Dubbo’s Kate Brien and Ian Crafter had to repeatedly push through the pain barrier to successfully complete the Ironman Western Australia at Busselton last weekend.
The gruelling Western Australian Ironman is renowned worldwide as a fast event, with the bike and run courses amongst the flattest on the global circuit.
This was Crafter’s sixth Busselton Ironman and his 16th in total, so the crafty competitor felt he knew what he had to do to get across the finish line.
“I know I can get it done if I have to,” he said.
“It doesn't get any easier, but I was happy with the race, particularly my bike leg. I am not as fit as I used to be, but I have competed in a lot of fast races.
“I improved as the run continued and I felt better as the marathon went on. I thought the bike leg was my best, I know the course well having done it six times and I overtook a lot of people and placed myself well.
“It wasn’t one of my better races, but I still beat a lot of the younger competitors on the day.
“I am able to back myself to do things, and my body still holds up, I don’t let the pain stop me I know how to push through it, it is really mind over matter.”
Crafter, who competes in the 60 to 64 category felt his preparation for Busselton was a little compromised by lining up at the world championships in October.
“I didn’t have much time to recover from the Ironman in Kona, Hawaii,” he said.
“Most people do one a year so to do two in seven weeks meant I wasn’t as fresh as I could have been and I was a bit fatigued at stages during the run.”
Brien finished seventh in the 50 to 54 category of the event and said competing in Busselton was like a dream come true.
“The day was pretty much perfect and everything went to plan except for a bit of foot pain on the bike which carried over the run, making the first 10 kilometres of the run more of a run-walk strategy,” she said.
“After solving that little issue, my body held up very well for the rest of the run, and I managed to pick up my pace to bring in my goal time of 12.5 hours.
“I had an awesome time and it was everything I dreamed it would be.
“My support crew over here were wonderful, and I would like to thank everyone out there who sent me wishes and words of encouragement because when the going got tough, and at times it did, I remembered back to their encouraging words and that kept me moving along.
“I definitely couldn’t stop with so many wonderful people supporting me out there.”