Two of the locals taking on Ironman 2016: Craig Robinson and Shaun Smith.AUSTRALIAN Paul Ambrose and New Zealand’s Michelle Bremer will both return to the scene of their 2015 triumphs when they attempt to go back to back at Ironman Australia Port Macquarie on May 1.
Paul Ambrose won his first Ironman Australia title in 2012, but was unable to defend it the following year. This time, he’s focussed all his energies on racing well as defending champion.
“I wanted to go back in 2013 to defend my title, but problems with my race schedule meant it didn’t work out. This year everything has pointed to me to Ironman Australia,” he said.
Bremer enjoyed a career year in 2015 following her Ironman Australia win with a third at Ironman Cairns just over a month later.
“I can’t wait to race again at Port Macquarie. Last year was an incredible experience and I feel honoured to be able to come back as defending champion this year,” Bremer said.
“This race feels like my home away from home race (I’m originally from NZ and now living in Penrith, Sydney), so to back up with another win would be amazing.”
This year both the full Ironman and half-ironman, the 70.3, will be held at the same time.
Taking on the course, unafraid of the quick times set by the professional athletes, will be 11 Camden Haven locals. Six of these athletes will compete in the full Ironman, three in the half Ironman and two in the half Ironman as members of relay teams.
The Courier caught up with two of these athletes on Monday. Both Shaun Smith and Craig Robinson are lining up for the full Ironman. Both agreed that the psychological side of triathlons is what keeps them competing in these gruelling events.
“I love the mental challenge,” Shaun said.
“When your body is fatigued your mind kicks in to keep you going.”
Craig’s goal in this Sunday’s race is to finish in less than ten hours.
“Last year I finished in ten hours and four minutes,” Craig said.
“That was the most expensive four minutes of my life, because it meant I had to register and pay the event fee again just to beat the time.”
After Ironman, Craig has his sights set on competing in the UTMB – Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc – a 166km running event through high altitude, alpine regions of France, Italy and Switzerland. That’s another story …
Back to Ironman and spectators in the Camden Haven can cheer on the athletes as they cycle through the Camden Haven which is part of the bike leg – one 90km lap for the half Ironman and two laps (180kms) for the full Ironman.
Where to enjoy the atmosphereDunbogan Boatshed
The Dunbogan Boatshed has joined forces with Queens Lake Sailing Club to make the Dunbogan hot spot even bigger this year! Head on down for a barbecue, music, giveaways and live race action. While you’re there jump on board the Queens Lake Sailing Club’s free ‘come and try’ day. A fun day out for all ages.
North Haven – opposite Oasis Restaurant
The timing mat will be rolled out at the North Haven hot spot with Ironman giveaways, music and commentary to keep you cheering on the athletes as they roll through the streets of North Haven. Make sure you keep an ear out for your fellow community members names being called as they push themselves to the limits in this incredible international sporting event.
Bonny Hills – at North Coast Holiday Park
The Bonny Hills community are well known in Ironman circles for putting on a good party when it comes to race day. Leading on from this the community will have their very own dedicated hot spot for the first time this year!
Make your way to the North Coast Holiday Park to get in the swing of things with a bbq and music kicking off the festivities. Cheer on the Ironman athletes as they make their way through Bonny Hills and don’t forget to keep a look out for Ironman giveaways!
Free water taxis will be running from Laurieton (in front of LUSC), Dunbogan Boatshed and North Haven from 8am – 3pm to take spectators between the hot spots via the picturesque Camden Haven River.
Local athletesFULL IRONMAN
Bib No. Name
Bib No. Name
3048………..Sue Buttsworth(team ‘Work In Progress’)
3002………..Dolly Bligh-Jones(‘Bonny Hills Bandits’)
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.