IM-NZIronman NZ was run and won in perfect conditions on Saturday morning.  With half the field coming from outside the country every year, IM New Zealand is truly the world’s most international Ironman events. Taupo has one of the world’s biggest fresh water lakes, offering an amazing swim circuit. A two-loop bike course comes back through town before heading through the forests and a three-loop run course leaves no chance to escape the thousands of spectators.  Jimmy was taking on his 7th Ironman race and Cynthia attempting just her first over the distance.  Congrats to both of them for an incredible achievement in their own right.

James Tyler 11:04:10 (Swim 1:15 / Bike 5:41 / 3:58) 30th in AG

Cynthia McLarty 12:51:33 (Swim 1:07 / Bike 6:22 / 5:03) 17th in AG

A few words from Jimmy:

Starting at 6:15am with the Maori waka approaching across the lake, and followed by a stirring traditional Maori welcome, the scene was set to be a special day. Just after 7am, the race commenced with a deep-water mass start signalled by the thundering boom of the military canon. Given my lack of floating ability, this couldn’t come soon enough especially in non-buoyant fresh water.

The traditional “washing machine” description was pretty apt and for the first 500m the water was pretty chaotic. Things spread out a little from here but at the 700m mark everyone seemed to bunch together again. I found myself suddenly pulled under the water as I was taking a breath and swallowing a mouthful of (thankfully fresh) water. I had to stop for maybe 10 seconds to try and get my breath, and to be honest to fight an instinct to swim to a paddle board. It took a few goes of trying to start again or doing a bit of polo swim before sighting a small calm area, and I headed there and slowed my stroke down in an attempt to relax. I fought through for 100m before I was then back in the groove and back to normal, finding feet of people to draft off.

For the next km, I had another athlete drafting me but annoyingly she was constantly banging, knocking and grabbing my feet, despite my attempts to lose her around other swimmers. Finally at the first 1.65km turning buoy, I did the “crocodile roll” trick to quickly turn and she was no longer there. The rest of the swim went well, but I was a little surprised not to have gone a bit quicker. Out of the water and we had a 400m run with steep stairs to climb just to get into T1, thankfully with heaps of friendly volunteers available to help.

IM NZ James

The first lap out and back on the bike felt good, I was conserving a little and my average speeds out and back were pretty consistent around 33.2km each way. The course was fairly undulating and even hilly at different points, and the different road surfaces along the way made a huge difference to speed. In fact between the different asphalt surfaces my speed would vary by as much as 5km/hr on the same stretch of road.

Lap 2 of the bike leg started amongst the cheering Taupo crowd but on the way out of town weather conditions had changed. A strong and at

 times gusty wind had emerged, and I now found myself often sitting at speeds in the 20’s (even down to 14km/hr) and occasionally on the drops. With a large number of TOs (Technical Officials) on course on motorbikes, I decided to be a little cautious when approaching groups. This paid off in spades at one point when I considered trying to overtake a tight group but instead decided to sit back a little bit and let them sort themselves out – just as a TO was sitting behind me watching. At least 2 of the bikes ahead then got 5 minute drafting penalties. Unfortunately, while discussing the penalties with the riders, the TO motorbike was blocking the rest of the lane so I couldn’t pass and ironically I ended up drafting the TO motorbike for a while.

On the way back, in places where the tailwind could help, speeds were higher and I particularly enjoyed the odd flat segments at 45-55km/

hr, maxing at 62+km/hr. Given the hilly course, I was targeting 5:35-5:45 so was pretty much on track there although at the slower end of the range.

A quick T2 and out on to the run. The clouds had cleared and conditions were now warm and humid. The first few km went well, all below 5mins and the legs felt fine. I hadn’t appreciated though until reaching the 4th km how hilly the run course was going to be once out of central Taupo, and my pace dropped off substantially.

After completing the first 14km lap, my old friend began to return and a big stitch came on followed by stomach pain / shutdown for the rest of the lap, presumably dehydration related. This catch-22 meant I couldn’t take on fluids during the lap while at the same time I was gradually becoming more and more dehydrated.

