- Where do you live?
I currently flit between Woolooga near Gympie and Tuchekoi. The Cooloola and Sunshine Coast has been home for the past 30 years with a short stint in Brisbane while working for a multinational IT corporate. I was born in Stanthorpe and lived in Emerald, Monto, St. George, Glen Lyon, Cooma, and Mauritius as a kid. I feel most at home in Western Queensland and Africa
- Who does your family include?
I have a mum, brother, two boisterous nephews, a niece who boxes their ears, and a cat that I feed because it adopted me (like it’s doing ME a favour). I used to have cattle, but they were less family, more food.
- What keeps you busy during the day?
During the day I’m a mild mannered IT Analyst at the University of the Sunshine Coast. I’ve been there long enough to take long service leave (10+ years). Before I worked for Unisys Australia in the longest IT outsourcing engagement in the HISTORY OF THE WORLD (no word of a lie) with TAFE Queensland. In previous lives I’ve been a Teacher in adult education, worked in small crops, business owner/operator, and Martial Arts instructor.
- Your Hobbies…
Outside of triathlon and the newly discovered trail running, there’s not much room for other things, but I’ve a strong interest in Nature Photography (published), fitness and strength coaching, travel, and almost anything off the beaten path. I’m a certified diver and have dived Sipadan Malaysia and the Red Sea from Egypt. I used to be a voracious reader, but when I’m hitting the sack at 8pm to get up at 3:30am there’s about 30 seconds of quality page turning. I ski, after a fashion. I ride a motorbike, when I can. I drive a truck. I climb mountains. I also cook.
- Why do you do triathlon?
Well it seemed like a good idea at the time. I watched a friend (Bruce, a Zimbabwean) compete in the Mooloolaba triathlon in 2012 thinking “How hard could it be?”. I signed up with Atlas and promptly found out that I couldn’t swim as well as I thought, and I couldn’t ride any appreciable distance, or speed. The first couple of weeks with tri-bars and I thought my TT bike wanted to snuff me out in the nearest ditch. As it turns out, I got passed those initial hurdles and found it to be great cross training for obstacle course racing – another hobby. But really, triathlon can’t be beaten for flattering attire, awesome helmet hair, uneven tan lines, and an excuse to wear ridiculous gear for charity all the while pushing through boundaries that seemed completely insurmountable in the dark hours of the early dawn.
- Favourite food and drink?
It’s hard to pick one favourite food and if you’ve ever seen my instagram feed you’d be forgive for thinking I have a penchant for coffee – I can stop any time I like, honest. I have adventurous tastes in food due mainly to extensive travel as a kid I suspect. I’ve eaten Mopane worms in Botswana, sparrows in China (taste like chicken), Snails and frogs legs in Paris (also like chicken), deep-fried salmon in Canada (strangely also like chicken – I don’t recommend), something that I hope was chicken in Lesotho, but what sits right at the top is Bobotie made with Mrs H.S. Balls chutney, and obligatory yellow rice. Favourite drink is a grand single malt peated scotch whisky, but any top shelf scotch will do. Second is a Cab Sav so dry your eyes will roll back in your head and your toes curl up.
- If I won the lotto, I would…
Buy some carbon race wheels, give up the day job and train full time for races in exotic locations around the world (Kilimanjaro Marathon, Victoria Falls Marathon, Cape Town Triathlon, Norsman Xtreme, Barossa Marathon etc. the list is endless). While waiting for the race wheels to arrive I’d crack the top on a Laphroaig whisky and track down new running tights for the next Sunshine Coast Marathon, so bright a welding mask becomes mandatory. It’s tradition, just ask Ruth.
- Favourite book and Song?
Book: Magician – Raymond Feist
Song: Africa – Toto
- Your favourite race/triathlon moment?
I have two. Standing in the corrals on Orchard road, Singapore. I’ve walked along Orchard road many times, but this time I was waiting to start my first ever marathon and was thinking at the time “It’s 5:30 in the morning, it’s 27 degrees and a billion percent humidity, and I’m about to run 42.2 f*cking kilometres.”. The second was crossing the finish line of the Port Mac Ironman, hearing “Ben Johnston, you are an IRONMAN” and thinking “Coming at you ULTRAMAN”.
- Your advice for anyone wanting to start the sport…
Just start, it’s not that far. There is nothing you can’t do once you start chipping away at it, and the finish line is right there waiting for you to step across it.