Tri Alliance caught up with our Ironman athletes leading into Ironman Melbourne to share with you a quick and entertaining insight into each athletes preparation, challenges, expectations, advice for supporters and most importantly, how they plan on celebrating their achievements. We’ll share a group of athletes each day leading into the big race next Sunday 23 March. So come along and join in their journey….

ANDY WOOD-RICH (Andy)Andy Wood-rich
Race #/Category? #1465,  40-44 year old category (the mid-life crisis collective)
How many IM’s under your belt? Second Ironman
Words of wisdom for a first timer? The third rule of Ironman is “nutrition plan”, the first rule is always respect the third rule, the second rule is, never forget rule one
Biggest challenge getting to this point? Trying to balance home and work priorities with training
Best part of the journey to Ironman? The support of family and friends is the greatest thing, thank you gang!
Expectations leading into the race? My first Ironman was all about getting the job done, this year I’m looking to give it a little more and get as close to my first finish time, only do it with the full swim distance
Your advice to your supporters? From the supporters, I’m intending on collecting as many high 5’s as possible
How will you celebrate your achievement? To celebrate the closing of another season, I plan to cheer the last of the Ironmen home at the finishing chute, then enter the final race of the Gatorade season

MICHELLE GROCOCK (Shelly/Mich/Chelle/MG) Michelle Grocock
Race #/Category? #1498 F40-44
How many IM’s under your belt? Second IM
Words of wisdom for a first timer? Look in the mirror – that’s your competition
Biggest challenge getting to this point? Juggling training and work commitments
Best part of the journey to Ironman? All the great friends and support along the way
Expectations leading into the race? Pain, excitement, finish line
Your advice to your supporters? Yell and cheer as loud as possible, but please do not say either “Looking good!!!” or “Nearly there”!!!!!
How will you celebrate your achievement? Big hugs and champagne – last year I didn’t have any champagne at the finish line thinking it was a nice romantic idea but in practice it would be the last thing I would feel like. As it happened I crossed the finish line and really wanted it but didn’t have any!!!!

EVALIN LING (Ev)Evalin Ling
Race #/Category? #586, Female 30-34
How many IM’s under your belt? 2nd Ironman
Words of wisdom for a first timer? Don’t get caught up with numbers, unless it’s your bank account (Ironman training does get bloody expensive).
Biggest challenge getting to this point? Balancing work, training and doing the washing.
Best part of the journey to Ironman? The excuse to drink coke (during training).
Expectations leading into the race? I had some expectations that training for my 2nd Ironman would be slightly easier, it isn’t.
Your advice to your supporters? Don’t ask me how I am going mid race, I will cry.
How will you celebrate your achievement? By going on a long holiday in August and riding my many bikes for fun (rather than training).

MARGARET MIELCZAREK (Margs)Margs Mielczarek'
Race #/Category? #589 F30-34
How many IM’s under your belt? Second (but first full – unless they shorten the swim again)
Words of wisdom for a first timer? I’ve only done one so don’t think that makes me a veteran.
Biggest challenge getting to this point? Issues with hip and knee niggles/injury.
Best part of the journey to Ironman? Bonding with the Long Course crew.
Expectations leading into the race? To get to that finish line, hopefully before the glow.
Your advice to your supporters? Take snacks. I’m going to be out there for a while.
How will you celebrate your achievement? With a nice glass of champagne! 🙂

DAVID NEALON (Dave)Dave Nealon
Race #/Category? 40-44M
How many IM’s under your belt? Melbourne last year – back again! So if I can finish off the swim it’ll be my first ‘full’ Ironman.
Words of wisdom for a first timer? It’s a lot of extra training just to finish a swim.
Biggest challenge getting to this point? “Challenge” Melbourne (See what I did there!)
Best part of the journey to Ironman? Rest Days
Expectations leading into the race? That I’ll be tired at the end of it.
Your advice to your supporters? Watching people mount and dismount their bike is the funniest part.
How will you celebrate your achievement? By drinking beer and not signing up to the next one!

KARYN WINTERTON (Rowdy)Karyn Winterton
Race #/Category? #1041 35-39F
How many IM’s under your belt? Technically, it will be my first ironman since last year’s swim was halved.
Biggest challenge getting to this point? Biggest challenge – managing an Achilles injury
Best part of the journey to Ironman? Pushing and challenging myself beyond what I would normally do.
Expectations leading into the race? To finish in one piece!
Your advice to your supporters? Any support is good support!
How will you celebrate your achievement? Heading to Japan for a holiday!
DANIEL STEADMAN (Steady)Daniel Steadman
Race #/Category? #930 / 35-39M
How many IM’s under your belt? 2nd Iornman
Words of wisdom for a first timer? Just relax
Biggest challenge getting to this point? Not being able to run for more than about 5km until about 2 weeks ago without breaking down!
Best part of the journey to Ironman? The excitement in the fortnight leading up to the event. Its just an awesome buzz.
Expectations leading into the race? To finish. 🙂
Your advice to your supporters? Don’t offer me a beer at Sandringham while calling out “Nearly there” when there is still 12 km to go!
How will you celebrate your achievement? Go on a bender to make up for being boring recently!

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