Featured Member

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Susan and Rick

Lucky Lady

by Susan DeKeyser

I jumped into triathlon life in 2009 and became a Macca fan from the start. I was lucky enough to meet him in person in 2011 in our hometown of Key West for the annual Sprint & Olympic triathlon. I was absolutely blown away by his laid back attitude and eagerness to spend time with us age groupers. I read his book, “I’m here to Win”, before this race so it was fantastic to have him autograph this book. I raced that year and scratched my right cornea during the swim so badly that I finished the race with one eye open and went straight to the ER. Wore a patch for a week but I didn’t care–I met Macca–and was even more about excited triathlon.

My husband and I decided to make 2012 a memorable race year. We raced Honu 70.3 in June and then our first 140.6 in November at Ironman Cozumel. We fundraised for the MaccaNow Foundation during our Ironman training and raised $1,800. It was meaningful to have focus on something other than my training. The fundraising was rewarding, knowing we were helping breast cancer patients and their families.

Cozumel was a blast. My husband and I crossed the finish line seconds apart. I was hooked with endurance training and racing. I wanted to do this long term. I will qualify for Kona when I’m an old lady!

MaccaX Miami Camp
MaccaX Miami Camp

We were lucky once again in 2013 by joining the first MaccaX camp in Miami. The camp was hands down, a fantastic opportunity. We learned so many tips but on top of that, socially had an amazing time.

Miami Man Susan DeKeyser
Susan on the podium at Miami Man
We raced Miami Man the last day of the camp and I took first place. I was excited to be there. I was passionate about this sport and my ability to shine…with gratitude no doubt. I have always felt blessed to have the ability to be athletic. Many people do not.

Early 2014, I registered for my second 140.6 distance, Ironman Louisville. I was amped! Training started in May and the race was in November. One training month down and I felt great. I went in for my annual mammogram which turned into a biopsy a week later. On June 5, I was told I had early stages of breast cancer on one side. I was 48. Been a runner since age 15, lived a pretty healthy lifestyle most of my adult life, blah, blah, blah. It doesn’t discriminate. It can hit anyone at anytime. All the cliches were relative. I was forced to make tough decisions. I opted for radical surgery on both sides. Take them off, get “it” out, move on. In less than one month I was in surgery. Triathlon was on major hold.
Susan, Macca and Rick
Susan, Macca and Rick

Sometimes it’s better that we can’t forecast the agony we will endure. It was tough and three additional surgeries were needed over the next nine months. I am lucky because this breast cancer was caught early. I had so much support from my amazing husband. I also had amazing support through family and friends. And then there is the MaccaX family. I received a phone call from Macca before my first surgery. After his call I decided to treat my surgery like a race. Embrace the Suck. Conquer and prevail! I had tremendous support…and lots of humor (medicine). I truly love this group.

Susan back doing what she loves
Susan back doing what she loves

I’m healing and gradually getting back to where I want to be with triathlon again. The year away from triathlon made me long for it even more. Positive attitude and mental strength correlate to both my battle with breast cancer and performance, and life in general. You learn to “power on”.

I am grateful for being part of MaccaX and the MaccaNow Foundation. 

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by Jo Baxas

In our Up Close and Personal series we feature one of our German members Henning von Poser – known to the team as Poserlicious! He kindly answered some questions in German and English.

Wie bist zum Triathlon gekommen? How did you get into triathlon?
Ich hatte schon immer eine große Leidenschaft für Sport. In meiner Kindheit fing ich, wie fast jeder deutsche Junge, zuerst mit Fußball an und himmelte Franz Beckenbauer an. Da ich jedoch ein Nachzügler in meiner körperlichen Entwicklung war, konnte ich gegen die „großen“ Kerle keinen Blumentopf gewinnen, auch wenn mein Trainer mir große taktische Kompetenz nachsagte. Dann fing ich mit ca. 10 Jahren mit Tennis an, himmelte hier den Rowdy John McEnroe an und schaffte es sogar in die Jugendmannschaft. Aber damals war Tennis eher das, was heute Golf ist und dies gefiel mir nicht so sehr, alles ein wenig „unlocker“. Somit kam ich mit ca. 13-14 Jahren zum Radsport und das war echte Liebe auf den ersten Blick. Nachdem ich dann ca. 12 Jahre lang leistungssportlich Radsport betrieben hatte und es in die höchste deutsche Amateurklasse sowie in die Rad-Bundesliga geschafft hatte, musste ich mich entscheiden, wie es für mich sportlich weitergehen würde. Denn mein Talent hätte nicht für eine Profikarriere gereicht. So richtet sich mein Fokus auf das Studium und danach auf die berufliche Laufbahn.

