According to Dr Tom Valena, “You can achieve anything if you train hard enough.”
As a GP at The Eastbrooke Ambrose Medical Group in West Mackay, Queensland, Dr Valena knows the importance of staying active – and practices what he preaches. His latest physical challenge saw him compete in the Ironman triathlon in South Africa. With a 3.8km swim and 180km bike ride followed by a gruelling marathon-length 42.2km run, this event is not for the faint hearted.
Dr Valena won first place in the 65–69 age group, completing the race in 11 hours and 24 minutes – more than 2 hours faster than the closest competitor in his age group. Overall he placed 426th out of 1824 competitors.
“I truly appreciate the chance to compete against highly skilled athletes,” Dr Valena says. “Unlike other sports such as football codes, where only fairly young players compete at the elite level, Ironman challenges are open to anyone who can physically stand them.” This is not the first extreme challenge Dr Valena has undertaken. He started competing in Ironman challenges over fifteen years ago, and has completed in almost 50 full events (3.8 km, swim, 180 km bike ride and 42.2 km run), and has completed over 30 half Ironman (1.8 km swim, 90 km bike and 21.1 km run) all around the world including Australia, NZ, Malaysia, China, Singapore, Mexico and Canada.
Well done to Dr Valena for his outstanding achievement!