Tag Archive for Triathlon

Runners World Magazine – Mt Gower Challenge, Lord Howe Island.

16 April, 2014.

Following on from a back page feature in the latest edition of Runner’s World Magazine, I thought I’d post the full interview here for everyone to read. This was done after my record breaking attempt for the ascent/descent of Mt Gower on Lord Howe Island back in January. I hope you all enjoy the read!

 

Can you tell us a bit about the Mt Gower Challenge? Was it an invitational? And was the recent one the inaugural event organised by your dad? Sounds like it was dramatic – is the course quite exposed in sections?! What was the total elevation gain?

This year’s race was the inaugural event and a concept created by my dad. He was definitely the driving force for the organising of the event, but the whole family got involved and so did the Islands community. Lord Howe is a world heritage site and it was a hard concept to have approved by the committee on the Lord Howe Island board. Due to the danger involved with the event, we were only approved to have 5 local athletes that knew the track to attempt the record this year. The event was a huge success in bringing the community together and a great source of exposure for the Island, so the Board has shown their ongoing support to run the race as an annual or biannual event. The course is 13km in length and the Mountain 875m tall. It starts with a 1.8km run along a coastal bush track to the base of the mountain (a mix of four wheel drive track, sand and boulder hopping). It’s then almost vertical to the lower road, a section running along a 1m wide cliff with a 250m sheer drop into the ocean, which takes you into the valley between Mt Gower and Mt Lidgbird. From Erskine valley to the top it’s again almost vertical and a hard slog with many rope sections to navigate. If you have time to stop and take in the scenery, there are amazing views throughout the whole course. It’s like nothing I’ve ever competed in before and is absolute utopia once at the top and amongst some of the most unique moss beds in the world. We’d love to hold the event again and make it only by invitation. Logistically you’re somewhat limited to this anyway, as there are only a certain amount of flights and restricted numbers allowed on the island at any one time. Being a busy tourist destination, it would be impossible to get numbers on the island at any one time.

 

Can you tell us about your father and his association with Lord Howe Island and Mt Gower?

Much like I did, Dad had a very early introduction to sport. His father, Jimma, was a very competitive sprinter over 100 yards and was always involved with the organising of sporting events on Lord Howe Island. My father grew up on the Island playing cricket, football and participating in athletics like most children, but found basketball and running to be his favourites after receiving a sporting scholarship to college. Throughout his time studying medicine and his first 10 years as a radiologist he was involved with many college sporting teams, but it wasn’t until his early 40’s that family friend and Ironman World Champion, Greg Welch, introduced him to triathlon. Since, he’s participated in triathlon, duathlon and running events including the Hawaii Ironman World Championships, and has always remained running to keep fit around work. Like everyone who’s grown up on Lord Howe, Mt Gower is held close to his heart. It’s a landmark that dominates the island and something you see everyday from every spot on the island. You grow up hearing stories of the pig hunters and mountaineers who’ve set unofficial times for scaling it’s peak, and it just made sense that one day he’d challenge those times. Much like I’ve done. I suspect this will continue and is always going to be of significant importance to the Islands community!

 

(Mt Gower Challenge) How did it feel to break your father’s long-standing record?

Once out of delirium and knew I’d broken the record (because I didn’t comprehend at the time) it was a very emotional occasion for me. I’ve been all around the world as a professional triathlete, but never have I felt so honored and proud to win an event and set a new record. To break the record was living a childhood dream.

 

Why was competing in the Mt Gower Challenge important to you?

There’s about 350 people who live on the island and I’m sure they were all there at the finish line, most of them family and all of them friends. It was an unbelievable feeling to be greeted by everyone at the finish and see them inspired by what I achieved. The main reason I did this race was to help educate the next generation of children about the importance of maintaining their health and fitness, and to see it bring the community together like this was very special to me!

 

Greetings from Nan after the race Mount Gower - as seen when arriving at the Island

 

What’s your earliest running memory?