Da ich dem Sport in Form von Radfahren und Laufen immer treu blieb und auch immer wieder Kontakt zu Triathleten hatte, erfuhr ich dann über einen Freund von Chris McCormack und der Faszination Triathlon. Ich verfolgte dann die Triathlon-Szene und schloss mich dann 2012 dem MaccaX-Team an. Die Leidenschaft packte mich immer mehr, aber schlussendlich startete ich erst im September 2013 bei meinem ersten Triathlon über die olympische Distanz.

I always had a great passion for sports. In my childhood like almost every German boy I started playing soccer admiring my big idol Franz Beckenbauer. However, as I was a latecomer concerning my physical development I had no chance against the ‘big’ boys, although my coach said that my tactical capabilities were excellent. When I turned 10 years old I started playing tennis admiring the rowdy John McEnroe being able to play in the club team. But Tennis during that time was more like what Golf is today and that I did not like: not laid-back. With 13-14 years old I discovered cycling and directly fell in love with it. I cycled for about 12 years on a competitive level in the highest German amateur class and in the German national cycling league (Bundesliga). But then I had to make a decision what to do with my sport career as my talent was not big enough to turn pro. So I turned my focus on finishing my master in business administration and later on my occupational career.

As I always kept doing sports, especially cycling and running I also had regular contact to triathletes. A friend of mine one day told me about Chris McCormack and the fascination of triathlon. So that I started to follow more closely the triathlon scene and decided in 2012 to join team MaccaX. The passion had caught me so that I participated in September 2013 in my first triathlon race which was an Olympic distance.

How did you find MaccaX? Wie bist du auf MaccaX gestoßen?
Da ich mich für Chris McCormack interessierte und er eine Ikone des Sports ist, entdeckte ich automatisch Team MaccaX und finde das Konzept überzeugend.

As I was interested in knowing more about Chris McCormack as he is such an icon of the sport I automatically discovered team MaccaX and considered the concept as very convincing.

What do you like about the group? Was gefällt dir an der Gruppe?
„Leidenschaft verbindet“, das ist hier das Motto. Ich finde es einfach faszinierend mit Gleichgesinnten die gleiche Leidenschaft teilen zu können. Zudem sind die MaccaX Leute ein sehr netter und witziger Haufen an Leuten. Die Angebote, die auf der MaccaX-Onlineplattform zu finden sind, überzeugen mich einfach: Gute Inhalte, vielfältige Trainings-Sessions, weitgehende Ratschläge, Coaches etc. zu einem sehr fairen Preis.

Henning left - part of Team MaccaX relay, Challenge Roth 2013
Henning left – part of Team MaccaX relay, Challenge Roth 2013

Ich habe über die Plattform auch neue Freundschaften geschlossen und die Leute bei Triathlon Veranstaltungen persönlich getroffen. Es macht einfach Spaß, hier die Potentiale des Internets auszuschöpfen und global mit anderen Triathleten in Kontakt zu treten. Und ständig entwickelt sich die Plattform weiter.

‘Passion connects people’ that is the motto here. It is just fascinating to share the same passion with like-minded people on a global scale. In addition the MaccaX team members are a very nice and funny bunch of people. The offering, which the MaccaX online platform is offering is quite convincing: Great content, manifold training sessions, extensive advice, competent coaches etc. and all that for a fair price.

I made new friends through the platform and met them at triathlon events. It is just fun to fully fledge the benefits of the internet through such a platform and to get in contact with other triathletes across the globe. And last but not least the platform is constantly evolving.

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by Jo Baxas

Team MaccaX member Robin swore she would never do an Ironman….Editor in Chief, Jo Baxas, finds out what changed her mind.

I grew up southern California, surfing , skateboarding and showing horses. Probably where I got my love of swimming and the beach. Graduated from UCI with a degree in business. Then spent the next 2 years sailing around the pacific as crew on a sailboat.

Moved to Hawaii in 1984, met my husband and got married in 1989, we have 2 kids now both in college. I didn’t do much sport during those years, my husband was active duty Navy and we moved every couple of years. Plus he was deployed, a lot.

Joined a gym, finally, and got my personal trainer certification in 1997. I loved helping people overcome different obstacles on their way to fitness.

Moved to Washington state, in 1999 and spent several years just running marathons. My husband entered his first triathlon and I was hooked. Everyone was so awesome. Little did I know what a steep learning curve it was. It was early 2000’s and where we live there weren’t any tri groups or triathletes. So I bought a book and set out to do my first tri. My husband had long since gone on to full Ironman distance, swore I would never do that. So I spent several years just doing sprint tri’s, wasn’t too bad at it. Plus it was a great example for our kids.

Robin on the run
Robin on the run

Hired a coach, which we are still with in 2006, she convinced me to do my first 70.3, I was terrified. But, by the end, I couldn’t wait to do another! I realized I was good at distance, I’m not fast but I am very steady. So much for that “I’ll never do a full IM” Since then I have done 14 70.3’s and 3 IM distance races. Plus I recently did my first 50K run. What fun that was!

