Hello, I’m Dave. I love my family, coffee, red beer and cycling. A LOT.
I got into cycling through triathlon, which in turn I got into through running. I ran the Paris marathon in 2008, largely because I was going to be in Paris at the same time as some mates, and one of them had pulled out with injury. With five weeks training, I flew to Paris and lined up. What a day, I’ll remember that for ages. I ran most of the way with my mate Adam, until at the 30 kilometre mark he had to stop. To be honest I spent most of the next 12 kilometres shuffling too. It was PAINFUL. It hurt real bad. I finished in 5:12. Done, marathon crossed off, don’t need to do that again.
Three months later it still hurt a bit to run, but I’d gotten lazy, and needed a goal. What bigger goal than the New York marathon? So I got an entry, and decided that I should actually properly train this time. I started swimming once a week with some friends, and bought a road bike as well so I could cross-train. I ran New York, proposed to my wife (at the finish line, it was RAD), and set about getting into triathlon. I figured I was swimming and riding anyway, and I had a good mate encouraging me to have a crack.
So I would run marathons when I could, and I would race local triathlons at gradually increasing distances. I started trail running too. I would do anything of distance that I could get my legs into.
2011 rolled around, and so did the birth of our first child, our darling Matilda. In the lead up to this, I heard from just about every angle how I would have to stop endurance exercise, and that my life would change completely. So ‘Operation Anti-Fat Dad’ was born. I hate being told what I can’t do. I bloody loathe it. So I decided that I would run two marathons and two ultra marathons in the four months post my daughter’s birth. I trained by running the seven kilometres to work and back every day. Some days I’d do some more, and on weekends, I’d do more still. I could manage running 100 kilometres a week of running pretty easily. Those races weren’t easy.
Pichi Richi marathon, all fifty of us, running out in the desert, through the hills. I carried Matilda over the line on this one.
Adelaide 12 hour ultra marathon. I ran 111 kilometres in a single run, around a 2.2 kilometre track. I won this race outright, in fairness though, there were only 4 competitors, but shut up, I won.
Adelaide marathon. Funnily enough it was easy, boring almost. Running around the suburbs just wasn’t exciting any more. I knew I could beat this distance, I started wanting more.
Yurrebilla trail ultra. 56 kilometres of off road glory, up and down the slopes of the Adelaide Hills. I was flying, everything was going great, 20 kilometres in, and I was exactly where I wanted to be. Then the wheels fell off. All of them. At the same time. Within a kilometre I was barely moving, everything upon everything hurt. I could barely move, it sucked out loud. I had 35 kilometres to go, and I knew I wasn’t going to make it. But I made it. I still don’t know how. It was a lot of pain, a lot of perseverance, and a lot of struggle. Ups and downs, and ups and downs. I called Sarah during that race and I cried. I called my mate Scott and cried a bit. It was bloody, bloody hard. That day is when I suffered like I did in that first race in Paris. The medal I earned for finishing that day is still one of my favourites. It’s what really ignited my desire to overcome the impossible, to push past the false limits that hold you back. It was a day of discovery.
Since then I graduated to Ironman triathlons, and have raced 5 of them. I did a 24 hour running race, which was the deepest pit of hell I have so far been into. All up I have run a marathon distance or further 16 times. Never particularly quick, but always learning something about myself. At some point I got sick of having to stress so hard about balancing swimming against running against riding. I was riding my bike more and more, and enjoying that the most.
These days I spend all of my time riding. I picked up a mountain bike along the way, and have done several marathon and team 24 hour races. I love everesting, and have done four, and discovered the massive rewards that come from being a part of the Hells 500 community, but who knows what’s next? I hear randoneuring is where all the really nutty kids hang out…