Geelong, Victoria (Tuesday 3 February, 2015) - After their dad John had heart surgery to correct a heart murmur, sons Will and Ed Clarke decided to set him a goal that would get him exercising post-surgery.
That goal was Sunday’s IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong, and with the family all living in different parts of Australia and in Ed’s case the world, they decided racing in Geelong would be a great way to spend some time together.
Will is based in Sydney, John in Bermagui on the NSW South Coast and Ed in Singapore.
“There are not many sports where you can participate as a family and where regardless of ability, speed or skill, get such a large amount of satisfaction out of purely personal results/times or even just finishing, so we are really excited at the chance to do something together that we have never been able to do before,” Will said.
Ed, 28, is the only team member with any triathlon experience having completed IRONMAN 70.3 Putrajaya last year, which means he’s the only one with all the right gear. That inevitably led to him taking on the bike leg, while John, 62, will do the swim, leaving 30-year-old Will with the run.
“The atmosphere and support of family and friends makes the day absolutely unforgettable. I keep explaining to the others that the atmosphere, energy and excitement make you forget about the actual effort you are putting in, and the time just flies,” Ed said.
The families connection to Geelong is a strong one with their mother Denise’s family from there, and many of them still living in the area.
“I dad, and Ed all grew up in Melbourne, so it is a great opportunity to return home, and make it a larger family event and a weekend of festivities,” Will said.
And as is often the case father and sons would not have been able to make it to the start line without the support of wife and mother Denise.
“Mum deserves a mention given the great support she has provided in getting this organised and supporting the family. She certainly enjoyed pushing Dad off the couch and into the pool,” Will said.
And while John is looking forward to the day, he’s looking forward to finishing the swim and then relaxing as his two boys complete the final two legs of the race.
“Doing the swim allows him to have a few of his preferred local Geelong Brown Magpie wines whilst the rest of us slog it out - his real prize given the self-imposed post-NYE drinking ban,” Will said.
Race day, on Sunday 8 February 2015, will also include over 1400 age group athletes chasing their own personal bests.
Courtesy Ironman Asia Pacific