A committed sailor has qualified for the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, by winning his age category at the Australian Ironman Triathlon at Port Macquarie on May 3.
Able Seaman Clearance Diver Alan Bone, of the Royal Australian Navy Clearance Diving Team Four, was one of 11 Defence personnel and members of the Australian Defence Triathlon Club who competed in the gruelling 3.8km swim, 180km bike leg and 42.2km run.
His time of 9 hours and 46 minutes gained him first place in the 18-24 male division and his spot in the world championships to be held in October this year.
Midshipman Jedd Goggin and Commander Doug Griffiths, of the Australian Defence Force Academy also completed the race with times of 11:54.13 (53.27, 6:42.29 and 4:12.41) and 12:00.03 (1:04, 6:01.49 and 4:46.43).
Crowds along the course were uplifting for the competitors, but even the best efforts from Elvis Presley and his karaoke machine did not take away the pain of climbing the dreaded Matthews Flinders Drive twice in one day.
Able Seaman Bone has been competing in triathlons for nearly two years and said Port Macquarie was his third ironman event.
“I normally train twice a day, except on Sunday which is once a day, but it is building up to be almost 25 hours a week as I prepare for Kona,” Able Seaman Bone said.
“It can be a big week trying to juggle my personal life, work and fitness and I’m following a strict diet prepared by a nutritionist to help me stay light and healthy.
“I probably need to cut my times by half an hour to be one of the top contenders for Kona, but it all depends on who is there and the conditions on race day,” he said.
“My secret is to stick to the race plan and not go out too hard as it’s going to be a long day.”
Apart from training in heat chambers during Perth’s winter, Able Seaman Bone will also compete in a half ironman in Indonesia six weeks before the world championship to help him acclimatise to the tropical heat.