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James Katene elevates to a new milestone at Ironman Australia in Port Macquarie!

Updated: 4 days ago

✦ From swimming to riding to running along Port Macquarie's spectacular coastline, more than 2700 competitors took part in Ironman on 5 May 2024!

Imagine swimming in the Hastings River, riding along the Pacific Ocean and running in the heart of Port Macquarie, challenging your body, mind and spirit to go further than you have ever gone. That was the spirit of the incredible athletes at Ironman Australia, Port Macquarie.

We had to huff and puff to really catch up with one of the competitors, James Katene, to understand more about this gruelling race.

James Katene taking part in Ironman Port Macquarie  (Photo: Skye Davis) | Brilliant Online Australia Singapore UK | Brilliant Online
James Katene has an iron will to take part in Ironman! (Photo: Skye Davis)

What is Ironman?

Ironman is a triathlon consisting of a 2.4-mile (3.9 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.2 km) bicycle ride and a marathon of 26.22 miles (42.2 km) in that order. That is a total of 140.6 miles or 226.3 km of amazing human endurance and resilience! Ironman is one of the biggest and most difficult athletic challenges in the world.

It is clearly not for the faint-hearted, but those who go for the challenge emerge a winner for simply having pushed themselves to the test.

James Katene running in Ironman  (Photo: Skye Davis) | Brilliant Online Australia Singapore UK | Brilliant Online
Focusing on simply putting one foot in front of the other. (Photo: Skye Davis)

James Katene's take on Ironman

James has many years of experience as an endurance athlete participating in triathlons and marathons around the world. His passion for sports and travelling with it has culminated in the great challenge of finishing Ironman.

When asked about what it takes to prepare for a trial as tough as Ironman, James emphasised the unwavering dedication, discipline, mental resilience and focus needed as a foundation to build on for success in training.

James trains between three to six hours a day, ten days on, one day off.

A Brilliant Congratulations to James Katene on completing Ironman Australia 2024!

Hear it from James himself when he finished his grueling battle in Ironman!

"The bike was tough, the swim was long, but I wasn't too bothered by that. It was 2 hours of a 15 hours race. It's still massive, not as massive as the bike ride though. That took me 7 hours.

James Katene powerfully pushing through the waters (Photo: Skye Davis) | Brilliant Online Australia Singapore UK | Brilliant Online
James Katene powerfully pushing through the waters (Photo: Skye Davis)

"The toughest part of the day for me, was the conditions. They were pretty ridiculous. I honestly believe the bike ride was tough, the roads were rough and wet. At the end of the day, it was a huge question mark for anybody competing."

James describes pushing through injury on one of the toughest tracks in the world.

"110kms in, with 70kms to go, I came off my bike. But I knew I had to finish. At the end of the day, nothing was stopping me.

"It wasn't about going fast, it was a matter of getting it done. I got off the bike and was cramping up. Just the run alone was 6 hours, and that's after the 7 hour bike ride.

"I'm here. I'm doing this for me. That was the only thought I had down at the start line."

James also shared that after the race he was so pumped up on adrenaline that his body wouldn't allow him to sleep.

"It doesn't feel like I've done an ironman. I didn't get back until 1am. It hasn't sunk in. The run was tough, it was a matter of one step in front of the other. 

"The battle is absolutely in your mind. If you can't talk yourself up, or believe in yourself, you're not going to get through the day. It's as simple as that. It was brutal, it's an Ironman.

"When I got to the finish line it was like, oh my god, I've got it! I've done it! It was pretty unreal. It was pretty spectacular - the atmosphere, the crowd, the emotion was pretty high. 

"Now I'm in recovery mode and eating carbs to replace the energy. Hot chips and salt and I'll try to get a massage. The sooner the better as the muscles are stiffened up.

James is looking to support others through a career in the health and fitness industry on the Mid North Coast, bringing an uplifting approach to personal development for athletes.

See James' battle through Ironman on his Facebook!

James is all smiles as he has earned every right to be proud of himself for completing Ironman!  (Photo: Skye Davis) | Brilliant Online Australia Singapore UK | Brilliant Online
James is all smiles as he has earned every right to be proud of himself for completing Ironman! (Photo: Skye Davis)

“I would personally like to thank Dave and Elsa of Port AdVenture Cruises for their unwavering support and encouragement throughout the race and down at the finish line. Thanks to my sponsor Studio 3 Espresso for the post race merchandise and also a very special thanks to Alvin Naidu of Nutrition Amora, your sponsorship made this dream possible.

Check out James' incredible list of achievements:

● Regular competitor in triathlon, half marathons, half iron man and ironman 

● Past president of South Canterbury Pacers Triathlon and Multisport Club (2019 / 2020)

● Represented New Zealand at Triathlon Age Group World Championships in Odense, Denmark 2018; in Cozumel, Mexico 2016; and in Edmonton, Canada 2014 

● Finalist – South Canterbury Sportsperson of the Year Award 2014

● Competed in Speight's Coast to Coast 2012 – two-day team Open Men’s category   

● Outstanding effort award at Canterbury Secondary Schools Rock Climbing in 2009

● Past member of Timaru South End Swimming Club 

  • 2009 – 2010 Runner-up U16 Boys swimming 

  • 2008 – 2009 Most improved Development Swimmer

See this video of Sam Appleton becoming the first athlete to cross the 'Ironman Australia' finish line in less than 8 hours!

Are you inspired to start training now for next year's Ironman? We hope James' story has been a Brilliant inspiration for your athletic dreams. Contact James to elevate your goals towards next year's Ironman!

Contact James Katene

Phone number 0491 980 893


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