I have many fond memories of cross country and athletics events as a child, but one significant memory was my dad seeing if I could run at 3min/kms on the treadmill. I must have been about 7 or 8 and he was explaining to me how amazing it was that someone could run a marathon at that speed. He insisted on putting me on the treadmill at 20km/hr to give me a better understanding of how impressive it was. Somehow, I managed to hold it for 30 seconds or so and not get spat of the back, but it seriously makes me laugh thinking about him doing this to me.

 

What attracts you to triathlons?

Initially and for the first couple of years racing as a professional, it was all about my ambitions to someday win the Hawaii Ironman. I was there as a 7 year old in 1994 when Greg Welch became the first Australian to win the World Championships. Ever since it’s something I’ve always aspired too.

Triathlon can be a great lifestyle sport for an athlete, but it’s also very time consuming. So when racing at an elite level it’s easy to loose perspective on the meaning of enjoying sport. As I’ve experienced more in life and found other important passions and interests of mine, I’d now like to combine racing with other career opportunities to live a balanced, meaningful, healthy and inspiring way of life.

 

Describe your proudest moment in competing in triathlon. (Include event name, date, distances, time)

Your first big win is always a proud moment, so probably taking my first 70.3 Ironman title at Yeppoon in 2011 (Ironman 70.3 Yeppoon, 14/8/2011. 1.9km swim, 90km bike, 21km run 3:56:41). However, the year before was my first year racing in Europe as a professional (age 22) and came 5th at the Ironman 70.3 European Championships in Weisbaden, Germany. I beat some big names in the sport that day and the crowds are so much bigger in Europe. They had a huge awards ceremony in a cathedral and it was a pretty proud moment to be standing on stage with such class athletes.

 

Favourite piece of gear

Definitely my ON running shoes. I use the cloudsurfer for training and the cloudracer in races. I’m a relatively big guy for triathlon (6”3 and 80kg) and the cloud technology provides a very responsive shoe, whilst saving my legs from the pounding on pavement.

 

What’s your must-have post-race fuel?

I always use a recovery protein from Musashi, but next on the hit list are usually pancakes with maple syrup, ice cream and berries. I’ve recently gone gluten and dairy free though so I’m not sure what I’m going to do. Maybe I’ll have to make some exceptions…

Mind you, I’ve recently started a partnership with a local cafe in Sutherland called Left Bower, and they do amazing gluten free spiced pumpkin pancakes. If you’re ever in the area, you must check these guys out! Here’s a link to a blog I recently posted about them.

http://olliewhistler.com/left-bower-the-hart-of-sutherland/

 

What is your number one passion/hobby outside running and triathlons?

I have lots, but fashion and music would have to be at the top of the list. I’m in the process of launching my own fashion forward sportswear and streetwear range as part of the ‘Ollie Whistler Collaboration’ (OWC), which aims to combine my passions with sport to help others realise that their dreams can also become reality with hard work and belief, and there’s a lot more to an athlete than just sport. It’s a platform to share my passions, experiences and learning’s with others and where like-minded people can work collaboratively to help turn passions and dreams into a way of life.

http://olliewhistler.com/owc-shop/

 

Do you enjoy music on the run? If so, what’s your favourite long run tune?

As mentioned above, music is a massive part of my life… I live and breathe it and always enjoy running with my pod! It’s incredibly hard to narrow it down to one song, but I do have a bit of theme song for the ‘OWC’. The presets – Its cool… and of course loud!

 

What’s your biggest race-day peeve?

Sorry to be a bit crude, but definitely if I don’t have a good session on the porcelain throne pre race.

 

Who inspires you?

I don’t really draw inspiration from particular people, but take it from the environment around me. Art, music, architecture, nature, experiences, people I meet, places I travel and from within. I’m very much a self believer.

 

What’s your day job?

At the moment I’m a sales manager at a bike shop in Sydney called ‘Chain Reaction Bicycles’. If I’m not there then I’m either training or working on the ‘OWC’.

