From 147kgs to 83kgs and Ironman Melbourne for a second time

For most people the thought of swimming 3.8km, riding 180km and then running 42.2km seems impossible. For IRONMAN Asia Pacific Championship Melbourne entrant Anthony Rizzo it was impossible.

Just a few years ago he tipped the scales at 147.6kgs, now he’s down to 83kg and ready to test himself by competing in the toughest one day endurance event on the planet.

I have always been obsessive to achieve work wise, but it was a day when I was fishing and my wife rang me and needed me to take her to the hospital and I couldn’t run 2km back to my car. That night 14 beers later something broke inside me and I decided that was it, he said.

I have lost it over 6-7 years but was always too intimidated to do a triathlon when I was 147.6kgs, I signed up for short course tri years ago but just couldn’t make myself get into the car on the morning, he said.

With support of good friends and my wife, I started walking and just moving, instead of loosing weight I focused on getting fitter.

My weight is down from 120kgs to 83kg, and it all happened because of a friend over a beer, he challenged me to do a Gatorade event, but my one condition was we got a coach as I couldn’t swim 25m and hadn’t ridden a bike for 20 odd years since school (in fact I didn’t know when I first purchased a bike on eBay that they come in different sizes-of course I purchased a 48cm bike ideal for teenagers.

From those humble beginnings in sport the 42-year-old from Newport is set to become a three time Ironman Melbourne finisher.

This is my third time, I only started training properly a week ago due to youngest son teething and being unsettled, he said.

But last year I missed Callum, my son, on the finishing chute, so he and I decided I should do it again but this year he is expecting a somersault finish! But I am hoping he will settle for a hug instead as I am not agile at all.

Rizzo credits triathlon with his new found fitness and lease on life.

Triathlon has given me a new insight into life! Commitment, to be respectful of everyone’s journey and that your inner voice can be harnessed for positivity, he said.

Sometimes losing weight can seem like an insurmountable challenge, just like an Ironman. Rizzo, a man who has accomplished both, has the following advice for those with weight to lose.

For me it was change your outlook or outcome and want to change more than you want sleep, he said.

If today’s a bad exercise day, then start fresh tomorrow and do not beat yourself up, refocus and start again, join a tri club and don’t be intimidated the people I have met have been amazing people who support you, and as for those egos there are a few … Enjoy them, they are part of the fun of the sport.


Karl Hayes

Head of Rest and Recovery

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.