Started working in a multisport store where customers convinced me to coach them and get my USAT coaching certification. It goes back to my personal trainer cert. I love helping people realize that they CAN do this sport.

I honestly can’t remember how I found this group, Facebook maybe, but I know I was one of the first to sign up. I’ve always just loved Chris McCormack, I love his smack talk and brashness. He made you work if you wanted to beat him, so fun to watch. The people I’ve met online in this group are amazing, and I’ve also been able to meet some in person. Everyone from beginners to seasoned athletes are so supportive and everyone is so humble about their accomplishments. No matter where I go in the world, or what race I do I know there will always be a team-mate there.




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Mathias RiminiHow did you get into triathlon? Wie bist du zum Triathlon gekommen?
Ich bin durch eine dumme Wette 2012 zum Triathlon gekommen! Aber so im nach hinein muss ich mich bei ihm bedanken. Das war das Beste was mir geschehen konnte, ohne ihn würde ich immer noch nur Laufen.

How did you find MaccaX? Wie hast du MaccaX gefunden?
Nach dem ich meinen ersten Sprint-Triathlon 2012 gefinished hatte, hat mich der Virus Triathlon nicht mehr los gelassen. Ich habe alles gelesen was mir in die Hände gekommen ist, u.a. das Buch von Chris McCormack “I’m Here To Win” und habe mich bei seinem Newsletter angemeldet. Als Anfang Oktober 2012 die Email kam, das Chris eine Online Trainingsgruppe in Leben rufen wird, habe ich mich sofort, ohne eine Sekunde nachzudenken, angemeldet. Und seitdem bin ich überglücklich diesen Schritt damals gemacht zu haben.

Mathias - Macca's haircutWhat do you like about the group? Was findest du gut an MaccaX?
Was ich an MaccaX gut finde, es sind sehr viele verschiedene Sachen, aber was richtig super war/ist, dass ich Macca persönlich treffen konnte und daraus eine kleine Freundschaft entstanden ist. Aber auch der Kontakt zu anderen MaccaX Team Membern ist klasse, du fühlst dich wie in einer Familie, es beginnt mit Chatten und dann triffst du die Mitglieder irgendwo bei einem Rennen und es ist, als ob du diese schon eine Ewigkeit kennen würdest. Leider habe ich eine Person noch nicht persönlich getroffen, aber ich hoffe das schaffen wir auch noch Jojo!

Mathias and Macca, swim startWhich triathlons do you race this year? Was hast du dieses Jahr für Rennen geplant?
Mein A-Race ist Ende August der Ironman 70.3 Zell am See, bis dahin werde ich den ein oder anderen regionalen Halbmarathon laufen sowie 2 Sprint und 3 Olympische Triathlons absolvieren.

Bei der Challenge Roth werde ich als MaccaX Challenge Roth Ambassador dabei sein und alle MaccaX Teilnehmer bzw. Diejenigen die sich einen Challenge Roth Trainingsplan von Macca gekauft haben (http://www.maccax.com/challenge-race-specific-training-plans/challenge-roth-triathlon-training-plan/), durch die Challenge Roth führen…

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I caught up with Clinton Millar who shared his latest venture the Kokoda Challenge Gold Coast 2015
Team Wild Earth – sponsored by wild earth store

Who are your team members?
Me – 3 x Ironman, 7 x 70.3, 100Km Blackall Ultramarathon (9th male overall), Australian Age group Triathlon Rep, 50km Daybreak Ultramarathon Winner
Joel Murray
– Ironman, Triathlete, Wild earth Kokoda Challenge 2014 Team (4th Place)
Rich Seymour – Triathlete and Wild earth Kokoda Challenge 2014 Team (4th Place)
Mat Grills (aka Tattoo Runner) – Ultramarathon Runner, Coast to Kosci Ultra run 240Kms finisher, Winner of 2015 Buffalo Stampede grand slam (26k, 75k 42k over 3 days)

How did you get chosen – did you apply? Do you know the other members?
I have known Joel Murray for a few years through Redcliffe Triathlon Club. He was asked to be a part of the Wild Earth 2014 Team along with Rich Seymour. This year they were looking for more experienced Ultra runners so I was approached by Joel to join the team and was asked if I knew someone else with great experience so I got in touch with Mat to join also.

How many teams are racing and are you the only sponsored one?
There was a total of 334 Teams last year. There are several teams that are also sponsored through Running clubs, bootcamps, hammer nutrition etc however Wild Earth are the major sponsor for the challenge so this year they have 2 teams that will race. 1 being my team of all 4 x men and another mixed team (male and female) which includes football star Mat Rogers.

