Men of mettle
SAM HUME (’94
To contemplate taking on a 3.8km swim followed by a 180km bike ride, then a 42km run within a 17-hour time limit would be a nightmare for many people – but not for a growing group of Old Boys willing to punish their bodies in the cause of athletic achievement.
Peter Montgomery (‘87) qualified for the World Ironman Triathlon Championships in Hawaii, the pinnacle of the sport, by completing the Melbourne Ironman in March 2014 with a time of nine hours, 39 minutes, the 11th fastest in his age group. More than 2,200 athletes from all over the world competed at the world championships.
‘I arrived in Kona, Hawaii on 7 October, along with my wife, father, his partner and four of his mates and three of mine: “Team Monty,”’ Peter told Great Scot.
PETER MONTGOMERY (’87).
‘We started in Kona harbour, with 1,700 other male athletes. Just over an hour later the swim was finished, then it was onto the bike for a leisurely 180km ride along the famous Queen K highway, in a brutal wind. Twice I almost lost control and crashed, and I cramped up for a while..
‘After five hours and 20 minutes on the Queen K, it was time to slip on the sneakers and run 42km, part of which was again along the desolate Queen K highway. The final kilometre was the best – hugging my dad and then my wife, and seeing my mates 500m from the finish was just brilliant! Crossing the finish line in 10 hours and 19 minutes, and hearing the voice of ironman, Mike Riley, screaming out “Peter Montgomery – you are an ironman!” was priceless.’
In March 2015, Peter Montgomery’s brother Scott (‘85), Executive Director of OSCA, Sam Hume (‘94) and Lachie Wilson (‘93) all competed in an Ironman Asia-Pacfic event in Melbourne. Sam Hume finished in eight hours 39 minutes, setting a personal best time in his 12th ironman race, and finishing as the first age group athlete and 14th overall, just 25 minutes behind the winner, Jeffrey Symonds from Canada. Lachie completed his sixth ironmen event in nine hours, six minutes and Scott in 12 hours 45 minutes.
Scott had begun training a year before the event, and said his aim was just to finish. ‘I always thought I’d be able to do that,’ he told Great Scot, ‘but it was terrific to have the support of family and friends to help me get to the finish line’.
Last April, Gary Wall (‘81) competed successfully in an ironman event, having decided four years earlier to embark on a weight-loss and fitness programme. Gary set himself a time limit of 12 to 14 hours to complete the three legs of the event, and actually completed it in 12 hours 53 minutes, describing it as ‘a pass mark, but looks like I need more running miles under the belt’. He drew up a programme of possible future ironman event to consider his participation.