IM Busselton Race Report 2017


The wolf pack had an amazing day at Busselton Ironman and 70.3. Monica got a 3rd in her age group, Ian did his fifth Busso IM and these awesome athletes completed their first event: Justine T, Jason D, Moana M, Monica B and Shane M.

Bill H on the 70.3 run

Jean F looking cool as a cucumber

Carley R
Busso 70.3 IM was an interesting start. I had started the swim 500m in and found myself turned back to shore with a shark who came to checkout the action. The ride and run were hot! By far my favorite was finishing, coming back and cheering our amazing IM athletes home. It was so much fun at the PHTC tent. Thanks everyone!!

Jason D
It was my first time competing in a half ironman and second ever triathlon (power station tri the weekend before was my first). I did a lot of the training myself and came up with my own program. I tried to get to as many swims with PHTC as I could when I wasn’t working. I felt confident leading into Busso that I would make it to the end. I made it almost half way around the swim before being pulled from the water. I loved the ride course along the coast and into the tuart forrest and was feeling really good out of T2. The first lap of the run I set a PB over 12km before I started to fade with sore legs and the heat picking up. I was really happy with my time (4h44m) and exceeded all expectations. I have now signed up for the May event as I feel I have unfinished business after the swim was cut short.

Ian H did his fifth Busso IM

Roz H completed her 4th 70.3 like a champ – finishing the run with some leg pain but pushed through.

Kellie M on the run of her second 70.3

Mike F looking like he’s enjoying the run

Moana M
If there is an Iconic swim in Australia, it is Busso, so to have that taken away was disappointing but the right call to make. I struggle with the swim. It has never been my strongest leg of any triathlon. And yet my name means the Ocean.. go figure! I had trained consistently over 6 months and have managed to pull off a swimming fitness that took out my running fitness. I will never know now how well I would have done in the swim. WA needs to do something about making the ocean safe again.

Moving on a flat bike course is great in an OD or Sprint but for 6.5 hrs it was brutal, constantly pedalling with no respite. Wind picked up in the 2nd lap, the heat was intense. Heat rose from the ground and my feet underneath were burning. I had developed small blisters which hurt when pedalling. My pace slowed but managed to get off the bike in 6hrs 45 mins.

I went out on the run with great intentions but knew that was a pipe dream. Demons were at play. I threw up 3 times – Endura electrolytes stomach could not take it. I ended doing a marathon run on Coke and water. The soles of my feet were killing me. The demon resurfaced and was telling me, you are not going to make the cut off time. Support offered to me came in the form of Club alley, my cousin Lou, Coach Trav, Kingsley and Yanti and would you believe it a childhood friend with Yanti I hadn’t seen in 40 yrs.

On the last lap my body was struggling and shutting down. I pushed through, got rid of the demons and ran/shuffled through to hit the IM carpet and call it – Job Done – I am an Ironman! I am walking a bit funny the day after but the medal, finishers towel & t-shirt were worth it. Do I see myself doing another Ironman? Of course – I have unfinished business. A jetty swim.  Maybe a crack at Ironman NZ – no sharks or bushfires! Thank you IM Busso for the experience!

Monica B – 3rd in her age group!
My journey to Ironman Busselton was an unplanned adventure. This time last year I thought it might be fun to do a triathlon.  I met some amazing people at Armadale swimming pool who thought I could, supported and sometimes gently pushed me towards the finish line. I am so honoured to a part of this diverse group of wonderful people who are fantastic role models for all of our families.

Peta W
It was hot, horrible and relentless. Getting that one done was more satisfying than the one I did injured in 2015. Just because there was no swim did not make it easier. In many ways it made it harder. Not warmed up, too fresh were some of the comments. All I can say is it hurt… when I wanted to quit, I just wanted to get back to the club tent because I knew they would help me keep going. I have no idea of my times.  I finished near the bottom of my age group but based on state numbers 20% failed to finish in my age group so I will take my finish and be proud. Thanks to our supporters, you got me through!

Shane M doing his first IM

Matt F looking strong on the run

Justine T
Cried and then got my smile on – 2nd time no swim for me at Busso – damn sharks. Nailed a new PB on the bike. Died in the run – too hot. The team was amazing support!