96km trail run/hike.  What’s the terrain?
This is a extremely tough course with 5000m elevation gain which goes through the bush and rainforest on the Gold Coast hinterland. There is lots of mud and creek crossings and the terrain mimics the actual kokoda trek in Papua New Guinea

What do you hope to get out of it?
A great team experience, gain extra fitness in lead up to Blackall 100km ultra 2015 in November, meet some new friends, have a blast and raise money for the Kokoda Youth program.

Clinton Millar Winner
Clinton Millar 1st Place 50km

What’s the format – do you all run together or is it a relay?
We all have to start and finish together as a team. The kokoda challenge is based around working as a team and having the same core values as our diggers – Courage, Endurance, Mate ship and Sacrifice. No man is left behind.

You’ve clearly got a good base fitness – tell us how you’re preparing for the race?  What specific training do you think you’ll be doing?  Will you train solo or with the other members?
I am racing Ironman Cairns in 6 weeks prior to the Kokoda challenge on July 18/19, so my training will be based around that which is lots of triathlon and long distance training. The only change I will make is to base most of my run sessions for Cairns on the trails and hills with lots of elevation as this is key.

Nutrition – tell us about your plant powered lifestyle and the difference it’s made to you and your fitness.
1 Year ago I had a serious accident where I was hit off my bike by a van and this led me to make a serious decision on where my life was going in regards to health and fitness. I always felt that I was lacking in 1 area and this was my nutrition. I am dedicated enough to train the house down, however I know I ate a lot of crap also. I started noticing that a lot of the world best athletes, especially ultra-marathon runners were either vegan, vegetarian or plant base and this got me interested on how they have so much power and energy not eating meat and limited or no dairy products. Fast forward a few months and I am now 6 months meat free, processed food free and 90% dairy free. My diet is plant base and I am now vegetarian and follow a high carb, low fat diet which is primarily based around fruit and vegetables. I would say I am 90% vegan and this is something I would like to transition to over the next few years.

Clinton Millar Bananas
Clinton Millar Vegan

I went from eating little to no fruit or vege to now smashing 10 x bananas per day and having large volumes of fruit and vege. I love this new found lifestyle and it makes me feel awesome. I never feel like I have that mid arvo crash, I recover a lot quicker, I barely pull up sore after big training sessions and I am able to back up event after event. I did a 250km solo ride in February where my wife and kids followed me in the car and during this ride all I ate was fruit. I swear by it!

And finally –Team MaccaX– how did you come to join the team, what does it mean to you etc.
When I first watched my wife complete a sprint triathlon I knew I wanted in on the sport of triathlon. So like everything I’ve ever been interested in I started researching everything I could about the sport. After a few sprint triathlons it wasn’t long before I caught the tri bug. I joined Maccax online training in 2012 to learn how to train properly. I live 1 hr away from Noosa so I went up to watch the Noosa triathlon and compete and it was there that I met Macca for the first time. I was blown away by how friendly Macca and all pros were at Noosa. I’ve gained a lot of fitness through the Maccax workouts . I know them all! It’s inexpensive and motivating and the team of coaches are very knowledgeable. The whole Maccax community is very friendly and motivating each other on a daily bases and I am really looking forward to training with the team as part of the challenge camp* on the Gold Coast in September.

*We have since learnt that Challenge Gold Coast has been cancelled but the camp goes ahead!  It will be bigger and better than ever.

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Tim Recher passport

82 Days, 16 hours, 31 minutes, 52 seconds … the countdown clock on my computer in my office stares at me every day!
A few weeks into my #road2Roth and I feel it!
I didn’t do a great job of keeping a good base of training after I finished my first Iron Distance race last fall and now with this chance of a lifetime to run Challenge Roth so close on the horizon I am fighting panic.  I have been pretty good on the workouts but life, as it does for all of us, gets in the way from time to time.  I’ve only missed 2 workouts so far but it eats at me.
Tim and familyI get asked by my friends all the time, “How do you find time to do all this?”.  Like I have some secret answer!  Much like everyone, I am busy everyday.  I have an amazing wife that is very understanding of the 4:30am alarm clocks (well, usually–Depends how many times I hit snooze!), a 17 month old little boy, two teenagers with a packed lacrosse schedule and driving lessons, not to mention my job as Executive Chef of a very large and busy country club here in Arlington, Virginia a few miles from Washington, DC.  I imagine we are all the same kind of people.  We get a lot of things done, jump in full force, accomplish more than most people imagine, simply because we get up and get it done.
So what do I do to get the training done?  The same as all of you I suppose.  I spend most of my time training in the dark before everyone wakes up, in the afternoon on my “lunch break”, on a trainer in the corner of my basement.  But without a doubt, the number one way I am able to do anything in triathlon is the coaching plans.  I put 100% of my faith and trust in the plans, follow along as best I can, and trust my coaches and training.  And this time I sure hit the lottery!  I am following the Challenge Roth specific training plan (find out more here) put together by my team coaches from Team MaccaX.  Now, these are some very special coaches.  None other than Chris McCormack, Belinda Granger, and Justin Granger!  People that I watch on DVDs winning the most amazing races while I am on the trainer.  How could I not trust the incredible experience and minds of these legends.
So I keep on scheduling the workouts from the team, watch the training session videos of the one and only Macca, and try to focus on the training I am doing and not the sessions that I miss or have to cut short because the baby woke up early.
Each day brings me closer and while I am nervous and will no doubt get more so as the clock keeps counting down, I am also getting more excited each day.  I can’t wait to see the crowds and if all goes as planned, crossing the finish line on July 12th in Roth, Germany with so many teammates and “friends” that I wil be meeting face to face for the first time!
Tim ChefAs you may know, I spent most of my life very overweight.  Food has been and still is a major focus in my life.  Cooking along with triathlon also is what helped me change my life (some say saved).  As a Chef and someone that still loves to eat and still battles with getting healthier and fitter, I am constantly looking for meals that are not only nutrious and healthy enough to help lose fat as well as fuel my training for Challenge Roth but also taste great.  I found this recipe and make it often.



