Hawaii pinnacle for Lennox triathlete Wes
THERE were plenty of tears last time Lennox Head triathlete Wes Thompson completed the Ironman Triathlon World Championship in Hawaii.
Thompson will tackle the notorious race for a second time in October after finishing third in his 45-49 years age division at the Port Macquarie Ironman this month.
"They definitely weren't tears of joy last time (at Hawaii) I finished," Thompson said.
"The heat really got to me and I think I'll be better prepared this time.
"It's a whole different kettle of fish over there and you have a lot to deal with.
"Once you get off the plane the heat really hits you in the face and it takes at least a week to acclimatise."
Thompson put in a bumper effort at Port Macquarie to finish the race in 9 hours 32 minutes 53 seconds.
It put him up there with the elite performers and meant he was an automatic qualifier for Hawaii.
It was a timely confidence boost after he first went over in 2014 when someone else pulled out.
"That was still fantastic but I knew that if I was to go back I wanted to go out- right," Thompson said.
"I just wanted to know I was good enough to qualify on my own performance so that was great.
"I finished 32nd out of about 1700 starters (at Port Macquarie).
"Some people call that elite and to be called an elite athlete is pretty humbling.
"I'm really proud of that performance and I've since worked out that my time would have got me through in the 35-39 and 40-44 years categories.
"So that's probably the thing I'm proudest of, looking back now, and that I had the best bike leg in my division."
Thompson has been involved in triathlon for only about six years and was mainly a surfer beforehand.
He also trains alone and does it all without a coach.
"I found surfing was always a bit the same and I couldn't get my fix every day from it," Thompson said.
"There is always a new challenge with triathlon and you want to push yourself and see how far you can go."