Man of iron runs triathlon in 10 hours
IN 10 hours of self-inflicted physical torment, Wes Thompson swam further, cycled further and ran further than most people do in 10 years.
That's a 3.8km swim, 180km cycle and 42.2km run in the torturous Hawaii Ironman.
"It was always my target to finish in under 10 hours,” he said.
"Throughout it I roughly knew how I was going; I knew I was in the ballpark.
"But in the end if I hadn't cracked 10 hours it probably wouldn't have worried me that much because I had such a good race.”
Thompson, 45, of Lennox Head, completed the event in 9 hours 59 minutes 17 seconds, clocking 1hr03m for the swim, 5hrs14m for the cycle leg and 3hrs33m for the run.
Three-and-a-half hours for a marathon in the Hawaiian midday heat after an hour in the water and five hours on the bike - not a bad effort.
It was the second time Thompson had taken on the ordeal and he reckons he learnt plenty from his first go.
"Your performance is dictated by the conditions, the wind on the bike and the heat and humidity on the run,” he said.
"When I did it two years ago I learnt a lot about that and a lot about myself.
"I didn't respect the conditions, the need for continual hydration and how hot your core gets.
"This time I was four minutes faster in the swim and 15 minutes faster in the marathon.”
Thompson's training peaked at 18 hours a week in his eight-week build-up before the taper.
A Far North Coast winter may not be the ideal prep- aration for the annual race through the lava fields of the Big Island but he still finished 37th out of more than 300 competitors in the 45-49 years division.
"It's a test of your physical and mental endurance as much as it is a race,” he said.
"I was still pushing hard even at the end.”
It was the biggest Hawaii Ironman yet, with 2300 entrants including 230 from Australia, which formed the largest international contingent.