Visually impaired triathlete and Coates Hire ambassador, Nathan Johnston took on one of the newest and toughest Triathlons in Australia, Ironman Melbourne and came out crowned the ‘Asia–Pacific Australian PC Champion’.
Debuting in 2012 as part of the Asia-Pacific Ironman Challenge, Ironman Melbourne has since attracted some of the world's finest competitors, with athletes beginning their day with a one-loop, 4km swim, followed by a 180km, two-lap bike ride, and a 42km run that finishes in the beachside suburb of St. Kilda.
Johnston, who at a young age lost much of his sight since being diagnosed with the degenerative eye condition Retinitis Pigmentosa, competed with his running guide, Ironman veteran Glenn Gorick, who was tethered to Nathan for the entire event.
Finishing in a highly respectable 13 hours and 12 seconds, Johnston beat over 1200 able body athletes in a field of 2500 competitors, saying he was proud of his time, which shaved off a whopping 40 minutes off his previous personal best for the event.
“I’m really happy with my result and I was humbled when they got me up on the podium and gave me the trophy - It was a pretty special day for me.”
Considering that the event was not just grueling – Ironman Melbourne is regarded as one of the world’s toughest one-day Ironman events – it’s also a test of the competitors’ ability to withstand the heat, wind and hilly conditions.
As Gorick noted, “halfway through the race, it was like running in an oven, with a number of the athletes suffering from heat stroke and other heat-related ailments.”
“The longer we were at it, the harder the race became.”
This made Johnston’s win and new title even more impressive, especially considering they started the run later in the day, when they had to contend with the heat and a 25km headwind.
“The heat and wind really added to the challenge - we were both really happy with what we achieved.”
Dropping into Coates Hire South Melbourne branch just prior to the race, Johnston said he was very happy to come to meet some of the Coates Hire staff.
“The guys were very impressed to have Nathan there,” said Gorick, who also added it was “always great to catch up with one of their main sponsors.”
Jeremy Hill, Coates Hire Group Manager – Strategic Marketing said Coates Hire was right behind their ambassador.
“Health and fitness is very important for our company, so we hope ambassadors such as Nathan will inspire the broader Coates Hire team to keep active and stay healthy.”
“We are very proud to have someone as inspirational as the newly-crowned Asia–Pacific Australian PC ChampionNathan Johnston as an ambassador,” said Jeremy.