The Xman’s 2013 Ironman Cairns Age Group Preview


Victoria’s Xavier Coppock once again previews the real race going at Cairns next weekend. The Iroman age group field has a battle for Kona spots in every category. There are sheep stations on the line and glory from 18-24 years olds right through to 70+.

95%+ of the race is about age groupers and we love talking to and reporting on you. If you have any more people that you would like to mention leave a comment at the bottom of this article.

Take it away Xavier…

Male 18-24:

The standout for me in this one is: #57 Amos Gollach – went to the big island last year, so knows how to get there. Under a structured program now and had a great lead in at Busso 70.3.

Female 18-24:

#76 Madison Taylor – only has to finish to get her ticket.

Male 25-29:

My pick here is: #110 Daniel Macpherson (no not the actor)…stepping up from the 70.3 last year which he went 4.18, then a 4.07 at Port 70.3 2012.  Dan has been to Kona before so he knows what to do to get there.

Main rival: #145 Todd Spackman, more of a 70.3 specialist (in his own words) however has been to the big island on a few occasions, so can get the job done.

Female 25-29:

#167 Kimberley Russell for the “W” here, however I have heard on the grape vine that she is going to do her best work at the Melt down..  Fast on course, Groover on the floor.

Male 30-34:

The one to catch is: #203 Matthew Craft… We had a good chat walking the Queen K last year and is looking for his 5th ticket to Kona.. The big question for me is not if he will win his a/g, will he make it to the “Sub 9” club and be the fasted age grouper overall??

Others to watch: #197 Dane Cantwell, this flying kiwi will be around the mark for a long way into the race….but how far can he push Crafty?

#234 Jayson Gerde who is coming off a 5th place in the 30-34 at IMWA 2012 in 9hr 19min should be the main one to challenge Matt.

#332 Ben Squires gets a mention as the one who will be 1st out of the water in this age group and maybe among all age groups after his 45.32 swim at IMAUST a few weeks back.  I think the 3.30 marathon there might just tax his legs too much in the heat late here.

My Roughies:

#331 Lucas Spargo…Watch this space…Had an ok Melbourne this year and will be better for the run.
#346 Daniel Thompson… A 70.3 gun who can run….1st up over IM distance

Others been thrown my way, however as I state every time…I am not picking the top 15 in each age group…just the top couple.  Your mate might be going well, but will he match the above??

Female 30 – 34:

This should be one of the best races in my view: Hard to separate these three (in no particular order):

#380 Kristy Craft….I am just waiting for the day that she chicks Matt 😉

#394 Marina Jurjevic… Is flying atm, not taking her Kona spot regardless…Will this hinder her if the race is close at the end??

#395 Felicity Lloyd… Fastest 30-34 at IMMELB 2012 in 9hr 45min…Swim is her weakness, wonder how much time she can afford to give Kristy in this battle.

Kristy will lead out of the water by a few minutes here and will be interesting to watch the race unfold from there.

Male 35 – 35: (My special interest category)

#424 Ben Bell – flying machine, running specialist, multiple 3hr 0x Hawaiian Ironman Marathon Runner.  Weakness is riding.  As per Matty Craft, Ben’s biggest battle…sub 9 & fastest a/g.  Always gets things right. Only way he will be beaten if he beats himself.

#461 Nathan Fitzakerley was 3rd here last year and will be on the podium again.  Will need a very low 4hr 50min ride to have enough gap on Bell to challenge him.

#469 David Green had him, however got his spot at Auckland 70.3, so unsure if he is racing.

Podium Roughie:

#580 Steven Roberts.  He has been in the mines working for the last 6+ months, unsure of his fitness, can swim/bike well, just unsure about the run.  One thing that will work in his favour is the heat.

Female 35 – 39:

Another cracking girls field and once again a few front runners that will make for a close exciting race.  Just because you get older doesn’t mean it gets easier…

#638 Jessica Fleming 3rd overall at Ironman Aust, so unsure if she will be racing here.  If she does, she will challenge for top step again.

#650 Emma Miller 3rd in the 2012 IMMelb 30-34.  Been running a lot of late, so wouldn’t surprise if a fast run time for her.

#654 Julianne Schliebs is about to do her 3rd Ironman in 7 months, tough ask on the body.  Ironman WA 2nd, Ironman Melbourne 6th and now here.  Will she have enough left in the tank?

Male 40 – 44:

#693 Peter Breadsall, the man can bike and run, swim is a big weakness.  Been carrying a few injuries in the last 12 months, but wasn’t that long ago where he went 9.19 Ironman UK, 13th overall with one of the fastest bike times.  If he can repeat that form, he will be tough to beat.

The added pressure with this age group is that in the Asia/Pacific Ironmans in 2013, the 40-44 age group has produced the fastest time.

NZ – Matt Lewis
Melb – Olaf Kasten
Port- David Meade

Big shoes to fill??

I am pretty sure that I would have missed an obvious one here, however no-one else really jumps out at me.

Female 40 – 44:

#937 Susan Crowe won her age group her last year and will be hard to beat again.  My tip…back to back.

Male 45 – 49:

A big field here, have found a few to name:

#976 Alan Bentley 5th here last year.

#982 Trevor Buchanan double Hawaiian Ironman Finisher, says enough…will be around the mark.

#987 Peter Clark 2nd year last year, no doubt wants top place in 2013.

#1009 Darren Franken got a roll down spot at Melbourne, will be there abouts off the bike and into the first part of the run, will be interesting to see if he can challenge late.

#1078 Dennis Neal one of the toughest athletes I know.  Bumped into him running a few week back and is looking fit.  Is keen for this and will give them a good shake.

Female 45 – 49:

Looks like a very open field. The only one that is returning from last year is #1171 Susan Meehan who finished 5th. #1173 Raija Ogden never underestimate the wife of a pro! Could be a surprise here…That’s my tip 😉

Male 50 – 54:

Easiest one to pick:

My sparring partner in races (and old enough to be my dad)

#1197 Kevin Fergusson, will almost be the first age grouper off the bike out right.  Wins everytime he turns up and this race will be no exception.

Female 50 – 54:

Too open to say so just going for a roughie… Eenie Meenie Minie Mow…

#1289 Elizabeth Model, just has to look the part with a surname like that?!?

Male 55 – 59:

Predicting a straight out win for #1307 Stephen Hempel 3rd last year in 11hrs

Female 55 – 59:

A two way war between:

#1345 Sharman Parr & #1346 Belinda Sharpless

Male 60 – 64:

#1386 Peter Vaughan

Female 60 – 64:

#1389 Lynn Davies

Male 65 – 69:

Lucky Dip…

#1397 Yasushi Sakuma

Male 70 – 74:

#1400 Alex Hamill

Male 75 – 79:

#Sze Mun Yee


#104 Ricky James

As I say after every post, I am so amazed by the achievements of the “older generation” who turn up, do the race to the best of their ability.

Hats off.

All the best!




Karl Hayes

Karl is a keen age group triathlete who races more than he trains. Good life balance! Karl works in the media industry in Australia and is passionate about the sport of triathlon.

  • Ben

    Your research on Dan Thompson (Male 30-34) is a bit lacking X, he has been to Hawaii twice and is a lock for a podium. I should know, he has beaten me enough times.