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Glenn tackles Ironman challenge

Proud moment: back from left, Kerry Smith with husband Glenn Smith and their five year old boy, Malachi, after Glen completed the three stage Ironman 70.3 race that took him just over six hours to complete in February this year.

WHILE it proved to be a gruelling course both mentally and physically, Glenn Smith was all smiles as he crossed the finish line for the Ironman 70.3 challenge in Geelong on February 17.
The event was his first ever attempt at the race and was part of a larger journey for the Leongatha local who, in the past two and half years, has lost 30 kilos.
“I followed a training plan of four to 12 hours of exercise a week as well as eating healthier,” Mr Smith said.
The Ironman 70.3 challenge involves three stages; a 1.9km swim, 90km bike ride and a 21.1km half marathon, respectively.
An eight hour time frame was set to finish the course, with Mr Smith finishing in a commendable six hours, 16m and 3 seconds.
Mr Smith said “there was one thing that took my breath away – the current world champion for the age group of 70 year olds beat me by 22 minutes.”
Some 1500 entrants started the race, but not everyone was able to finish the demanding course. In the end, 1076 people crossed the finish line, with Mr Smith placing 856. Despite saying he was just thankful to have finished the course, it is an admirable feat for his first ever attempt.
When asked what the highlight of the challenge was, Mr Smith said “right at the end – passing through the finishing shoot.”
However, it wasn’t just finishing the race that was an unforgettable moment for Mr Smith, but what followed after.
“I was glad it was over but as I was reaching the finishing shoot, a random kid put out his hand to give me a high five. Then I heard ‘go daddy’ and I looked up to see my wife and five year old son, Malachi, at the finish line,” Mr Smith said.
It has been decided that his wife, who was 26 weeks pregnant at the time, and their young son should stay behind as Mr Smith knew it was going to be a hot and long day for them. Then, to further the surprise, Mr Smith spotted his sister and brother-in-law in the crowd.
“To see them all at the finish line was amazing,” Mr Smith said.
“As soon as I saw them, I started bawling my eyes out.
“Just finishing was emotional let alone that.”
Coaches were breaking the rules by jumping fences to spur on other athletes and give them high fives, according to Mr Smith. While he said the race was overwhelming, the sense of support was astounding.
“One thing I loved about the triathlon was that, while there were some people racing professionally, there were a lot of people racing themselves,” Mr Smith said.
He said he will take some time off now until their baby is born and then will get back into training with the intention of doing the full Ironman distance in years to come.
“The reason for my weight loss was because I had bad mental health – I had depression and anxiety,” he said.
According to Mr Smith, regular exercise has been invaluable for his health and everyday living, and with each little achievement it has helped him to overcome his mental health struggles.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=27972

Posted by on Mar 19 2019. Filed under Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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