Bacon Mac & Cheese
serves 4

  • 4 slices uncured nitrate free turkey bacon, chopped
  • 4.5 oz uncooked quinoa pasta (whole wheat pasta works as well)
  • 1.75 cups non fat plain greek yogurt
  • 2 oz goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat shredded mozzarella
  • 1 clove fresh garlic crushed to a paste
  • 1 tbs chives, minced
  • salt & pepper to taste


  1. cook pasta in rapidly boiling salted water, drain and set aside
  2. in a non stick pan, saute turkey bacon until it starts to crisp
  3. add the garlic and saute until it becomes fragrant
  4. reduce heat to medium low
  5. add 1 cup of the yogurt, the goat cheese, the chives, & the mozzarella
  6. stir well and cook until it become creamy, thicker, and sauce like
  7. stir in the pasta and remaining yogurt
  8. taste and season

* you can serve as is or place it in an oven safe dish and top with a little bit more cheese.  Bake until it is all melted and bubbly
This can work on it’s own or I’ll have it for dinner tonight (today was 3:30 on the trainer) with a green salad and grilled chicken
Feel free to leave out the bacon if you want, use regular bacon, and/or add some vegetables–bacon and spinach work great!
The numbers:
316 calories
25g protein
33.75g carbs

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From Type 1 Diabetic to Ironman

Craig runMy journey into Ironman really started on the 28th October 2011. I know this because it was the day after I had spent the night in emergency after being diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic at 32. Without knowing anything about diabetes and really what it was, once I got my head around it, I thought to myself, now is as good a time as any to challenge myself and not to let this dictate the way I was going to live my life. And without ever really being into triathlon I had always had a quiet dream of completing an ironman, after listening to my year 12 PE teacher talk about competing at Hawaii. I just thought it was impossible! And now, I thought, if I can complete an Ironman, I can achieve anything! So my journey began, with a 5km run with mates, where I used the excuse I had to check my blood glucose as an excuse to stop and walk because I was spent! But soon that 5km became 10km, which became 20km and my love for the sport grew.

Craig and familyWith busy commitments at the time, I had 2 children and one on the way, I was finishing my MBA and running a business, and I was largely training by myself and looking for some training plans and guidance. That is when I stumbled across an advert for MaccaX. I instantly signed up and thought the videos and workouts were exactly what I needed. Easy to understand and no BS. I also signed up to the VIP group, and had posted a question on the wall while I was watching the Macca Aussies Abroad show with my wife. She happened to be playing around on my facebook page, and I couldn’t believe it when she tells me, “Hey that guy we are watching on TV just sent you a message on facebook”. Macca had answered one of my questions which I thought was the coolest thing ever. That got me hooked and the additional expertise and access we get to the coaches like Justin & Belinda Grainger, Sergio and Brenton Ford has been fantastic. More than the experts, it is the friendships I have since made from the group that I value. I have now made friendships with people from all over the globe. Some that I have met personally at races or the training camps, and others I am yet to meet, but look forward to at a race in the future hopefully.

Craig CairnsSo now 3.5 years on, 2x Ironmans and 8 x 70.3 races (and thousands of finger pricks) it has become more than just an initial challenge, it has become a way of life. And I had all the usual excuses about not enough time, getting unfit and how do you fit it in? I have since realised, that if you know WHY you want to achieve something, you will get it done. And I loved WHY I was training so much, I actually enjoyed the process and the feeling I get from the training, and I definitely see and feel the benefits in my blood glucose control from a more active lifestyle. With 4 kids now, I have had to take a short break, although still keeping active and wanting to be a positive role model for my kids and will probably be sticking to 70.3’s for the short term. Although I definitely have another Ironman or more in me with the goal of sub 10 close in sight.

