Camden Haven triathlete seizes the day

Alex Knight-Viale all smiles after finishing the Port Macquarie Ironman 70.3.

AFTER a conversation with a friend about entering a triathlon one day in the future, Camden Haven’s Alex Knight-Viale decided to seize the moment, setting May’s Port Macquarie Ironman 70.3 event as his goal.

The challenge? A 1.9km swim, 90km ride and 21.1km run.

With his target set, Alex set himself a goal of finishing the course in under six hours.

No stranger to the endurance sport world, having taken part in triathlons as a child, he had not been an active participant for several years.

Training started 32 weeks out from the competition, with Alex also balancing his time-intensive university studies.

As a ploy, Alex placed his bike in the corner of his room so he could not avoid seeing it, motivating him to train for at least an hour or two most days.

Alex also made changes to his diet and social life, including banning all alcohol.

Going into the event, Alex was frank about his strengths and weaknesses.

“I come from a cycling background, it is actually how my parents first met, so I knew cycling would be my strongest leg, and that the swim, which is my weakest skill set, would have to become my main focus for training,” he told NOTA.

Alex said he was “extremely nervous” about the swimming component of the race.

“The swim was really tough and a lot harder than expected,” he said.

“The cold temperature of the water definitely didn’t help.”

Taking just over 50 minutes to finish the swim leg, Alex was close to last place in his age group, trailing the group by two kilometres.

However the bike leg was up next – Alex’s strongest.

While on the 90 km bike ride he overtook around 400 people, which he described as a “confidence booster”.

After the ride came the run, taking Alex just over two hours to complete the 21 km.

“I gassed myself a bit at the beginning of the run and as a result my pace slowed a lot towards the end.

“I just kept getting slower and slower.

“At this stage it was no longer a mental battle, it became a physical one.

“I couldn’t rally myself to go any faster or any slower, but I knew I was going to finish.”

Alex placed 58th in his age group (18-24 years old) with a race time of 6 hours, 20 minutes and 49 seconds.
“The vibe at the event is absolutely amazing,” he said.

“I loved having my friends and family there to cheer me on but for me the best part about the whole experience was just getting back into exercise and finding that part of my life again.

“For anyone considering entering the Ironman, it is a big commitment, so make training enjoyable and make sure it complements your life.

“Exercise had slipped from my life while studying at university so getting that part of my life back has been great and is something I want to maintain.”

Alex was one of 2700 endurance athletes from both home and abroad to take on the Ironman or Ironman 70.3 events in Port Macquarie in May.


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