 

I couldn’t live without…

Waking up in the morning and laughing at myself in the mirror… never take yourself too seriously and life’s no fun without a laugh! This is closely followed by a coffee. My favourite two things in the morning.

 

What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?

I have really bad crows feet from laughing at myself too much…

 

Your motto

“dream something so big it scares and excites you at the same time,  the harder you work at it the luckier you get, live that dream, and then lover every moment…” – Ollie Whistler

 

Your age – 26

 

Your suburb, state – Sutherland NSW.

 

Anything else you think we should know about you

I think you get a pretty good understanding that I don’t take life too seriously.

 

This link below will take you to the 7.30 Report feature we also received following the event. A great little insight into the race!

http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2013/s3923835.htm

 

Smiling for the camera before the start Erskine's Valley on the way up

My data is now online

My data is now online

Karri Valley Triathlon – Race report, Matty White

I have been involved in the Team Latitude concept since its inception racing events such as the Port Douglas Long Course, Coles Bay and now Karri Valley Triathlon, and more importantly I enjoyed racing them all and had

photokvt2

a fun weekend away giving back to the sport and meeting new people at grass roots races. I love racing low key events a few times a year as it gives the body a chance to relax and enjoy the atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle of the big races which can be quite full-on sometimes with sponsor and race commitments.

The good thing about Karri Valley was that there was no phone, internet or TV reception, which felt pretty good and gave everyone  chance to relax a bit more and converse. The Stadium Tri Club do a fantastic job with this event with everything being close by with the race location centralized within the resort which had great chalet style accommodation making everyone really comfortable.

mattyKVTRace Day was not ideal by any stretch of the imagination and was disappointing as most years I was told the race was held in sunny warm conditions. This year however it was raining hard and quite cold, and with the no wetsuit swim for the Open field it was not ideal for me who is USELESS in the cold conditions!

I had a great swim coming out in pack with Tim Berkel, Pete Roberton, Justin Brewer and Courtney Ogden, but as soon as we hit dry land, or should I say WET land thats where the fun started as Berkz took a 20m dive going over the speed hump, the rain was pelting down at this time and conditions were quite treacherous to say the least; full credit to Tim who got up and rode with us for the 1st lap before conceding to his battle scars.

I was joined on the bike by Robbo and Ogden, and I decided to ride hard at the front for the 1st lap primarily to stay warm more than anything! Robbo came around me at the start of lap 2 and drove the pace really hard, obviously still carrying some good leg strength from his 10th place at Ironman Melbourne a week before. The lift in pace shelled Ogden and eventually myself giving Robbo a minute lead into T2.

I was feeling quite good on the bike and was confident in my run despite coming off a really heavy training week, so I decided to try and use the run as my hard run set for the week and see what would happen. I caught Robbo at 2km who was obviously fatigued from Ironman. I pushed hard right to the end to hold off Courtney and win by about 4 minutes.

The course was challenging with some decent climbs on the ride and some cross country running and puddle jumping as you can see from my filthy race kit, but this was what made it fun and different and I urge any one who would like a great weekend away and a fun challenging event to come do this race.

Matty

photokvt

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Karri Valley Triathlon – Race report, Matty White

I have been involved in the Team Latitude concept since its inception racing events such as the Port Douglas Long Course, Coles Bay and now Karri Valley Triathlon, and more importantly I enjoyed racing them all and had

photokvt2

a fun weekend away giving back to the sport and meeting new people at grass roots races. I love racing low key events a few times a year as it gives the body a chance to relax and enjoy the atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle of the big races which can be quite full-on sometimes with sponsor and race commitments.

