Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Benalla resident tested in Australian Ironman

Despite suffering an ankle injury, Tony Rogers successfully completed the Australian Ironman last month.

MONIQUE FREER June 12, 2014 3:25am

Tony Rogers completed the Australian Ironman at Port Macquarie on May 3.

A Benalla property manager has successfully completed a gruelling Ironman triathlon, despite injuring his ankle halfway through the 226km event.

Tony Rogers, 55, competed in the Australian Ironman at Port Macquarie on May 3 after training for more than 12 months.

Rogers has been a triathlete for 25 years and completed two half-Ironmans in Shepparton, however last month’s event was his debut in the full Ironman.

The event consists of a 3.8km swim, 180km bike ride and 42.4km run.

About 2000 entrants competed in this year’s event, including 100 in the 55-to-59-year-old age group, in which Rogers finished 44th.

However, the finish was anything but easy for Rogers, who developed a cyst in his ankle during the ride.

‘‘At the 120km mark I felt my ankle get sore which slowed me down. I had to walk up a hill,’’ he said.

‘‘My transition was good into the run except when I went to run I realised I couldn’t on my ankle.

‘‘I jogged the first two laps and as I started jogging the third lap a gentleman walked past me so I stopped jogging and started walking, and I walked the last 20km.’’

The result was disappointing for Rogers, whose preferred leg was the marathon-distance run.

His training for the race began last year and included regularly umpiring for the Benalla Saints reserves, paddling to build upper body strength and riding a stationary bike during winter.

When the days began to get longer in August Rogers began doing 30 to 40km rides and ran around the lake three to five times each morning.

‘‘I’d do my run and then I’d do my ride and then I’d do my swim in the lake — all shorter distances,’’ he said.

‘‘When you start doing longer distances you only do two disciplines though.’’

His preparation also included adjusting his diet, and through the use of the special tea blend, Teaelixia, he dropped three kilograms in three months and became physically stronger.

Rogers trained 13 hours each week, and also joined Benalla Swimming Club to improve what he felt was his weakest discipline.

‘‘Those 6am starts at the swim club were worth it because on the day my swim was good,’’ he said.

He finished the swim in one hour and 15 minutes, and completed the ride in six hours and 24 minutes.

While he aimed to finish the run in three hours and 13 minutes, he ran the final leg in six hours and five minutes to record a finishing time of 13 hours, 57 minutes and 23 seconds.

‘‘I was definitely not proud when I finished, but the next day when I woke up it started to sink in that it was a good achievement to finish,’’ he said.

Will he do it again?

‘‘The plan was never to do it again. I don’t intend to do it again as long as I don’t think about my finishing time.’’

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