IM Cairns – 8 JUNE 2014
By Joseph Wojcik – Vice President of International
Blue skies, radiating sun, crystal-clear waters. The Ironman Cairns marketing material portrayed the Far North Queensland area to be a tropical paradise with ideal conditions to ply the swim, bike & run for a Sunday in Australia. They even had a Great Barrier Reef logo with a bunch of fish swimming around. The expectations were quickly dashed when I arrived to rain, wind and high seas which offered zero visibility in the Coral Sea. No complaining mind you…just giving you an idea of the weather conditions. And what is an Ironman without some adverse conditions, struggle and pain? A summary of the day would go like this: Rain, Rain, More Rain.
Despite the tricky conditions, I had a lot of fun and met some great triathletes in Cairns. The Australians are known for the prowess at the event (they have more triathlon medals in the Olympics than any other nation) and they put on a good event with a lot of spectators braving the rain and wind. They were even gracious when a Kiwi named Cameron Brown won the event at 41 years of age – the oldest person to win an Ironman event. And I was especially impressed with a guy from Japan who is 81 years old and completed the event in 16:35 (he won his age group!).
There were the usual clever signs on the course that made me chuckle – “smile, you paid to do this!”, “it seemed like a good idea at the time, right?” and “Tim, don’t forget to take the dog out for a walk when you are done”. I guess the spectators have a lot of time on their hands to dream up these catchy quips.
I did the 3.8KM swim in 1:09, the 180 KM bike in 5:56 and the 42KM run in 3:55 for an overall time (with some transitions in there of course) of 11:12:28. Good enough for 20th in my age group of 125 gentleman and 377th out of 1600 overall athletes.
Some of you may be wondering what I am doing in the attached picture as I am crossing the finish line. I am trying to make a “J” and a “W” with my right and left fingers. Not to honor myself or anything but it is an attempt at a small homage to my father who was also a JW – Joseph Wojcik Sr. He had a lot of influence on me and I was inspired by his athletic accomplishments and 34 year running streak. He passed away a couple of years ago but I always think of him when crossing a finish line at a big race. The symbol is tricky to pull off so I may have to think of another way to give him a small nod. Any suggestions are welcome!
For those of you who have been following my posts and race recaps (although I have some non-triathlete friends who swear that there is nothing more boring than a race report!) and you may have noticed that I have traveled a great deal to compete and complete these races. You see, I am on a little personal quest to do an Ironman on every continent (well at least one on every continent where they offer one) and so far, I have done five Ironman races on five separate continents. So the last piece of the puzzle for me will be to complete one in South Africa in 2015. I am sure it has been done before (I met a guy in Cairns who has done over 80 Ironman races!) but it still appeals to me to have some type of world-inspired goal given my love of international travel and triathlon. And as far as I know, they don’t have plans for an Ironman Antarctica but if they do…..
I am one step closer to my goal and I have Reliv and the products to thank for getting me there. I was barely sore the next day after the IM thanks to the Reliv Now/ProVantage/ReversAge combination along with Innergize on and off the course and I am ready to start training again soon for Africa – the last continent in my sights.
See you in T2!