I love it when I am paid for directly by the event organisers so that athletes and spectators dont have to pay for their massages. It is a responsible thing to do in terms of health and safety. Just wind me up and give me some water and I go all day without stopping and provide tremendous value at a competitive rate. Amazing how popular I am at such events when the massage is free!. Here are a couple:
I have been involved with the walk and run across the causeway to Garden Island for several years.
I have been involved with this wonderful event for several years. It is a polynesian sports and cultural event which for the last two years has been held in Hammond Road, Success.
I have also been involved with the Cape to Cape and Busselton Ironman, details below
I have been involved with this awesome four day race for the last couple of years. Fortunately the weather has been great!
A swim of nearly 4km, a bike ride of 180 km and a full marathon run of over 42km.
That's like starting at the Barrack St Jetty for a 4 km swim, cycling to Bunbury and then running to Busselton and the winner does it in a little over 8 hours!!
Many people have never heard of the Ironman. Shame on you, Eventscorp for failing to do your job properly. Shame on the West, the Sunday Times and all the TV stations.
I came down as a novice student just to work as a volunteer on race day. Sounds pretty boring but it was inspirational! I hadn't done much of my massage training by that stage. I was struck by the triumph of the human spirit the Ironman encapsulates.
The weather was hot during the day. I drove down from Rockingham in the morning, attended the volunteers meeting, being briefed by the massage organiser, Katie Greenfields of Duchess St Physiotherapy, set up my table and watched the last couple of hours of the race. The inaugural Busselton Ironman was won by Australia's Jason Shortis. To show what short thrift the ladies get, who can remember who won the first race in the ladies category???
Activity was slow in the massage tent until around four pm and then got really busy. There was no daylight saving for the first three years of the Ironman. As soon as darkness fell, an hour earlier than in 2007 for example, the wind picked up and the temperature dropped dramatically, so the sweat soaked athletes started to suffer from hypothermia. The people working pre event in the massage tent that year had all finished their Diplomas of Remedial Massage from TAFE or the Perth Academy of Natural Therapy and didn't need to log any hours for volunteer work on the day and most left around 10. I was the only one left with the remarkable Katie Greenfields, massage organiser until midnight. Believe me, it is the athletes who arrive in the last hour that need the most looking after. Some have to covered in thermal blankets and other blankets and left for a while before you can give them a massage. For the last hour we move our massage tables into the first aid tent to make it more convenient regarding having to move the athletes.
Thoroughly exhausted, I went back to the camp on the edge of town where all the masseurs were staying and joined the party. The following night I attended the awards night. The masseurs were invited in after the dinner to watch the awards and join the party. I put on my tap dancing shoes and danced the night away before driving home the next day.
I had an exam with Barry Harwood the following day, which I promptly failed due to being on a natural high still from the Ironman. I did not attend the Ironman in 2005 because I had exams the following week and did not want to muck up again.
What the Ironman event did was give me an interest in sports massage. I had decided to retrain specifically with ache and pain relief in mind. My target group was baby boomers who at 50 might have developed aches and pains over their working lives, and who these days are likely to live until they are 80. So who is going to do all that work? As I have stuffed up financially, I need to work instead of retiring, so I thought that this would be the way to go having had my aches and pains relieved by remedial massage after I had spent thousands of dollars exhausting all other avenues, including the revered Martinovich in Fremantle, chiropractors, physiotherapists and acupuncturists.
In a later Sports massage course with Barry Harwood, a sprinter was a fellow student and brought in other sprinters from the Curtin University club to work on, and an Olympian also came in for a talk. This course also raised my interest in sports massage. While the course was still on, I attended the Wanneroo Gift, similar to the Stawell Gift, as the masseur for the Curtin University team.
All day I gave the Curtin team warm ups and warm downs before and after each heat. One lady in the 500 metre event wasn't sure if she would race because of a knee problem. Using techniques just learned from Barry Harwood I did some work on the glutes and IT band rather than working on the knee itself and asked her to test it. A few minutes later she came back and said I don't know what you did but it worked and I'm going to race. She came third in the final, winning a couple of hundred dollars in the process.
In the final of the main event, the 120 metres, Curtin did the trifecta. Mistie, who had come several times to our course as a body, came third and won, I think, $250.
From this experience I concluded that I was not doing annything wrong and was probably helping the athletes, but you be the judge. Anyway, it again gave me an interest in sports massage.
