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You live with dog – you get fleas

25 January 2011 2 Comments

Last weekend I travelled to Dubbo in the middle of New South Wales to conduct a training camp/seminar. I’d been to Dubbo about thirty years ago but don’t remember too much about it. it’s one of those places you go through on your way to somewhere else. It is amazing where triathlon takes us. There are lots of interesting places we’ve travelled to that we would never have gone to if it wasn’t for triathlon.

No, I didn’t get fleas in Dubbo. I could easily get them at home. What I did get in dubbo was inspired. I was inspired by the comraderie, the mateship and enthusiasm the “Hard Men of Dubbo” showed. They train in tough conditions in summer, which switch to hard conditions in winter. They say “you never develop much courage if only beautiful things happen to you”. I imagine a four hour bike and a set of 2km run repeats after it on a summers morning in Dubbo, would not be described as a beautiful thing. Or a 2hr bike ride before work on a winters morning in Dubbo. 

The guys feel a bit isolated and disadvantaged by living so far from major centres. It’s amazing how we can feel like that, but a stranger will see our advantages. I have never spoken to a more attentive group of people. The guys out there have a real hunger for information about their sport. I do coach several of them already. This has grown from one, Simon has been with me for about a year and a half. He reduced his Hawaii time by sixty-one minutes from one year to the next, and his port MacQuarie category place from 14th to 4th in one year.

This has helped recruit a few more Ironman athletes. The seminar/camp was organised by the Dubbo club and people travelled from Orange, Bathurst and Narromine. The monthly interclub race was to be held on the Sunday morning. This gave me the opportunity to watch the guys perform under pressure after a training day where I was able to get to know them a bit and go through lots of technique and theory. I then gave a race analysis, areas for improvement report in the afternoon lectures.

The people who are involved in traithlon in Dubbo are not disadvantaged at all. They have something special which many city athletes would be envious of.

Everywhere you go in Dubbo is ten minutes.  Whether it’s the airport, the bike track (a bitumen bike track around a beautiful grass playing field) or the Olympic pool. The roads are wide and the traffic light. There’s an old saying, should be said with a drawl, “If you can’t get it in Dubbo, you probably don’t need it”.

One of the greatest assets they have is the mateship. The great Australian mateship has it’s roots in the country. In this club, they have Rob, he’s the local solictor and an organisor/leader in the group. Simon is an elite age grouper, an inspiration to the guys coming through. Two trips to Hawaii and good solid races each time. Ian is a “Hard Man”, he travels all over the country, works long hours, runs as if he still has a rugby ball under his arm. Ian’s prepared to do watever he has to to be ready to race at Port. I told him to drop a few kilos, he’s onto it, he’ll be lean next time I see him. 

Tim is a busy business man with a young family, he keeps the club equipment at his place and put on a great dinner for the group on Saturday night. he’s a talented guy, detirmined to improve. Bart the local baker, fit’s triathlon around a bakers lifestyle, his brother Joe, another guy with a young family and a job that requires a lot of travel, still manages to race and enjoy it. Mick is a classic Aussie larrikin, arrived in his restored army jeep, challenged Simon for the win in the local triathlon, a hard man, living a great life with his young family.

Graham, Dougal, Erica, Jody, Scott, Mark, John, Peter and Rod the local personal trainer all join the other guys in mentoring young Tom. Tom is only fourteen and shows great potential. He’s had a bit of time with his state juniour squad but rejected their, flog the young kids to get results this year approach. Training moderately with this great bunch of people will see him keep loving the sport, and developing at a natural rate. After all it’ll be four more years before he’s close to his potential.

What these lucky athletes have is hard conditions to shape them. Great mates to encourage and motivate them, and strong goals to give them direction. Each one of these athletes gains something from each other member of the group.


  • Ashley Druve said:

    In a nutshell, ultra runners and Ironmen triathletes have a different outlook on things… Ironman: “Is ultra running just for fat people who can’t run very fast but have a very
    high tolerance for boredom?” Ultra Runner: “Perhaps you are right about the boredom; I am still listening to you. I run ultra marathons because they are incredibly hard and rewarding” Ironman: “An Ironman is much harder than an ultra marathon.” Ultra Runner: “How do you work that one out? The finish rate for an Ironman is close to 100%. Many ultra marathons have finish rates of less than 50%.” Ironman: “An Ironman is harder because it is more difficult to make it to the start line. You need years of training in 3 different sports just to make it to the start, unlike you ultra marathon runners….” Whether you’re an ultra-distance runner or an Ironman, or both,
    this video is one of the most hilarious you will ever see! Just be warned, the video contains a bit of crude language and may offend some sensitive runners… or Ironmen.

  • Ashley Druve said:

    Allan that was just meant to go to you not be publised on the site. Sorry.

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