The good thing about Karri Valley was that there was no phone, internet or TV reception, which felt pretty good and gave everyone  chance to relax a bit more and converse. The Stadium Tri Club do a fantastic job with this event with everything being close by with the race location centralized within the resort which had great chalet style accommodation making everyone really comfortable.

mattyKVTRace Day was not ideal by any stretch of the imagination and was disappointing as most years I was told the race was held in sunny warm conditions. This year however it was raining hard and quite cold, and with the no wetsuit swim for the Open field it was not ideal for me who is USELESS in the cold conditions!

I had a great swim coming out in pack with Tim Berkel, Pete Roberton, Justin Brewer and Courtney Ogden, but as soon as we hit dry land, or should I say WET land thats where the fun started as Berkz took a 20m dive going over the speed hump, the rain was pelting down at this time and conditions were quite treacherous to say the least; full credit to Tim who got up and rode with us for the 1st lap before conceding to his battle scars.

I was joined on the bike by Robbo and Ogden, and I decided to ride hard at the front for the 1st lap primarily to stay warm more than anything! Robbo came around me at the start of lap 2 and drove the pace really hard, obviously still carrying some good leg strength from his 10th place at Ironman Melbourne a week before. The lift in pace shelled Ogden and eventually myself giving Robbo a minute lead into T2.

I was feeling quite good on the bike and was confident in my run despite coming off a really heavy training week, so I decided to try and use the run as my hard run set for the week and see what would happen. I caught Robbo at 2km who was obviously fatigued from Ironman. I pushed hard right to the end to hold off Courtney and win by about 4 minutes.

The course was challenging with some decent climbs on the ride and some cross country running and puddle jumping as you can see from my filthy race kit, but this was what made it fun and different and I urge any one who would like a great weekend away and a fun challenging event to come do this race.

Matty

photokvt

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An exciting new Partnership

Flight Center Active Travel

fcI am pleased to announce a partnership with Flight Centre Active Travel for 2014. Active Travel play an “Active” role in the sport I love by offering confirmed race entry to all of the major Ironman and Marathon events world wide.  As well as offering the lowest prices on flights and accommodation, Flight Centre Active Travel have a great knowledge of what it means to be an Ironman and they are quite often competing along side there clients.

If anyone would like to be running along side me in any of the Ironmans this year then please contact Bobby on 08 71294800 and he would be more then happy to get you all sorted out.

Matty

Left Bower – the ‘Hart’ of Sutherland!

19 March, 2014.

I’m excited to announce the OWC’s newest collab with Left Bower in Sutherland!

I started visiting Left Bower as a result of accidently stumbling upon them whilst out riding and in desperate need of a coffee fix… to much surprise, the pleasant and unique atmosphere created by the Hart family and their caravan inspired décor, also delivered one of the smoothest shots known to man.

It only took one visit to know these guys were nothing short of obsessed with their food and coffee, using only the freshest and healthiest in season local organic produce and their home roasted Jack of Harts organic Australian coffee. To further compliment, is their earthly and extremely warming bunch of personalities that make it feel like you’re eating first class food, whilst sitting around the camp fire at your family’s favourite holiday destination – something I’m sure everyone would like to feel on a Sunday morning.

I admire passion in every form, but so infectious is the energy and enthusiasm they put into every cup of coffee and plate of food, that the word had to be spread. Having recently moved to Sutherland to be closer to the ‘High Performance Tri’ training squad, I joke with owner Reece Hart that the move was just so I could visit everyday. We both laughed, but this could easily have been true.

Correct fueling is critically important to any level of athlete, or any person in any walk of life for that matter, so this is one hip eatery you shouldn’t miss. Earlier in the year, I removed gluten and dairy out of my diet to see if it improved my allergies and sports induced asthma. The combination of this and the fact it removes almost every highly processed source of carbohydrate from your diet has done wonders to both. It’s almost completely cleared up my allergies, I’ve had unquestionable improvements in my breathing capacity and have become better fat adapted, consequently giving me a more even and sustained level of energy in both training, racing and everyday life.