IM fun and our terrific volunteers and support crew

Athlete Profile – Alex B

Name: Alex
Nickname: Blommers
How long have you been doing tri?: 3 months
How did you get into tri?: I wanted a new challange so joined the club
How many bikes do you have?: Two – a Giant roadie and a newly purchased Felt TT bike
What do you want to achieve this season?: To get through the season completing all the races i have signed up for and be ready for the half in May (fingers crossed)

Wolves fire up at power station


The Power Station Triathlon was a fast, fun event with a few members from the Perth Hills Triathlon Club competing. A late change during the week to the transition area meant the swim course was altered, the bike course had a new start and finish and the run was reversed. This didn’t deter the three wolves who were pumped and ready to go.

The course consisted of a 750m swim, 23km ride and a 4km run. The swim was made easier as almost all of it was with the current. The ride was made up of five laps with a lot of tight turns and a couple of railway crossings. The run was two laps along the windy coastal path. A very flat course meant the hills were not calling today.

Jason was at his first ever triathlon and thought it would be a good idea to see what it was all about before racing in the 70.3 at Busselton next week. He was 3rd fastest out of the water, held his own on the bike and finished 7th in his category.

James thought it was a fun and friendly event and a good way to start off the season. He was only a few seconds behind Jason on the swim and ride but smashed out a 16:50 4km run to finish in a time of 1:13:57. A nice way to stretch out the legs before resting up for the Mandurah Interclubs the following day.

Abdul came into the event thinking he would take it easy as he was also racing at Interclubs on Sunday. He started off by coming out of the water 13th in a time of 15:15. He enjoyed the tight turns on the bike course but was missing the hills and almost lost count of how many laps he had done. A solid run gave him a total time of 1:22:46.

A great day was had by all with another event done for the season but with plenty more to come.

Athlete Profile – Carley R

How long been in tri: 3 years with hopefully lots more to come!

How did you get into tri: I had done a few fun runs and was reading an email about the Sunsmart Womens Tri. I thought, ‘what a cool event and look everyone gets a medal – I want one (ha ha) I’ll give it a go. I entered the short distance tri with very limited swimming and biking I had an absolute blast. I got the medal and haven’t looked back.

How many bikes do you have: 2 bikes, a lovely road bike and my favourite bike Shirley the Shiv time trail bike.

What do you want to achieve this season: To have fun and enjoy the events and training with a great club and friends. Oh and to build to hopefully ironman distance next year and to get around 5.45 for a 70.3 ironman.

Athlete Profile – Mark D

Nickname: Doc (because my initials are M.D.)
How long have you been in tri?: 3 years
How did you get into tri?: My cousin was doing them and I decided to have a go at one and have been hooked ever since.
How many bikes do you have?: 4
What do you want to achieve this season?: To complete the half ironman in May next year.

Ian says Hola from Spain

PHTC wolf, Ian, recently spent some time in Spain for a once in a lifetime experience watching the La Vuelta, cycling some crazy Spanish hills and watching the Aragon MotoGP. Here, he shares his experience and some photos for us all to enjoy. 

Hola wolf pack,

I’m writing this from my hotel room and that crazy castle looking thing is the view from my window.  I’m on the last leg of my trip and it’s Friday morning 1:30am in a little town called Zaragoza.

So far the trip has been truly amazing. I have seen some incredible things, and tested my self on some unfathomable climbs.

The cycling culture here has to be experienced to explain it properly. There are climbs for road and mountain bike further than you can imagine. And trails too run as far as your stubbie little legs will take you.

Never once was I yelled or tooted at, only clapped and cheered on.

I’m a little sad the trip is almost over, but really looking forward to getting home to my little family and my business. It’s crazy how only from afar do you realise how lucky you are to have amazing friends and family in your life.

I will leave you with my passing thoughts.

Do you really need that new shinny TT bike that will shave 40 seconds off your time? Or before you click yes to your next Ironman consider this – either of those will easily get you a ticket to Europe.

Take the time to see the world, you are worth it.Take the challenge to scale a mythical climb on a bike, you never know there may be a new you at the top waiting.

You will never know if you don’t take the chance.

See the world one pedal stroke at a time.



Novice Program Launch

In August 2017 the Club welcomed triathlon veteran and coach Rob ‘Slim’ Wiles into the wolf pack and he was keen to get straight into it and start a novice program.

Slim has competed in triathlon for 24 years including representing Australia in the world long course championships twice. He has coached novice programs for five years and helped 150 athletes break into the sport. He is also a triathlon technical official with 20 years experience.

“I love teaching novices and current triathletes to see them improving themselves and helping people get over their own fears and insecurities,” said Slim.

“Anyone can have a go at triathlon, I once coached a lady in her late 50’s and she hadn’t ridden a bike in over 40 years.

“The novice course will teach budding athletes the core swim, bike and run skills to build their fitness levels and help them reach their triathlon goals while having fun.

