At an age when most of their peers are enjoying a lie-in or out partying, three Busselton 18-year-olds are training hard to enter their first Ironman triathlon together on home turf.
Mitchell Rabjones, Louis Bray and Cameron Ashworth have all dreamt of entering the iconic Ironman WA event in Busselton since they started watching the event and volunteering at it as school children.
Now they are old enough, the trio have been training hard in preparation for the gruelling triathlon on December 9.
“I feel nervous but excited at the same time,” said Bray, who turns 18 just three weeks before the Ironman and has already represented WA at last year’s National Triathlon Championships.
“I’ve been watching it for years and have always wanted to enter. Seeing the competitors giving it their all has been a real inspiration,” he said.
For the teenagers, becoming competitors is a natural progression having volunteered at Ironman WA for the past decade.
“I’m ready. I’ve done a lot of training and have already competed in a half Ironman in May and since then I’ve done another in training,” Rabjones said.
“It’s been hard work but it’ll all be worth it in the end.”
Ashworth said he was looking forward to the sense of accomplishment of entering his first Ironman.
“All the hard months of training are finally paying off,” he said.
“You’re all out there together and everyone supports each other. I can’t wait to finally cross the finish line.”
The trio have been coached by veteran competitor Mick Bray, who this year will enter his 13th Ironman event.
“All three lads have an exceptional work ethic and have trained together really well,” he said.
“They have shown great commitment to training when most guys their age would be out all night partying.
“Eighteen is young to be entering an Ironman, but they’ve shown great dedication and all the older guys are very supportive.”