ULTRAMAN AUSTRALIA - Is a 3 day, 515km/ 320 miles, ultra-endurance event
In a recent podcast, Taryn interviewed one of the Academy's athletes, Denise Wilson, who has taken up the challenge of Ultraman Australia, a triathlon that involves a 10km swim and a 140 km ride with 1500m of climbing on Day One. Day Two is a 283 km ride with similar climbing and Day Three tops it all off with a double marathon (with hills)!
Denise, who is 59 years old this year, ran her first marathon in 2007 and took up triathlon in 2012. In order to do Ultraman, you need to qualify and do an Ironman in a timeframe of 14 1/2 half hours. So Denise gave up all the running and learned to swim and ride to qualify for the Ultraman Australia event. She initially participated in 2022 and plans to take up the challenge again in 2024. She learned a lot from her first Ultraman race, but there was one thing she did not tick off - finishing Day Three. There's a 12 hour cut off each day. And if you don't make the cut off, then you proceed as a participant, rather than a finisher.
She's now preparing for a new race and believes it's not a repeat, but a new adventure.
In the podcast, Denise shared her experience and what she learned from her last race. She learned that she is good enough and it's not about comparison. When asked what she’ll do differently for 2024, besides overcoming the chafing (!) the other thing she knows she’ll be changing in 2024 is her nutrition.
Denise shared that despite thinking she was on top of her nutrition ahead of the event she discovered how little she knew. She is more confident now after equipping herself with better nutrition knowledge and practices. She has learned how to prepare a variety of foods for her three-day ultramarathon race while still ensuring she meets her nutritional requirements. Her crew understands the goal, methodology, strategy and nutritional needs to provide her with the appropriate meals and snacks at the right time.
Denise has also learned how to carb load, which she didn't do before. She has realised the importance of having more hot food options since the weather conditions could be harsh during the race. The race also requires a lot of energy, and Denise has been trying out different products to find the right ones that work for her. She has also put a greater emphasis on her recovery nutrition. She knows that there's no one-size-fits-all approach, and nutrition needs to be tailored to her and the event's demands.
Denise has also learned in the Academy how to troubleshoot and adapt things on the fly, which is valuable in situations like this. She's been adapting her training plan for the Ironman Australia.
The Academy has taught Denise that no race defines who she is. She can go on any adventure and feel comfortable about what she's eating and drinking, without worrying about it. Denise is no longer stressing about food, and it's not occupying most of her thoughts. She now enjoys her food and drink and is not worried about it, thanks to the nutrition knowledge and practices she has acquired through the Academy.
Ultraman Australia is not for everyone, but if you're looking for a different type of challenge and adventure, this might be for you.
It is an endurance event that pushes you to your limits - a challenging adventure that takes a lot of courage, determination, and hard work to conquer. It requires you to be physically and mentally prepared for three days of intense physical activity. However, with the right mindset and preparation, you can conquer this challenge and achieve your goal.
Denise's inspirational story shows that age is not a barrier to achieving your dreams and with determination, passion, knowledge and the right support you can accomplish anything.