After 65 massages in six days, and my first decent wage as a masseur, I returned on a natural high whilst suffering exhaustion. I worked in the pre race Ironman massage tent on Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning, and post race on Monday morning. I had permission from the race organisers to operate from the beach, as I do at Rockingham, when I wasn't working in the massage tent. So I also worked the beach on Saturday afternoon, on Sunday morning on race day, Monday in the afternoon and on Tuesday and Wednesday for anyone staying around for a few days.
One of the pre race massages was for Sara Gross from Canada. She had previously had a 3rd and 5th placing. I asked how we might improve on that, and she said her problem leg was the run. I did some psoas stretches on the theory that if we could increase her stride length by one centimetre without costing any energy, she would save five or ten minutes in the marathon. Sarah came second in the ladies in 9 hours 15 minutes, just five minutes behind the winner, having started the marathon about 20 minutes behind. She came back to the massage tent the next day to thank me.
On the race day itself I worked the beach for the general public at the beach until around 1:30 and made my way over to watch the finish. Jason Shortis broke the course record with a time below 8:04. Only three times has 8 hours been broken, so this was a very special effort.
I then did my leg flushes on 24 athletes after the race, a new PB, but my table had been set up next to the open doorway and I was in full sun. No matter how much water I drank I could feel myself getting dehydrated, so this year I could not stay to the end as I was required back in the massage tent the next morning.
This year the masseurs were not invited to the awards night, but I attended the Volunteers Party on the Tuesday night where, following dehydration from my efforts after the race, the alcohol went straight to my head and I made a complete fool of myself. What I do remember is that Jason Shortis made the effort to attend the party and go round and have a chat to all of the volunteers. What a wonderful PR machine Jason is for the sport.
The work I did on Sara Gross gave me the idea for 2007 to target specific muscles for the pre race tune ups and to help athletes reach their specific goals and targets rather than just giving them a massage. I think my 2007 page speaks for itself in this regard.
If you have never heard of the Ironman, it is an Ultra Triathlon with a swim of 3.8 km, a bike leg of a mere 180km and a full marathon run of 42.2 km to finish. Imagine starting in Perth at the Barrack St Jetty, swimming 3.8 km, cycling to Bunbury and then running to Busselton. That's just about the same distance as the Ironman, and the men's winner does it in just over 8 hours and the first lady home this year was a few seconds over 9 hours, an unheralded performance which in my view is a better result than the men's winner.
This was my third Ironman. With the permission of the race organisers, the official massage organiser, and Busselton Shire council, I worked on the beach on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of race week to assist athletes who arrived early to overcome jetlag, acclimatise, train, become familiar with the course etc.
I thought there might be a demand for my services as the massage service at the Tennis Club did not open until Thursday, with two masseurs working at Duchess St on Wednesday. I offered race tune up massages at the same price as the official Ironman service at the tennis club, but with a difference. My massages were outcomes focussed. I documented athletes names, their goals, their PBs, and post race caught up with as many as I could find to see how they went. Fortunately the weather was very kind to me, with great weather on Monday through Wednesday.
This year my emphasis was on the legs and suboccipital muscles. The legs have to get you through 220 km of cycling and running. So I did the legs face down, face up, in the recovery position to do the adductors, glutes, TFL and ITB for the cycling. I think the work I did on the legs helped most athletes, as many achieved PB times, two broke the course records in their age groups with two more podium finishes. In the ladies FPRO a late unseeded entrant came 5th with a PB and in the MPRO, the 13th seed came 10th. All things considered I felt I did a pretty good week's work!
I use craniosacral therapy on the suboccipital muscles for people with headaches. They tilt your head when you look up. If you look up at the sky for five hours, they will become tight and sore. Yet that is what they effectively do in the cycling as you are leaning forward. To keep your eyes horizontal, you are effectively looking up for 5 hours straight, which can cause a loss of mental concentration and focus in the last hour. So I included craniosacral work in my pre race tune ups this year. I think it did no harm, and may well have done the athletes some good.
The Ironman is about inspiration and a triumph of the human spirit, but few can top one lady who had had a rod in her back at the age of 12, told she would not be able to play sport and have kids. She has three children and is doing Ironmen!