“I like triathlon because of the friendship and support of the entire triathlon community and the Perth Hills Triathlon Club members are an awesome bunch.”

The Club novice program commences on October 7 and runs for 10 weeks.  For more information head to our Novice Program page.


That Dams Ride

The “Not a Race” Report by Sue Thomas

I had originally entered the 3 Dams as I had unfinished business from a couple of years ago when I entered but then pulled out before the event. Then I changed to the 5 Dams event the day before, after being inspired by the distances being ridden daily by the riders in the Indian Pacific Wheel Race, and as a tribute to fallen rider Mike Hall.

Dam one – Mundaring Weir

The 5 Dams riders rolled out at 6 am from Curtin University in groups of around 20 riders, leaving every 30 seconds. I joined up with a group containing Belle and Stephen, who Monica had put me in touch with the night before. I stayed with this group until we hit Greenmount Hill, where we began to string out as people climbed at different speeds.

We rolled through Mundaring and turned at the lights to head down to the weir. It was here that I began to feel the first twinges of fatigue in my legs. Hmm – I’ve only done 40k – shut up legs, you still have a long way to go. What followed was a nice 7k descent to Mundaring Weir which had my legs feeling good again. A quick stop, refill the bottles, eat a banana, go to the port-a-loo, then I was back on my bike and heading up the hill. My group had all split up by now, so I rode on my own but there were always other riders around, and the faster 3 Dams riders were coming past me now too.

Two and three – Churchman’s Brook and Wungong dams

The next checkpoint was Churchman’s Brook at 84k. The 3 Dams riders had turned off earlier, so there were fewer riders around me now as I climbed the hilly road up to Churchman’s Brook. A quick stop here to refuel, then off again up an even steeper climb. I am so glad that my new bike has such low gearing. I would really have struggled with my old bike, as many around me did.

It was only another 10k to the lunch stop at Wungong Dam, which was 93k into the course. Here we had a choice of filled rolls and banana cake. I ate a cheese and salad roll, and put some cake in my bag for later as I wasn’t that hungry. Another big climb took us up to the dam wall which we then cycled across. This was pretty cool and I stopped for a selfie. More climbing to get out of the dam, whilst the 3 Dams riders came whizzing down the hill on their way into Wungong. It was starting to become hard work by now, and I made sure to eat and drink regularly. I also took an Endurolyte tablet every hour to boost my electrolytes and ward off cramping. I broke the ride into manageable sections between check points, rather than thinking about how far I still had to go. It was only another 17k to the next check point.

There’s always time for one more dam selfie!

Canning Dam – four down but not yet half way!

Next up was Canning Dam, at the 110k mark. To get there we turned onto Albany Highway for a short stretch of a kilometre or two, then turned onto the road to Canning Dam. This road was in poor condition, and was the bumpiest, bone jarring ride ever. As with the other dams, there was a long descent down to the dam, and a long climb back out. Here they served up Winners bars, and I ate one and put one in my pocket for later. I climbed the bumpy road back out towards Albany Highway, feeling the fatigue mounting throughout my body. There were many 3 Dams riders around me on this road, and they too seemed to be suffering in the heat on this awful, bumpy, hilly road. At the junction with Albany Highway, the 3 Dams riders turned right to head back towards Perth, whilst the 5 Dams riders were directed left, to ride 15km along Albany Highway to the Jarrahdale turnoff. This was the section I was dreading the most as I don’t like riding on busy roads, and the memory of Mike Hall’s accident was still fresh in my mind. I hugged the edge of the road as much as possible, gripping the handlebars tightly whenever a vehicle flew past. That 15km couldn’t go by fast enough for my liking, and eventually the turn off to Jarrahdale came into view and I thankfully turned right off the highway. I stopped and had a little stretch here as my lower back was beginning to ache.

Serpentine and doing fine

This section through Jarrahdale and on to Serpentine Dam was probably the toughest for me as it was hot with little breeze and I was beyond tired by this time. Riders were very strung out and at times there was no one else within sight. It crossed my mind more than once that I could call someone to come pick me up when I reached Serpentine Dam if I felt I couldn’t go on. Eventually I reached the dam at 154km and tried to force down some pasta but I was too tired to eat much even though I knew I had to eat to give me the energy to continue. I looked at my phone and had to chuckle when I saw there was no service. I had no choice now but to keep riding. I took a Nurofen and a No Doz tablet, downed a bottle of electrolyte, and set off for the final stretch home.

