Ben has always kept fit and active, and enjoys having a challenge to look forward to. After retiring from Rugby, he needed another vice. He decided to join the new age movement of men wearing lycra. Second to this, Ben’s dad has been involved in triathlons for 25 years. As a kid, his Mum and brothers used to follow him around and watch him race.
“I never really understood the fascination of putting your body through so much pain.”
Ben’s dad recently turned 65, and made it clear that this year would be his last Noosa Triathlon, which was his 23rd in as many years. Ben decided that this was the perfect opportunity to compete in the same race that his father has done so many times; including winning his age group from 60 to 64.
For Ben, the running and riding came easy as he had been doing both disciplines for some time now. Generally, this involved riding 3 mornings a week – covering 120-150kms – and running 3 mornings a week – covering 30kms. Ben rides with a group of friends, making it crucial to be able to get up at 5am through the depths of winter and darkness to cover the required kilometres. A nice warm coffee and a laugh at the end with the boys being a great reward. Swimming training, however, was the most difficult.
Ben loves catching up with family and friends, eating good food and enjoying nice beer and wine, so he didn’t completely eliminate some of the enjoyable aspects of life.
“Time management is key.”
So that he didn’t miss out on treasured time with his wife and young family, Ben completed his training between 5 and 7am in the morning.
Training with his friends was a big motivator; his mates kept him accountable to the early morning sessions, which would have been a lot harder without them there. “A good night’s sleep is also very important.”
As with any big goals, there were times when Ben thought he wouldn’t make it. At the end of the swim leg, Ben was experiencing some cramping and thinking about the ride and run to come, he had some concerns about not being able to finish. At the start line, he overheard a young girl talking about the mantra that she uses during her races. It was “what would Turia Pitt do?”, referring to the amazing young woman that was tragically burnt to near death in an Ultra Marathon in WA.
“I thought, what a great mantra. A few cramps weren’t going to stop me with my adopted mindset.”
Ben expected it to be tough, and it was. What he didn’t expect was the support and adulation given to every athlete on the course. From people spraying you with garden hoses to cool you down, to the young kids high-fiving you as you ran past.
“Nothing can prepare you for the sheer elation of crossing the finishing line; every athlete was made to feel like they’d just won a gold medal for Australia!”
The highlight for Ben was seeing his family out on the course cheering him on with handmade banners saying “Go Daddy”. Being able to high five them on the way around and to see their excited little faces motivated him to keep charging on.
“I would definitely do it again – it is a great challenge and at the end of the day you are only racing yourself. I often pondered the idea of competing in an Ironman event, but maybe when the kids get a bit older.”
Having set goals and a clear plan to achieving them is what Invest Blue is all about. In completing this goal, Ben has put into practice what he preaches to his clients every day. We are so proud to have Ben as part of the Invest Blue family and love to #celebratethewins!
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