.... And went off to T2.



I'd forgotten about that. Very pleased to call you a fellow Ironman, well done Zoe. Be proud of what you have achieved. Success is measured not where you are standing, but where you have come from.

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Great Race Report Antisport.


I totally loved the whole week and had a great time being your sherpa house biach cryer lol.


You are so inspirational. I know what it took to get you to Busso but you did it and you have to go back.


Well done Ironman Zoe.

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Noice Report !!!! - Yet to wash my hands from the pre-race rack adjustment & the Tri-suit is back in the workshop for some much needed re-stitching around the members end, I blame it on the Power Bar that was given to us in the race kit.


It was great to have you on board this year & those early morning starts paid off, you still owe me coffee !!



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anti as your race report coach I have a few pointers:


1. More info about racks. How big, how difficult to get into, any trouble finding yours, etc.


2. More info about food. I get that you need to talk a little about the Triathlon bit, but I really wanted to know about what free food there was at the aid stations, what did you get to eat for breakfast the next day.


3. When in doubt, the rule if thumb is that if you had random thoughts of snogging another girl, that should take up about 50% of the report.


But that said... you rule!!


Last question, is the "rack shouter" the same reputable fellow who likes to shout at you about your ass when passing on beach road? Or are you developing a fan club? :lol:

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Thanks all :D


Hyphen & Magoo :lol::lol::D

Catcam: You can do it if you want to, it is true the training (well the getting up at Wrong’O’Clock all winter) is the had bit. See you in Port Mac for the Mini in May?



1. More info about racks. How big, how difficult to get into, any trouble finding yours, etc.

a. Quite prominent and well organised


2. More info about food. I get that you need to talk a little about the Triathlon bit, but I really wanted to know about what free food there was at the aid stations, what did you get to eat for breakfast the next day.

a. Bike all sorts of cookies, drinks, gels.... but I am a serious insect so stuck to my Hi-5 pre mix and water. Run, Sport drink, fruit, gels, vegemite (fantastic!) and lollies. Later I heard there was soup, Ken stopped for some, arguing the point with the aid station about what soup should be offerd. I jummed on the opportunity to take him down.... it was a race after all.


3. When in doubt, the rule if thumb is that if you had random thoughts of snogging another girl, that should take up about 50% of the report.

a. Noted, I’ll keep that in mind next time it happens.


Last question, is the "rack shouter" the same reputable fellow who likes to shout at you about your ass when passing on beach road? Or are you developing a fan club?


Fan club for sure www.rack-attack.com perhaps?


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Great report Anti.


I met you for the first time on the run and when I realised who you were and that it was your first one I asked how you were going and you gave me a massive smile and said ....."ACE"!!! :lol:

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Trinube you are delusional and I love it... YOU are one of the ones who helped to get me there :lol:


PJA it was great to meet you ... kinda properly again :lol: I was more at the hobble stage when you passed and you gave me another lift, thank you.


(ps still on a high from it all and gagging for next year!)


(pps please remind me of the above mid winter when I am winging about blinkin awful winter rides :D )

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