Now that you have seen the race and been emcee at the awards, why not get the Perth media to support the Ironman by showing it live and going over the form guide in the week leading up. It should be like the Melbourne Cup with betting on the race with everyone having a barbie watching the race or coming down to Busselton to watch it.
Update. I phoned Mark to share my views, and he advised that a documentary of the event will be shown on January 12th on Channel 9. Remember, you heard it here first!! Mark also advised that the expense and logistics were against showing the event live and was concerned about ratings.
The athletes report that half the cycling course is smooth and half is a little rough, which slows them down by about three kilometres per hour and jars the athletes. Fix the surface and the Busselton course is potentially the fastest in the world. This would attract more athletes and the best athletes wanting to break course records. The men would routinely break 8 hours, and the overall course record for ladies and mens would be held at Busselton, putting it well and truly on the map as a tourist destination.
Charlotte Paul almost broke 9 hours, which is a more significant achievement for women than 8 hours is for the men. Any time an FPRO winner comes within an hour of the MPRO winner, the female has had a better race in my view considering women have to carry extra weight in the form of boobs, broader hips and so on. Give the ladies the recognition they deserve, I say!
Here, then, are details of how the athletes I worked on did, the results I got from ironmanwa.com. If there are any errors in your biodata, please advise me to correct them! And if any of you could send me a pic it might add visual interest to the story!
From the USA, unbeaten this year in the 35-39 category except in Hawaiai where she punctured a tyre and had to ride several kms on a flat tyre, Ann's PB was 10:15 and her target was 10 hours. She PBd in Busselton at 9:53 an improvement of 22 minutes or about a 3% reduction off her previous best, and didn't so much break the course record as decimated it, slashing a huge 45 minutes of the previous record. Expect a photo her husband Dave took of me with Ann on this website at some time in (I hope) not too distant future!
Dave is in the most difficult age group, the 40-44 male, competing with recently retired professionals. Previous best of 3rd at 9.36, Dave was hoping for a 9:20. He resulted in 9:11 which cut 4% or 25 minutes off his time. However, a lapse of concentration for three or four kms in the marathon cost him a podium finish. Dave finished fifth, just 2 minutes behind the second place getter.
Kingi's best result previously was 11.52. His aim was a modest 12.30 as he hadn't done much training and was on a family holiday as much as anything else. Kingi had two massages with me at the beach and another at the tennis club, woke up with an issue with his lower back on the Saturday which was physio'd out, then ran a lazy 11:37 smashing his previous best and gaining him a surprise spot on the podium, coming 3rd in the 55-59 men's.
A previous two-time winner elsewhere, Petr was seeded 13th and came 10th, a result I was happy with, but he had hoped for a top three finish.
Peter had already had three wins in the 50+ age categories and a PB of 10:45. At 64 he was at the top end of the age range of the 60-64 age bracket and I think rather surprised himself to improve his personal best at the age of 64 to 10:37 and break the course record, I am not yet sure how much by.
A bit of a struggle to get Macy to the start line with some niggling problems, and the race went disastrously. Kicked in the stomach during the swim, Macy threw up everything. She started the cycling leg, but couldn't keep anything down and was forced to drop out
A kiwi living in Busselton, Steve's aim was very ambitious, to improve on his 13:53 of 2006 to 11:50 this year. A hard ask to knock 2 hours off your time, but Steve did slice 1 hour 43 minutes off for a new PB of 12:10
Came to me on Wednesday as I was trying to pack up after a long day. He had fallen off his bike a few days previously and was in a lot of pain and not sure about doing the race. Some Bowen moves across the psoas insertions and adductor tendons, some PNF stretches and a prayer saw the problem resolved in 15 minutes flat. When Todd asked how much I should have said, whatever the service was worth! In fact I charge a dollar a minute so it was just $15. Todd remarked it was the best $15 he had spent in Australia. Todd went on to record a fast 11:20 in his first Ironman, a result I am well please with. As his was just spot work at the end of a long day I didn't capture his name or expectations at the time, I just wanted to get him to the start line.
I had completely used up all my healing energy for the day when working on his mate Todd Meisner. Kraig wanted me to work on his hips, but I was completely stuffed. I told Kraig to come back with his hip problems on Saturday. I was expecting to work the beach on Saturday but was asked to work in the Tennis Club Saturday morning. I did go down to the beach for a couple of hours on Saturday afternoon but it was cold and overcast and packed up. Still, I had honoured my commitment to Kraig and others that I would be at the beach on Saturday, even if there was no demand for my services!
