Melbourne, Australia (March 19, 2014) â€“ 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.
â€œI 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,â€ he said.
â€œI 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,â€ he said.
â€œWith support of good friends and my wife, I started walking and just moving, instead of loosing weight I focused on getting fitter.â€
â€œMy 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.â€
From those humble beginnings in sport the 42-year-old from Newport is set to become a three time Ironman Melbourne finisher.
â€œThis is my third time, I only started training properly a week ago due to youngest son teething and being unsettled,â€ he said.
â€œBut 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.â€
Rizzo credits triathlon with his new found fitness and lease on life.
â€œTriathlon has given me a new insight into life!Â Commitment, to be respectful of everyone’s journey and that your inner voice can be harnessed for positivity,â€ 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.
â€œFor me it was change your outlook or outcome and want to change more than you want sleep,â€ he said.
â€œIf 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.â€
A one hour special will air on 7Mate, Sunday, 06 April at 2.00pm
IRONMAN Asia Pacific Championship Melbourne will be held on Sunday, March 23, 2014.
The 226km race will take place in Melbourne’s South East and Bayside suburbs. The course will include a 3.8km swim in the Frankston Foreshore, a fast and smooth 180km bike on the EastLink motorway and 42.2km Brooks run from Frankston to the IRONMAN Asia Pacific Championship finish line, located at the iconic St. Kilda Catani Gardens.
For further event details: www.ironmanmelbourne.com.
The iconic IRONMANÂ® Series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Since the inception of the IRONMANÂ® brand in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLEÂ® by crossing finish lines at the world’s most challenging endurance races. Recognized for excellence through distinguished events, world-class athletes and quality products, IRONMAN has grown from a single race to a global sensation with more than 190 events across five unique brands: IRONMANÂ®, IRONMAN 70.3Â®, 5150â„¢ Triathlon Series, Iron GirlÂ® and IRONKIDSÂ®. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.