Every year dozens of proposals are made at an IRONMAN event but for local Kingsley Bugarin and Yanti Ardie it comes with a twist at Sunday’s SunSmart IRONMAN Western Australia.
Bugarin, a multi Paralympic medallist who was awarded the Order of Australia Medal, and Ardie, Indonesia’s first female IRONMAN, plan to say their vows during the 42.2km run leg on Sunday.
The active couple met at the Bali Ocean Swim last year and fell in love soon after the Bali Paragames, where the five-time vison-impaired Paralympic swimmer was the Games Ambassador.
“We’ve had unusual commitment ceremonies and celebrations in Jakarta, Bali, and at Sungailiat Triathlon in Indonesia, but we wanted our legal marriage to take place in a unique way,” said Ardie, who became an IRONMAN at Western Australia last year.
IRONMAN Western Australia will be Kingsley’s first full IRONMAN. They plan to celebrate their honeymoon in February on Rottnest Island after doing the 19.7km Rottnest Channel swim as solo entrants; it will be Kingsley’s seventh and Ardie’s first attempt at that distance.
Bugarin is looking forward to Sunday’s race and pending nuptials, his goals for the race are modest.
“When I was a pool swimmer my goal was to win every time,” said Bugarin. “In my retirement open water swimming became not so serious but I have won medals in the local open water series.
“On Sunday I just want to finish. In triathlon, being a very weak runner and average cyclist, my goal is to just put in everything I have and do as well as I can.”
More than 1900 athletes will be chasing their own dreams when racing gets underway from 5.30am on Sunday, 7 December.
For more info on the race check out Ironman WA
Text and images courtesy Ironman AP.