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Rebekah has been with the team since the outset here’s her story.

“… most 100m runners find it hard to graduate to 200m so you have done pretty well for yourself”   
That was a message from one of my old athlete coaches when I was bragging about my AG 3rd place in my first ever Ironman distance triathlon at the age of 41.
There is no inspiring story about how I became an Ironman finisher.  I am addicted to sport, plain and simple.  If I forgot my sports kit at school I would check myself into ‘sick’-bay office… secretly climb out the window, catch the bus home and get my sports clothes for training later that day.   I played on so many sports teams it was ridiculous.   Most people pegged me as a swimmer and touch rugby representative BUT my true love was Athletics.  The shorter the distance the better, I was quick out of the blocks so I loved the 100m events… competing at school regional,state & national levels.
rebekah run teenagerSo after I finished year 12 I decided to pursue the running.   QEII Athletic Stadium was right next to the university I was attending so I  trained on the track every day and spent hours in the gym.   I started to race all around Australia in what they called gift racing. I was racing for prize money, which labelled me as a “Professional Runner” I actually had to declare my income to the Australian tax department..  Pro racing was a bit like horse racing as you were given betting odds and people bet on you.  One race my odds were 100:1 and I won the final.  I had people walking away with thousands of $$ and thanking me for the win.  I think I only got about $500 for that particular race.  The downfall of pro racing was that after your earn’t a certain amount you could not race as an amateur.  Therefore not eligible to compete at international competitions run by amateur athletics federation e.g.  commonwealth or olympic games.  Was not on my radar (or capabilities) but for athletes of today this rule has been lifted.
Rebekah surfWith the amateur side of racing I got a few clothing item sponsors but no money.  I achieved a handful of medals at state and national levels.  My PB for 100m was 11sec flat.  It was recorded with a wind assistance, but still validated.   I also competed in beach sprints & beach flags.  My last event in Australia was the Australian Surf Life Saving Titles where I scraped in 3rd place.   Not long after the titles I had a bad car accident which placed me out of action for a while.   I returned to athletes when I moved to Zurich,CH and had some success at local european events.  But was shorted lived as I fell pregnant with Aimee, the first of three children.
The first triathlon I ever watched was Noosa in 1990.  Miles Stewart won it and I remember stalking and gorking at him at the Reef nightclub that evening as he was a good dancer as well.    It wasn’t until about 15 years later that I competed in my first Triathlon.  Mainly because my husband (X criterium cyclist & national xcountry runner) was now into triathlons. He was always giving me shit about how track runners were lazy, and spent more time lying around stretching then actually running. Bla bla bla.  I took the challenge.  My first race was with a mountain bike at a triathlon in Zurich.  I was first out of the swim,  dead last  by the end of the bike leg, managed to crawl to the middle of the rankings by the end of the run. The run was only 5kms, but I thought it was never going to end.   5km for a 100m runner is like running a marathon.
Rebekah and team Roth
With some of the team at Roth

I said I would never ever do an ironman.  Never say never!  During 2013 I was self-training for my first Ironman event (another bet from hubby).  I found the MaccaX site while googling about getting some examples Ironman training sets.  I joined the group to get access to these Macca sessions.  As a result I was introduced to a great group of people. Some I have meet up with in different parts of the world.  I find the comradeship the best thing about the MACCAX group.

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Triman Jack has been a member of MaccaX since the start.  Always tricky to find his race results because I can’t remember his real name!  Read about his love for the global community that is MaccaX.

When I was kid I was a competitive swimmer and did surf life saving. In my young teens I became hooked on Rugby and I gave away swimming and surf. I played footy for years and became heavier every year. When I was 17 I was smoking and drinking hard core and basically really unhealthy. At 18 I was working crazy hours, 80-100 hour weeks and I was eating crap, smoking a pack a day and drinking to excess.

In 2007 I stopped weighing myself when I hit 120 kgs. I remember one morning when I just got back from a break and I was getting ready for work my size 40 inch pants were really tight so I had to go and buy a size 42 inch pants. That was the moment I realised how fat and unhealthy I had become.

I remember going to work and a girl had just started going to “boot camp” and asked me if I wanted to go, so I did. I loved it straight away. It reminded me of footy training and even Surf club with lots of work done in the sand. I started eating better and the weight was coming off and I was getting fitter and fitter. The fitter I got the old competitive swimmer was coming out in me and I loved competing at training. I remember someone from boot camp daring me to do a half marathon and of course I said yes. When I finished it I was a wreck and said I’m never doing one of those again.