You don’t necessarily need to make the same extreme changes to your lifestyle as I’ve done by removing both gluten and dairy. The important thing to digest (no pun intended) from this is to eliminate as much of the processed carbohydrate and sugars from your diet as possible, and get more of your energy from natural carbohydrate and fat in fresh fruit, veg, meat, nuts, oils and sourcing the cleanest and freshest produce you can get your hands on. All of these healthy energy sources are found in vast quantities at Left Bower, and they ‘may even be your first healthy cup of coffee’, says Rhys. Methyl Bromide is a poison used in quarantine to fumigate all imported coffee, something that’s obviously not required when using their organic Australian beans.

Not having the time or money isn’t a good enough excuse to avoid eating clean anymore. Not now that there’s an increasing number of places like Left Bower, who deliver the best produce at affordable prices. Please, if you’re in the area, out riding your bike or able to make the trip for a visit, go and say hi to these guys and be thankful for the goodness they serve you.

Like we are at the OWC, you too can be proud to fuel your body at Left Bower. Meanwhile, by dropping in you’ll certainly be visiting the ‘Hart’ of the Sutherland Shire!

//Ollie

*You can follow my Instagram to get regular photo’s and inspiration from Left Bower’s healthy meals…

 

Left Bower. Owner Rhys Hart and brother Owen. Owen on the Athena Leva. An OWC post run breakfast. Rhys and Owen - busy in OWC Rhys wearing OWC

Challenge Batemans Bay – Matty White, Race Report

downloadI entered Challenge Batemans Bay a few months ago with my only previous Challenge experience being Cairns in 2011 and Wanaka this year and I liked what I saw and the feel of the race. I also entered the race thinking that due to it being an innaugrial event the field might not be that stacked! I was wrong as it was packed full of names, which is becoming the norm on todays half ironman circuit.

On a personal note I had just come off a big break and a bout of gastro and other ailments so I only had a sparse 3 weeks of work behind me and in with the caliber of field that was racing I was hoping for a good solid day and a finish between 5th and 10th would set me up nicely for my Port Mac prep through April.

download (1)

Challenge Cairns

The swimmers were out in force for this one with Fettell, Amberger, Fox, Appleton, Jacobs and Sanson, so I knew I would be behind the eight ball from the beginning so my whole approach for this race was to get some good training data and go solid from the gun which I did. I managed to come out in the 3rd group with Ogden, Whistler, Polson so had some good cyclists to keep me company and we got to work in catching the large 2nd pack containing the majority of the field.

I managed to work myself into the race and felt better as it went on, and due to the lack of racing I expected that, as we caught up to pack 2 at 60km, this left me around 5minutes behind the main swim group into T2 which I thought was not too bad and gave me a good chance to run with some fast guys like Cam Millward, Polson etc.

The run for me was very encouraging as I held a consistent pace the whole way, running a workman like 1:16 on a windy out and back course, plugging away I ran with Ogden and stayed about a minute behind Polson and Millward the whole way finishing 8th after miscalculating the finish chute in 4:01. Overall I achieved what I wanted to do on a limited prep and more importantly I felt good doing it, so the sign are encouraging for the next 4 – 6 weeks.

On another note it was my first race with the new Scody Optimise AIR full race suit and I loved it with the increased flexibility and breathability. Most of you would have seen me wear the full suit at Shep 70.3 and Ironman WA late last year. After that race I spoke with John Polson about how we can improve the suit to increase performance and I am happy to say they achieved that.

The suits are now available for the public so go to www.scody.com.au and check them out, as no one wants one of those unfashionable singlet tan lines that last for 6 months!

Next for me is Karri Valley Tri with the Team Latitude crew and then its full lock down for Port Mac Ironman.

 

Matty

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Post press conference chat with First Off The Bike at Ironman New Zealand

Related posts:

  1. A quick chat leading up to Ironman New Zealand with ATV
  2. I chat with the team from First off the Bike’s Tripod

Post press conference chat with First Off The Bike at Ironman New Zealand