RTC Weekly Update – 26 March 2014

Happy Tuesday/ Wednesday everyone.  Well another crazy weekend has passed and this time I’m going to start with a race report that Judy sent in about her Melbourne Ironman journey.  As most of you know, it didn’t end as she expected, yet she gives us an honest account of the preparation, race and aftermath.  Please enjoy reading this and then onto the rest of the weekly update.


Part of my Ironman journey included thinking about how I would later put my experience to paper (or screen) as an IM virgin and as a way to share this remarkable trip. My story does not yet have a happily ever after but there are bits in there that are a part of what this crazy IM club is all about.

I would think about 20 years ago I sat watching the Hawaii IM show that used to be shown in  Oz months after the actual race, (usually with tears in my eyes) thinking one day I want to do one of them………..

Move forward many years as my son Joel convinced me to join him in triathlons again, I was training with Mary and chatting during a kicking drill (as you do). Fateful moment as Mary convinced me that with quality not quantity I too could complete an IronMan. I’m not the one who can throw it all at these things as I have my family, a demanding job and my sanity to consider but began to think I would give this a crack.

Two operations later on my wayward ankle and some serious butt kicking from Mary to get on that damn bike and just ride it, I find myself at the starting line of Melbourne IM 2014. I picked this race for a number of reasons, I’m a Melbourne girl, so many family and friends here, I hate racing in heat eliminating Cairns and in 3 weeks I turn 50 so what a way to celebrate! Plus the bike course is flat, I have done many Port Phillip bay swims and know the run course well, having trained and raced on it for many years in Melbourne. Perfect!!!

I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was. It’s hard not to be when you have Jules the energizer bunny by your side Another thing that completely amazed and humbled me was the messages of support from the RTC team back home. Wow! What a great club. My IM is purely about finishing and unlike other clubs I have been a part of before, RTC just love the involvement. This is a great testament to the people and culture of our team. The support is amazing no matter what our individual goals are.

So here at the start line, nearly jumping out of my wetsuit itching to go, I waited for that start to happen. I looked to the heavens knowing my dear Dad who sadly passed away the weekend before was watching me and off we went. I won’t bore you with the details but fair to say I had the BEST swim ever. I loved it! Had a great time chasing down feet, draft a bit then pass them.  I was very excited to be out of the water about 10 – 15 mins earlier than I’d hoped. Especially excited as I needed all the time buffer I could get on that bike leg. Fast cyclist, I’m not.

About 10 or slightly more ks into the ride as I was just starting to settle a little and start thinking about my nutrition plan, tragedy struck. I think (not 100% sure) some fool decided to pass me on the left. I have no idea why, as being a slow rider I always keep out of trouble as best I can on the left of the track. I will never know, as what has become my most frustrating, incomprehensible memory is that this person just took off – nothing. All I remember is getting hit from behind and next I knew I was face down on the road. Sigh……

The rest is history. I am now nursing a damaged right AC joint, to be fully assessed back in Brisbane. I am lucky it could have been worse as looking at my helmet, now ruined, I clearly landed on my head at some point. Race over.

In spite of this I have been blessed, grateful and thankful by and for the following (in no particular order)

– an amazing spectator named Darren who quickly came to my aid, kept me warm by giving up his jacket, wouldn’t let me move, helped warn other riders, called the ambo, called my family, helped the ambos, picked up my bike and gear off the road, followed the ambo to hospital to meet my family and hand over all my gear, then sent a text later in the day to my husband to see how I was! What an angel.

– a fellow competitor who also stopped his race to check I was ok. A wonderful act of unselfishness

– a spectator named Erica ( this bump on the head has made me good with names!!) a 3rd yr med student who kept an eye on me until the ambulance arrived. She even checked if that was ok! Of course, the more the merrier 🙂

– Amy and Jason the two paramedics who were incredibly kind, gave me good drugs and also popped in later to check on me

– Catherine in xray, who kept her cool despite more requests coming in. In the end she did, Right knee, hip, ribs, elbow, shoulder, scapula, Left thumb, full pelvis, chest and spine and some of them from a number of angles.