Triman Jack thumbs upNext came adventure racing and I loved it. Kayaking, Mountain biking and trail running had become a new love. But I just didn’t really like the orienteering side of things. When I’m in a race I just like to go. I said to my mate who had become my training partner, “I’m over this lets do a triathlon”. That was at the start of 2011. I trained hard and my first triathlon was at Canberra 70.3 that year. I was hooked. I still absolutely loved swimming. I found a new love in running and what guy doesn’t like riding his bike. I loved everything about Triathlon. I loved the history, I love the vibe and energy at races and I absolutely love the training.

I remember in 2009 I went to an old swimming friends wedding. I was talking with her husband that night and he was telling me he was training for Ironman. 3.8km swim, 180km bike and a 42.2km run. I remember saying that’s unnatural. Humans surely are not meant to do that. Little did I realise at the time that I would complete my first one of these feats in only 2 years time and by the end of 2014 would have completed 5. I now float around 77-79kgs and 32 inch waist.

When I was young I grew up swimming with the Moffatts. My sister was good friends with Nicole Moffatt and I was friends with Chris, Emma and Beth. We had so many triathletes train with us at squad and I remember thinking these people were crazy but I followed the sport because of my friends.

Out of watching the sport who could not know Macca. He was a superstar. He was so Aussie that just about everyone loved his Aussie spirit and him being a real larrikin. So it just made sense when Macca was launching Maccax, I was in the sport, I remember growing up watching Macca, Welchy, Miles, Brad Beven and so on. It was a no brainer I was in. I signed up from day one.

I loved doing the training sessions set up and I was enjoying seeing the community banter that is the FB group. I was not on FB previous to this as I had not wanted random people from school getting in contact with me so I setup FB in my nick name. Jack. My triathlon mates gave me the nickname Jack because I was like a jack Russell.  My mates would say things and I bite. They would fire me up in training and my competitive side would come out. Hence why I called myself Triman Jack. Its gay I know but it is what it is.

I love Maccax. I like where its heading with coaching etc. I love the Grangers. Macca is a classic and I really like hearing the sessions Sergio recommends each week but seriously I don’t use a lot of the Macca stuff anymore, I stick around because I love the community spirit. I have only met a few people due to various reasons but I hope to meet many more down the track.

triman jack and boysWhen I went to Ironman New Zealand last year my training partner was going to do the race with me but he had an accident and couldn’t go. It was a bit of a downer for me as my wife would have no one during the race to talk with. I arrived in New Zealand and I received a message from Andrew Black to meet up and have a beer 3 days before the race. I thought yep we will go. Well I liked Andrew from the minute I met him. He was a funny Kiwi brother and it seemed like I had known him for years.

Then race morning these young fellas by the name of Mike Robinson and Nathan Buck were supposably coming up to Taupo to watch. I thought yeah yeah. Well while I’m standing in the dark putting my wettie on these two lunatics came out of the crowd and said Trimin Jick?. Wow they did turn up! All I can say is these guys were sensational.

I had a rough day. I copped 3 flats on the bike and ran out of spares. I spent 20 minutes sitting in the gutter thinking my day was done at 90kms on the bike till shimano came and got me going. I got in to T2 and thought even though I had a disaster bike I can salvage a sub 11 hours if I have the run of my life and so I ran out of T2 angry. Needless to say I was struggling big time and everytime I ran past these two nut cases they were yelling and screaming at me. I couldn’t help but forget the pain for a short moment and laugh at these two champions.

Triman ChallengeI walked away from NZ with 4 new friends in Andrew and his wife Clare plus Nathan and Robo. They made this race one of the best experiences in my life and truly shows why our sport is such a special sport and why Maccax is the best concept in our sport. Its for this reason I hang around.

I don’t know Tim Pickering but I feel like my brother is struggling and find myself checking the wall regularly throughout the day to see how he is doing. Even though I don’t know him personally, I do know him and its the same with everyone. I would recommend to anyone.

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“Shawn, all jokes aside. I need to be serious with you. It looks like you have lung cancer … blah blah blah . A garbled gook of words followed as I had that “ this is a bad dream right? “ thing going on in my head.

That is what I heard at my doctors office 6 years. I was in shock for 2 reasons. One I had just lost my mother to cancer less than 2 years prior and two I have never smoked a cigarette in my life. Ok I may have puffed and then coughed, never inhaled.

All I could think was “Wow I am going to die at 40 and I have never done anything, never gotten married, had kids, left the county even run a marathon“

Flash forward a few months later as I am preparing for my first cancer treatment using Photodynamic Therapy in which I know that side effect will be light sensitivity for at least the next month, I binge on YouTube videos about “over coming diseases“ and I came across the John Blaise Story. Like many people I was move and inspired by the story to tears and told myself “after I do a marathon I want to do Ironman one day … as soon I learn to swim“

6 months later I get the all clear from the doctors and I looked up “hardest event to do for lungs“ and I find a link about stair climbing races. 2 months later I fly to Chicago to do the Sears Tower Climb 103 storeys just to prove to myself that I can.

