“YOU are an Ironman,” will soon be screamed out for each athlete that crosses the finish line in the looming event’s 30-year anniversary.
And the voice behind the mic on May 3 will of course be Port Macquarie’s Pete Murray.
Those four simple words send chills down, athletes, volunteers and spectators spines as the gravity of the meaning of the sentence is realised when each competitor crosses the line.
Murray knows all to well the pain each athlete endures having notched up 13 Ironman’s including 10 Ironman Australia, two trips to the World Championships and one in New Zealand.
He will also celebrate a personal milestone of 10 years commentating the race to go with his 10 years spent competing.
Murray has been the most long running commentator, and it doesn’t look like he will slow down any time soon as his passion for the event shines through.
“I love the Ironman. Its the best triathlon anywhere in the world and its one of the most amazing sporting accomplishments anyone can do,” he said.
“To run a marathon is hard enough, to swim 3.8 kilometres and 180klm on the bike is hard enough, but to put all that together in an Ironman distance is where its all at.
“I’m thrilled to be a part of it and get the opportunity to see amazing performances and others challenge themselves. “I’m going to keep around for as long as I can, its a buzz.”
Murray said the hype around Port Macquarie’s event and the finish line in particular was not false.
“It's the volunteers, the local support that makes it an amazing experience for the athletes,” he said. “And it's the best finish line, the fact that the athletes come back after their finished is testament.
“It's the best in Australia and it's up there in the world.”
Peter Murray reflects on Ironman Australia involvement
Southwell family: Think Ironman racing in Australia and one family in particular comes to mind. The Southwells. In the 30 year history of IM Australia, every year except one (2006) a member of the Southwell family has been in the race. Led by their father, the guru, Bob, brothers Tony, John, Chris and Steve all had major cracks at Ironman Australia and numerous finishes in the top ten overall or in the later years on the podium in their respective age groups. One year I remember the entire clan raced Ironman Australia.
Luke Bell: Luke Bell had done everything in Ironman and Ironman 70.3 racing, with the exception of claiming an Ironman title, that was until Ironman Australia in 2013. Two times a top 10 finisher in Kona, it was great to see “Belly” claim his maiden title at Ironman Australia. His perseverance and commitment never faulted and it was a proud moment for the man from Portland - a special day, that he backed up later in the year at Mt Tremblant claiming the Ironman North American title and his second Ironman. A great Aussie!
Reid v Leigh sprint finish: Pete Reid and Chris Leigh had the closest finish in Ironman Australia history. The Aussie version of 1989’s “Ironwar,” the pair ran shoulder to shoulder, after swimming and riding side by side. The Canadian put the hammer down with 100m to go to claim the win. Inspirational racing by both but especially the Aussie.