Reaburn?s ironman run fulfils dream

By AARON KELLY ? FOR the first time in more than 35 years of running, Rockhamp- ton's Peter Reaburn was forced to a walk.

After battling the toughest race of his life, his body was spent. But that didn't stop him from realising a lifelong ambition in the Hawaiian Ironman yesterday.

Reaburn, 50, crossed the finish line at Kona with his two daugh- ters, Megan and Rebecca.

It was one of the highlights on the long road to "compete and complete'' the gruelling long-dis- tance event ? a 3.8km swim, 180km ride and 42.2km run.

"It's done ? the 23-year-old dream of competing and complet- ing the Hawaiian Ironman,'' Rea- burn said. "The event is all I imagined and more.''

The Central Queensland Uni- versity professor finished seventh in the 50-54 years male division in 10 hours, 21 minutes and 26 seconds.

Several months following a rig- orous training schedule of be- tween 25 and 30 hours a week had paid off ? big time.

Joining a strong 85-man field in his age group, Reaburn was fourth out of the water in 59 min- utes and 57 seconds.

"It was the toughest and rough- est swim I've ever done.''

From there, a 180km bike leg awaited and the legendary 50-knot winds. Luckily for Reaburn, he missed the strong winds by about 15 min- utes, finishing the ride along some of "the toughest and hottest roads I've ever ridden'' in five hours, 17 minutes and 32 seconds.

Reaburn then had one more hurdle ? the marathon.

Struggling in scorching condi- tions, he battled home in three hours, 54 minutes and 19 seconds. The road to Kona was over.

"Thirty degrees and about 80% humidity ? the toughest run I've ever had to do and the first time in over 35 years of running that I've ever had to walk to finish.

"As a world championships, it's without a doubt the most well-or- ganised and friendly event I have ever been involved with. "Now it's family time,'' Rea- burn said.

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