3 months later I enter my first half marathon to keep my promise to myself to run a full marathon one day. This was meant to be “practice“ for running the full the following next year.

Rocking my LIVESTRONG shirt I finished the race in about 2.5 hours and was ready to die !!! On my walk back to my apartment I spotted 3 “plump“ ladies walking along the course. I shouted, “You’re almost there!!“ I hated when people kept telling me that just an hour ago …lol. One lady said “Come with us please …“ So I did and walked with them the last mile. It felt so good to do that even though my body was killing me.

2 days later I get a call from Colleen, the Team Livestrong Manager at the time. She said she was following up on a request I sent in about participating in a race for Livestrong. After a few minutes I realized she was talking about the Boston Marathon!!!

The one that was less than 3 months away.! I told her thanks but no thanks. I can barely walk now and there is now way I could train for that and raise money while working a full time job. “Did you see my time? I suck !!“ She said ok but think about it but her boss may call me to follow up.

5 minutes later I see the same Austin Texas number on my phone and I answer

“Shawn ?“
“This is Lance. Look you are 40 year old back of the pack runner with a 12-minute per mile pace. You would never qualify for this race. Do you hate cancer?”
“Are you the same Shawn Parker that has sub 20 minutes time at Sears tower?“
“Do you want to tell your kids one day that your dad ran The Boston Marathon?“
“Good we will see you in Boston, here’s Colleen again“

Flash forward 4 half marathons, 2 full marathons, 5 tower climbs, 2 Rides for Roses later, several duathlons and a few failed triathlon attempts later I find myself in Abu Dhabi.

I have a bad habit of   “go big or go home“ that sometimes I way over reach in excitement. I had gone to both Escape from Alcatraz and St. Anthony’s Triathlon to be overwhelmed by the water conditions. Looking back I had no business at either race but I was meant to be there for other reasons.

Shawn and maccaI have had about 3 months of weekly swim lessons but the YouTube Video of the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon had me mesmerized at the thought of traveling to an exotic location and riding my bike on a F1 track.

I am in the lobby of the hotel where packet pick up is and thinking, I should change from doing the short course (1500m swim) to the sprint (500m ) but that would mean not riding the Yas Marina F1 course on my bike. I knew I could make 500m swimming even if I had to stop a few times but 1500m all of a sudden seemed very daunting.

Then, I see Chris McCormack eating breakfast with some people. I can’t believe it. I always felt his story about losing his mom to cancer and mine mirrored each other in some ways. Every race I have ever done since my diagnosis always was fueled by the fact she told me “when it come down to the end, there is only going to be one person in that box with you. Do everything you want to do now Shawn“

I walk over and introduce myself and Chris is just as polite as on TV. He asks me if I am ready and I tell him my concerns about the swim. He says, “Look mate, you paid your money, you’re already all the way here from America. Use the course and everything on it. If you have to stop 20 times, stop 20 times that’s what those guys are there for. Rest when you need to and finish strong there’s a desert waiting for you after that“ I was pumped and did not change my registration.

Next day I saw Omar Nour who came over and gave me a hug, shook hands with Macca and also had Norman Stadler tell me I had my wet suit on backwards – DUH!!!

I started my race nervous but with a plan. I stopped 11 times too because of getting goggles knocked off, being pulled under by even weaker swimmers or needing to rest.

But when I made it to shore I felt like I had already won. I went on to finish the whole course including running in 108 F weather.

I found out about MaccaX shortly after my return and followed along on the Website and Facebook Group.

This is one of the best things that has happened. I remember I tried to quietly sign up for a race that I was sure no one would know me so I could try some new things out. But no, out of the darkness that is 5:30 am I see the “famous foul-mouthed“ Evelyn Salama. I am like “ Oh Crap! She is going to see me too terrible here today and make me feel bad about it “

I can tell you it was nothing like that at all. I was having a bad race but she came back after finishing her race and ran with me during the run portion of the race. Friendship sealed forever at that point. Plus I saved her marriage not letting her forget her bike there J

Sean Abudhabi runBut the whole MaccaX crew is like then in real life and virtually via the internet.
I felt like when I returned to Abu Dhabi last year I was not alone because Bo Larsen and crew were there.  The same with Miami Man and Challenge AC races people I know from forums becoming instant friends via MaccaX. And late night drinking 🙂

Shawn boulderEven in my darkest Triathlon hour last year getting a DNF at IM Boulder I really felt the support from the group. And now as luck would have it, 2 members have moved to Boulder and offered their home for me to stay a few days early so I can acclimatize and be there at the finish.

I love this group.


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Well done to Clinton Millar, Pawel Chalacis and Stephen Burrowes who also finished IM Cairns! "Finished another ironman extremely tough day and had to go...