Lennox Head Ironman heading to Hawaii for triathlon
INSPIRATIONAL athlete Shane Flannery is the embodiment of living life to the max.
The 51-year-old is currently finalising his preparations ahead of next month's Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon.
Flannery will join other amateur and professional athletes from around the world in the gruelling 225km event.
The Lennox Head father-of-three said he is undaunted by the testing challenge ahead.
"I think I just like doing stuff with my life," he said. "My wife says that I cannot sit still for five minutes.
"I love life and want to live it to the full."
This will be the fifth time Flannery has competed in the Hawaiian event after making his inaugural appearance in 1996.
He booked his place in the 2013 race, one of the most popular events in world triathlon, with a series of strong performances in the qualifying triathlons.
The Hawaiian event challenges contestants with swimming, running and cycling legs staged on the Kailua coast of Hawaii.
Flannery, who is hoping to be among the leading competitors in his age group, is itching to get started.
"There's something about going over there and seeing the lava fields and beautiful scenery," he said.
"There could be 50,000 people watching the race as well.
"It is the pinnacle of triathlon. It doesn't getter than this."
Flannery has been combining about 15 hours of training a week, including 4am alarm calls, with running his landscaping business.
A keen sportsman as a youngster, he became interested in triathlon about 25 years ago.
"I was one of those guys in the pub with my mates but I didn't want to do that all the time," he said.
"I like the idea of challenging myself and I don't see age as a barrier to doing things.
"It would be great to maybe inspire other people doing the sport.
"I still really enjoy it."
The Hawaiian triathlon will be staged on Saturday, October 12.
WHAT IS THE HAWAII IRONMAN?
- One of the most iconic events on the world triathlon circuit.
- Competitors face a 3.86km swim, 180.25km bike ride and 42.2km run.
- Has been staged since 1977 and attracts contestants from around the globe.
WHY DOES SHANE FLANNERY LOVE TRIATHLON?
- You can compete at any level and standard and don't need the latest equipment to race
- It is a great event for making friends and travelling
- It is something you can do at any age, from a junior to well into later life.
- It teaches you about your body, health and nutrition
- You get to enjoy the great outdoors.