It’s official: Victor Harbor quadriplegic Sid James is an Ironman.
Towed along by good mate Kevin Fergusson, the pair competed in the Busselton Ironman on Sunday, December 2. The journey was always going to be tough, but having completed the Barmera half-ironman only a month ago, the duo were well-prepared to conquer what would seem like an impossible mountain to many.
Faced with a 3.8-kilometre swim, 180-kilometre bike ride and 42-kilometre run, before the race Kevin said the build up was intense, especially because of the media attention they had received – the pressure came from not only wanting to finish the race but also needing to finish each leg of the race in a set time frame if they wanted to continue to the next.
When the race started however, the biggest hurdle to overcome was the 180-kilometre bike ride, which is normally Kevin’s strongest suit but became his weakest due to the weight of their set-up.
“The swim’s not a concern, the run’s not a concern, it’s the bike. It’s a hundred kilos all up and it catches the wind as well, so you’ve got the weight you’re trying to pull along and then the wind resistance. It’s insane, I can’t describe how hard it is.”
During the race Kevin said there were plenty of cheers and encouragement from spectators and other competitors over the course which helped get them over the line, and when that finish line finally arrived it was a fantastic moment.
Having completed over 30 Ironmans, Kevin is no stranger to running over the line but this was something different.
“I said to Sid emotions were starting way back, before we even got to the finish line (my) eyes started tearing up,” Kevin said.
Sid added he was totally ecstatic with the result.
“There’s no words which can say what went through my head, like Kevin said I was (also) tearing up before the finish line,” he said.
Following the race, the pair was on quite a high come Monday and were not feeling too bad; by Tuesday, however, they were both feeling exhausted.
“I feel like I’ve been hit by a semi-trailer,” Sid said.
Next on the list for the duo is completing a triathlon.