IRONMAN Western Australia is one of the toughest races in the world, but that hasn’t stopped a few everyday Aussies from committing to race day by raising money and awareness.
IRONMAN is more than just a race, it’s also an opportunity to encourage other to get behind you, and what you stand for. Steve Payne and Rory Slabbert will be working hard next Sunday, spurred on by their passion for depression awareness and melanoma prevention.
Mission for Melanoma raises over $12k
Rory Slabbert will be racing with his Mum on his mind after her battle with melanoma, a cause closely related to the Sunsmart IRONMAN Western Australia race.
I’m inspired by mum and the way in which she has conducted herself throughout her journey. It was nothing short of amazing! It puts what is important in life into perspective.
Now, he’s teaming up with eight others to raise money and awareness for Melanoma WA, a non-profit that raises awareness about the disease, and provides support for those who need it.
“Essentially this epic experience came about from a bet! Earlier this year I organised an off-road cycling event for MelanomaWA called Mission for Melanoma. The CEO Clinton Heal, set a lofty fundraising goal early on of $50,000. Then about half way through to motivate our participants we made the bet that if we reached our goal, I had to join the team for IRONMAN Western Australia. So as they say, rest is history. We comfortably eclipsed that goal,” he said.
Rory Slabbert wanted to honour his bet and show his children anything is possible, so he started training just 14 weeks ago.
“I want to thank my wife Rebecca for all her support in this journey, it’s has been tough to fit in the early mornings and late nights around work and family life, but it’s only been possible with her support. I cherish her and my two awesome children, Lucy and Tyler,” he said.
Check out the Mission for Melanoma team’s page here
Australia losing young men to suicide inspires triathlete
After hearing that suicide is the leading cause of death in men aged between 15 and 44, Gold Coast resident Steve Payne knew he had to do something about it.
“When I signed up to do SunSmart IRONMAN Western Australia I wanted to do something good in the community and perhaps inspire someone to take up this great sport. As an acupuncturist, I see patients who suffer from anxiety and depression and have suffered myself. Beyond Blue do great work providing services for those who need help,” he said.
This isn’t Steve’s first triathlon though, his very first race was the Sunshine Coast IRONMAN 70.3, and since then he hasn’t been able to stop. “I’ve done two Olympic distance races, and now I’m stepping it up,” he said.
Acknowledging his wife Nancy’s support, Steve is also keen to express his gratitude to the community and generous sponsors. “The fundraising for Beyond Blue has been great. The support I’ve had has been fantastic, and a big thank you to all those who have donated and supported the fundraiser. Especially Endura, they have been an excellent support with their great range electrolytes, gels/ bars, nutrition and recovery products,” he said.
With less than a week to go, Steve is committed and confident he’ll make it through the gruelling 3.8km swim, 180km ride and 42.2km run on what’s luckily tipped to be a fairly cool day in Western Australia.
“The work has been done, I feel good, I’ve enjoyed all aspects of the training; even the swooping magpies,” he said. “I want to be the guy out there having the most fun and enjoying the day, hooting at all my friends and trying to keep them pumped as well,” he said.
Trizone wishes Steve, Rory and all the keen age-groupers the best of luck on Sunday.