Ironman countdown

Chloe FraserBusselton Dunsborough Times

South West, national and international athletes will take part in the SunSmart Ironman and Ironman 70.3 on Sunday.

Margaret River’s Dylan Brown is among thousands of triathletes set to compete at the weekend. It is his third ironman event.

The Margaret River Recreation Centre manager said he was looking forward to competing alongside people of all shapes and sizes. “I’m doing it for the enjoyment and the challenge but each year I want to do better than the last,” he said.

Busselton Swimming club member Yvette Williamson is competing the half ironman for the first time in 20 years.

She said she was taking part to encourage women of all ages, sizes and backgrounds to achieve their goals and never give up on their dreams. “I’m looking forward to crossing the finish line,” she said.

Local Andrew Hembroff will take on his sixth ironman. He said he enjoyed the event but looked forward to the final 200m.

Busselton City councillor Ross Paine will also join competitors at the start line, taking on his third ironman. He said he enjoyed the festive atmosphere of the event. “I like being on the course with people who are serious competitors and people who are doing it for the first time,” he said.

“For some people this will be the best day of their life, so it’s cool to be a part of that.”

Meanwhile Brisbane-based blind athlete Gerrard Gosens will line up with his guide, Ultraman Australia winner David Kalinowski, on Sunday, hoping to make history as the first blind or visually impaired athlete and guide to go sub-10 hours in the event.

Gosens has a strong background in athletics, competing in three Paralympic Games and six World Championships in events ranging from 5000m to a marathon.

“It is not about me, it is about the teamwork because we need each other to break the world record,” he said.

Elle Goodall, who is also based in Brisbane, is looking to complete in her first ironman after losing more than 100kg over the past two years.

“At the time I found it hard to walk even 100m,” she said.

“Crossing the finish line is my ultimate goal. I get emotional just thinking about it.”

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