– my wonderful husband and children, Rohan, Samantha and Liam who sat with me in hospital for 7 hours while I was assessed. Also Joel who was en route back to Brisbane and had to worry and commiserate by phone. I know you were stressing buddy! They have since been my absolute carers helping me dress, wash, feed me, drive me everywhere ….the list goes on. I’m a tragic lefty now

– all of the wonderful well wishers from RTC who really do get what a disappointment this is

– Fiona B for helping me so much with my riding over the last 6 months. Fi, thank you, you understood my paranoia and let me do my things helping me on the way. I enjoyed the rides we did do and it looks like I may just need to get out there again!

– Jules, Daz, Fiona and Carl, my fellow Melb IM team, thanks for helping me calm my nerves, get to the start and great support

– Mary and Jacko, what more can I say? You two are simply dynamic and a big part of how I even made it to the start

– Ben and Dolph, the best surgeon and physio ever, who agreed to get me to the start line no matter what, in return for a promise to take 12 months off after next lot of surgery to fix my ankle properly.

My IronMan story looks now to have a Part II. I have no idea when that will be and I am saddened that my happily ever after isn’t right here and now. Bruises will fade and limbs will mend, I hope that my Part II will be with RTC, you guys get it and get what IM red carpets, medals and towels mean – plus a new tattoo!!

Judy Fitzgerald

And from Fiona Buckland on Fb

A big thank you to everyone for their support yesterday, it was a tough day, good swim, good first lap of bike, achilles played up and the wind kicked up a gear on the second lap; blowing out one of my contact lenses, tried to put back in but was never going to happen in the wind so finished race not seeing properly (and before you ask it was not me that took out Judy) stomach was not good and had bad cramps, not seeing clearly I rolled my ankle at about 9 or 10 km mark, and due to nutrition issues had nothing left at end, very happy to finish with a 27 min pb, very proud to finish to find Carl Buckland had also done a 21 min pb so soon after broken shoulder really amazing honey


Great work everyone at IM Melbourne.  We had 5 start and 4 finish and all 4 I believe did pb’s.  Great work to Darren D who was first RTC male home in 10.01 and Jules in 10.58.  Carl (Crowie) finished in 12.47 and Fiona in 15.07.  Amazing results team and congratulations.    If anyone else has a race report I’m happy to include it.  Only 40 days till the next one – Port Macquarie Ironman.  We have had a few withdrawals lately due to injury and shame for those people, but we still have a large team racing.  Our biggest ever so if you aren’t coming down, stay glued to IM live all day.

The shirt orders for competitors and spectators for Port Mac are closing soon.  If you haven’t got your order in you need to do so NOW.  Go to our FB page and look for the post, download the order form and let Cheyne know what you want.  I would have included it with this update but I’m not very techno–savy sorry.  I would ask Paul but it’s Mair birthday today (Happy birthday Mair) so I’ll give him the evening off.


Well done to those RTC that raced at twilight on Sunday night.  It’s always a tough race, especially the ½ marathon due to both course and time of day and great work for having a go.  Special mention to Dean C who won the 5km race in a crazy fast time.  Great work Dean.  If anyone else placed I would love to know.


So only 1 ½ weeks till the Redcliffe Race.  Have you entered.  When I last looked a few days ago there were 48 RTC athletes racing and that is phenomenal. Great work everyone and I look forward to racing alongside you all.  If you haven’t entered I believe it still isn’t too late.  And remember the biggest random prize draw is a car for you to actually keep.  So make sure you get in now.

TQ have started to look for people to help out at the race. If you have let us know you are available can you please contact TQ directly and let them know and they will direct you in the right direction.


29TH Mar Open Water Swim + Run at Spot X.  2.30pm (Petrie Paper Mill)

30th Mar Ironman bike TT 100km / Cooloongatta Ocean Swim

6th April Qld Sprint Tri

8-11th April – Schools Nationals

12th Apr – Pinnacles / Open Water Swim

13th April – Combined brick session/ Luke Harrop Tri

27th April Noosa Festival – swim / cycle / run

4th May Port Mac Ironman



Thurs  arvo windtrainer for adults – cancelled due to lack of numbers

Wed am long course swim  – at Spot X this week.  5.15am.  There will still be a session at the pool at 5.30am

Open water swim + Run Sat arvo 2.30pm


Avanti North Brisbane are our new cycle sponsors.

Check out the message that James put out on fb re our new cycle sponsor.  Go in and check out the store, say hi to the owners and let them know you are from Caboolture.

Okay that’s all from me.  Short and sweet.  Have a great rest of your week and look forward to seeing you out and about this weekend.  Enjoy


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