On the 3rd and final lap up the first long hill, I looked up to see every person in sight walking. As I slowed and my stomach gradually processed the water in it, the nausea began to settle and I could start pushing a bit into the final set of hills.

With less than 4km to go, I came upon the fabled “pirate aid station” which a volunteer had told me about. There was a fair bit of excitement in this area, which had a table set up with beer and lollies. The lollies seemed like a bad idea. But I’m unable to confirm or deny whether a half stubbie was skulled in seconds to the sound of a cheering crowd. With completely fatigued legs, I had enough for one last push from the last hill down into town, into the cheering finishing chute, and to the sound of “James Tyler, You are an Ironman” from the “Murray Walker” of Ironman, Mike Reilly.

All up, a tougher day than I expected but an incredible experience made all the more special by the amazing volunteers and supporters. They really went above and beyond making sure we had the best experience possible.


Despite an average forecast predicted, Elwood once again turned it on for the Corporate Triathlon on Sunday.  The event encourages work-mates to get together in a fantastic fun event to build camaraderie and challenge your colleagues to take their health and wellbeing to another level.  We spotted several of the Tri Alliance crew out on course participating in all sorts of teams.  Well done, but not limited to (these were just those spotted) the following athletes:

Michelle Leslie

Jonatan Castro

Ellen Reading

Rachel Madden

Sammy Woodlands

Brenton Matulik

Eduardo Oliveira

Megan Cannon

Liza Kierans

Naomi Ryan

Nathan Faye

Adam Strong

Raphael Maciel

John Noel

Kurt Boledziuk



Burns Girls (Tegan, Riley and Lara) and Monty, all took part in the Victorian Schools Triathlon Championships, run alongside the Corporate Tri on Sunday.  The event consisted of a short course 200m swim / 10km bike / 2km run event and a long course 400m swim / 10km bike / 4km run event.

Lara completed the short course  in 39:49, finishing 4th in the 12-14 AG.  Riley completed the long course in 52:06 in a competitive filed, finishing 11th in the 15-16 AG and Tegan went around in 43:34, taking the 2nd step in the 17-19 AG>

Monty competed for Port Phillip Specialist School and climbed to the top step as 1st place for Multiclass Senior Boys category, finishing in 54:35 .  Well done to Monty, his classmates and all the IST crew, who were out in force on the day!  And kudos to Rachel Mycroft for being a fabulous buddy, assisting a young athlete through his race.


Our little pocket rocket was at it again over the weekend, knocking out the Surf Life Saving Club Championships at Mentone.  Nichola did so well placing 1st Sprint, 2nd Swim, 2nd Board, 3rd Wade, 2nd Iron, 1st 1km run. Makes me tired juts thinking about all those events!  Nichola was the Club Champ runner up, by only 4 points.  Last year, she was runner up by 15 points, so has made tremendous ground in the last 12 months.   We can’t wait to see what the next 12 months will bring!




The Victorian Open and Para Track & Field Championships were held at Lakeside Stadium over the weekend.  Congratulations to Chloe, who received a BRONZE medal in both the 8o0m and 200m  events.  We love her quote after receiving her medal, “Be positive and your dreams can come true!”




Now, I don’t want to say, ‘I told you so’.  But, I’m pretty sure we called this 2 weeks ago!!!  Georgie Mervin has proven us right and gone out

and won her first crit race this season!  And not just any race – The 2018 Senior Club Criterium Championships held at Belmont Crit track on Saturday.

Congrats Georgie!  And also well done to Merv for snagging 3rd place in C Grade.





We hear Phil Barker headed down the peninsular to take on the Aqua Bike at Sufferfest Mount Martha.  This was a 1.9km swim + 90km ride through the local Mornington Peninsula.   Phil smashed out his swim in a time of 29:04 (that’s 1:24 / 100m!!!!) and the bike in 2:53, having about 1000meters in elevation (31km avg speed).  Great hit out on you way to bigger things, Phil!


When the weather is that good you get out and ride??‍♀️ ??

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