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From IRONMAN widow to IRONMAN
Jenny Matthews was once what the IRONMAN family affectionately referred to as an IRONMAN widow.
She followed her husband Glenn around the Toyota IRONMAN Australia course with the couple’s two boys in tow, 12 times. Ask any partner of an IRONMAN and that challenge can be tougher than actually competing.
Now, after making her debut at the races 2013 edition, she’s all set for her third IRONMAN in a row.
At the 30th anniversary of IRONMAN Australia the 53-year-old from Sun Valley in NSW will be competing alongside her husband.
“My husband Glenn, was the instigator for me competing in my first IRONMAN. He loves the idea that we can be involved in the same sport,” she said. “There has also been an underlying challenge that it couldn't be as bad as childbirth.”
A cycling trip to the French Alps in 2012 was the instigator for Jenny’s move inside the ropes.
“It seemed logical that if I was going to train for cycling in France, I may as well train for the 2013 IRONMAN,” she said.
IRONMAN is a family affair for the Matthews with husband and wife not only racing together; they train side by side as well. It’s now Jenny’s father-in-law’s job to follow them both around the course with their two boys, now aged 19 and 17, in tow.
“Passing the three of them on the day is always uplifting with calls from my father-in-law ...’go you good girl’ and ‘do you know it’s a race?’ from the boys. Regardless of their 'encouraging' cheers, I look forward to seeing their gorgeous smiling faces. My mother thinks we're crazy and I should take up knitting,” she said.
And the IRONMAN bug looks like it’s spreading through the family with eldest son Jack planning to take on his first IRONMAN in 2016.
“He's very enthusiastic for me to race ....because he wants someone out there he can beat,” she said.
We are less than half an hour away from the start of the the 30th anniversary of Toyota IRONMAN Australia. After a few days of almost constant rain here in Port Macquarie, the weather gods seem to be playing nice this morning.
The 30th anniversary of Toyota IRONMAN Australia is underway. 2011 champion Pete Jacobs, 2012 champ Paul Ambrose and 2013 champ Luke Bell all chasing title number 2 at Port Macquarie.
The women are just minutes from hitting the water. 2012 champion Michelle Gailey is going for title number two, will last year’s runner up Lisa Marangon claim her first title? Or will Kiwi Michelle Bremer spoil the Aussies party?
And the women's race is underway.
Just short of half way into the swim Luke Bell, Pete Jacobs and Kiwi Graham O'Grady have a 30 second lead over Paul Ambrose, with a group including Peter Robertson 10 seconds back.
Luke Bell, Pete Jacobs and Kiwi Graham O'Grady are out of the swim and onto the bike. Their lead over Paul Ambrose is 39 seconds.
At the end of the swim Lisa Marangon leads by 55 seconds from Michelle Gailey, with Christie Sym over a minute behind.
Bit of a mix up in transition as the 2nd, 3rd and 4th women all went for each others bikes. All sorted now and all three are chasing Lisa Marangon.
TOP 10 PRO MEN OUT OF THE WATER
1 Graham O'GRADY (#8) NZL 0:44:55
2 Luke BELL (#3) AUS 0:44:57 +00:02
3 Pete JACOBS (#1) AUS 0:44:58 +00:03
4 Paul AMBROSE (#2) AUS 0:47:33 +02:38
5 Lachlan KERIN (#15) AUS 0:48:20 +03:25
6 Nick BALDWIN (#5) SEY 0:48:23 +03:28
7 Peter ROBERTSON (#4) AUS 0:48:26 +03:31
8 Brian FULLER (#13) AUS 0:48:27 +03:31
9 Carl READ (#9) NZL 0:50:27 +05:32
10 Luke MARTIN (#16) AUS 0:50:29 +05:33
LEADING FEMALES OUT OF THE WATER
1 Lisa MARANGON (#21) AUS 0:51:58
2 Michelle GAILEY (#24) AUS 0:52:53 +00:55
3 Christie SYM (#28) AUS 0:53:00 +01:02
4 Michelle BREMER (#23) NZL 0:53:12 +01:13
5 Caroline GREGORY (#29) USA 0:53:14 +01:16
6 Michelle WU (#26) AUS 0:53:17 +01:19
7 Marie SORRELL (#30) NZL 0:55:51 +03:52
8 Jessica FLEMING (#25) AUS 0:56:25 +04:26
9 Marina JURJEVIC (#31) AUS 1:00:13 +08:15
Early into the bike leg and the three lead men are very cautious on the wet roads. O'Grady, Bell and Jacobs are still leading by 2.20 to Ambrose, with Robertson, Nick Baldwin and Brian Fuller a further 4 minutes back.
At 12km of the women's race Michelle Bremer leads from Lisa Marangon, and Christie Sym with Michelle Gailey in fourth. All four are within 45 seconds of each other and have already built a decent gap to the rest of the field.
Our spotter out on course Toby Coote reports that conditions out on course are perfect, little to no wind.
At the 21km mark of the bike Michelle Bremer is just ahead of Lisa Marangon, with Christie Sym 55sec back. Michelle Gailey is a further 2.10 back in 4th.
Our spotter Amanda Balding is reporting that it's starting to get very warm out on course.
At 35km on the bike Bremer and Marangon are still together with Sym 1.56 back
At the 50km mark of the bike it's still Jacobs, O'Grady and Bell in the lead, Ambrose is 1.49 back. Robertson, Baldwin and Fuller are 3:38 back from the leaders.
In the battle of our 18 year twins Jack McPhee has a big lead over sister Emily, Jack swam just over 51 minutes while Emily exited the water in 1.23.
The battle for bragging rights for the Brunt family is well and truly on. Dad Sean is trailing son Jake and ahead of Damon, Damon is doing his first IRONMAN today, and it's his 18th birthday. Older brother Jake took the swim honours with a 49.09 swim, dad Sean was second in 51.09, with Damon third in 54.48.
At the 57km mark of the bike it's still Jacobs from O'Grady and Bell, Ambrose 1.44 back.
No change at the 47km mark for the women, Bremer and Marangon still lead with Sym 1.56 back.
At the 76km mark of the bike Luke Bell and Pete Jacobs have dropped Graham O'Grady who is now 5 minutes back. Ambrose is in third 2.40 back. Robertson, Baldwin and Fuller are in 4th, 5th and 6th.
At the half way point of the bike Jacobs has a lead of just over a minute to Bell in second.