I rode past Karnet Prison Farm, but they were all inside. I enjoyed the fast descent down to South West Highway. OK, I was on the brakes most of the way down the hill to keep my speed in check, but it was a nice relief to not have to pedal for a few kilometres. A short 100m or so along the highway, then we turned right and onto some quiet back roads which were flat and enabled me to ride along at a decent speed. I had been worried all day about making the 6pm cut off, and was very happy to be able to get my average speed up again and try to hold it there.

The familiar freeway

The painkillers and caffeine seemed to be doing their job as I maintained a good speed all the way down Karnup Rd to the freeway where I happily joined the cycle path. To my pleasant surprise, I met two of my friends who had been tracking my progress online and had ridden out to meet me on their bikes. We rode together for a while, enjoying a slight tailwind on the cycle path towards the city. At the 200km mark I stopped at the Freeway aid station, refilled my bottles and ate a killer python to keep my energy up. Steve told me that at this pace I would likely finish around 5.30pm. I was relieved to hear this and kept the pace going. My friends peeled off at the servo and I rode the rest of the way by myself, my spirits having been lifted by their company.

The kilometres ticked by, I crossed Mt Henry bridge and onto the path beside the river. I knew we had to ride across the pedestrian bridge to get over the freeway, but I wasn’t looking forward to this as I knew my legs had had it and it would be a struggle. Soon the bridge came into view and as I started up it I noticed a bike coming across the top towards me. It came down around the corkscrew bend on my side forcing me into the railing. I clung to the railing as my legs cramped, and I was stuck – unable to lift my leg off my bike due to cramps. After a few moments I started crab walking the rest of the way up the bridge, then sat on and rode down the other side.

Thankfully the cramps stayed away for the rest of the way back along the cycle path to Curtin University. I crossed the finish line and looked at my watch – it was 5.30pm, just as Steve had predicted. My friend Karen was there to congratulate me as I pried my tired body off my bike. I had done it. 5 Dams, 240km, over 2500m of elevation, in 10hrs 18mins. Box ticked – Mission accomplished.

Job done!

Sports Nutrition Seminar – 10th of November 7pm


Perth Hills Triathlon Club is very proud to be bringing one of Western Australia’s premier sports nutrition experts David Bryant to the hills region to help you maximise your racing and training performance through his tried-and-tested dietary advice.  This session will be specifically targeting the needs of triathletes but will also be suitable for those single-sport athletes wanting to improve their knowledge.

David is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Sports Dietitian with Catalyst Dietitian.  He is currently working with WAIS world class athletes to improve their dietetic skills and has helped hundreds of his clients achieve their sport-specific, weight loss and dietary goals without resorting to extremes.  You can find out more about what David has to offer by clicking his logo above but this is what some of our current members have to say about him:

“When I went to David I weighed around 94 kilograms which isn’t huge for someone as tall as me but there was a fair amount of useless fat in that.  I had been to other dietitians before with some short term success but regaining the weight when I lost motivation to continue their prescribed regime.  David worked around my goals, lifestyle, likes and dislikes to provide me with the tools that I needed to lose 10kg and keep it off in the two years since.  He also helped me develop a race nutrition plan that has worked to help me set new personal best times at all distances up to Ironman.  I would highly recommend David’s for anyone looking to make positive changes to their sport through diet.”  –  Travis Bentley

“David was able to individualise my pre-race & race nutrition in order to satisfy my sensitive stomach and ensure that I was in top condition & running as quickly at the end of the race as I was swimming at the beginning! Diet & nutrition should never be the reason that you don’t do well in a race and since I have been working with David I’ve never had to worry! ”  –  Peta Woodland

“When I started out with triathlon I had no idea about endurance based nutrition especially in regard to daily nutrition required to sustain daily training.  All my previous experience had been with high protein low carb nutrition required to sustain 3-4 strength workouts a week.  After a couple of months triathlon training I hit the wall.  David showed me how to balance my nutrition for endurance training and to maintain race weight using everyday seasonal fresh food.  His knowledge and understanding of triathlon training and it’s impact on the body is excellent.  I highly recommend him.”  –  Mike Burns

Topics covered in the hour long seminar will include:

  • Body composition
  • Daily nutrition to support training and recovery
  • Nutrient density and diet quality
  • Race preparation and taper
  • Fuelling on race day

The nutrition session will be held at Hillside Farm Education Centre at Lot 41 Hayward, Martin (Gosnells.)  Follow the signs on arrival.

Entry is $10 including provision of healthy snacks, however as part of our members benefit program all Perth Hills members secure FREE ENTRY if they RSVP by email before the 6th of November.  All others please pay cash at the door.

RSVP by email to