Another spot work case. He had calf problems I worked on, relieving trigger points in soleus and tibialis posterior as well as gastrocnemius. I didn't capture his name or aspirations and there were several others for spot work I didn't capture as well. However Mark reported to me post race that the calf gave him absolutely no problems during the race, and in fact he didn't even give it a thought throughout the race. Mark finished with 12:44 but I didn't get his aspirations. I think he was a first timer. He finished in 12:44 but I don't know what his target was. Mark, if you read this, please tell me!
Personal best was 11:21, ended with a new personal best of 10:35, smashing over 40 minutes off his time!
A late unseeded entry, Teresa has a previous Ironman win to her name and a PB of 9:43. Her aims were a top five finish and to beat 9:43. I told her that 9:43 would not be competitive in Busselton for a top five finish and recommended she change her aim to beat 9:30. Teresa came fifth, with a new PB of 9:22, an improvement of 23 minutes or 3% reduction.
With a personal best of 12:10, Matt was aiming to break 11 hours, and resulted in 11:25, still an improvement of 45 minutes.
I had worked on Ricky last year when he did a 12.05. This year his aim was to beat 12 hours, and Ricky duly did that with an 11:55
Female 44-49, Mary's PB was 12:10. Mary said a good result would be to break 12 hours and a great result would be to break 11:45. Mary's new PB is 11:44. Interestingly she said this was the first race she had no IT Band problems, so perhaps the work on the IT Band that I do could be effective and is definitely doing no harm!
Very belatedly, I want to thank you again for the work you did with me both pre and post event. I am absolutely sure it contributed to my PB, with the most improvement showing in the run leg. I pulled up extremely well from the event, with just some stiffness which steadily ameliorated over the next 3 days. In fact, I had my best ever recovery from an ironman event. I have attached a photo of me at the finish line which shows I was still running and smiling - I was stoked to be able to finish before the pom pom girls bedtime.
Sadly I will not be able to catch up with you at IMWA in 2008. In a stroke of extraordinary good luck I was given a lottery spot to the Hawaii Ironman on 11 October. Competing there will be the realisation of a 20 year dream. I then go on to compete in the World 70.3 event in Florida on 9 November (half ironman distance) - I qualified and accepted that slot in February before I got the Hawaii news - so it will be a big 4 weeks.
Anyway I hope you have a great race week and I will check your website to see your results.
Darren's best in the 40-44 has been a third placing with a PB of 9:49. In this race a new PB of 9:32 was an improvement of 17 minutes but only earned 10th place in a particularly strong field in this age group. Darren's target time was 9:20 which would still have left him out of the top five.
Male 35-39, Robin's PB was 10:15 and was going for 9:30. His new PB is 9:17 an improvement of 58 minutes or a 9% improvement and 53rd overall
Thanks for the treatment you gave me in Busselton. As you have already noted on your website, I went an hour quicker than my previous PB which is a phenomenal improvement, especially when you get around the 9 hour mark.
I have written a report on my own website with a link to you. www.tricape.com
Once again thank you, when I am next in WA I will certainly look you up.
Male 45+, Omar's PB was 10:26 and beating that would be good and to beat 10 hours would be excellent. Omar's new PB is 9:55 and he came 120th overall.
M 25+ PB of 10:20 with a target of 9:45 and a top 10 finish in the age group. Martin's new PB is 9:26, carving over 50 minutes off previous time, and came 10th in the age group.
With a PB of 11 hours, Sylvian was hoping to do better but finished with 11:35.
A first timer whose goal was to finish, Guy's new PB is a very creditable 11:38 and 451st overall.
First timer in F 40+ Patti was hoping to beat 11 hours, but her right quads cramped up 28 km into the marathon and that killed that idea, finishing in 13:09 At least I'd know what to work on specifically next time!
In F 40+ had a PB of 13 hours. She hoped to make an improvement but finished in 13:18
A DNF, but I didn't catch up with Darren to find what went wrong.
Old PB was 12:00 the new Busselton PB is a slight improvement at 11:57 but not as much as Michael hoped.
Old PB of 12:29, target of 12 hours finished with new PB of 12:22
First Ironman, aim to break 12 hours. Now has a PB of 11:35 which is a great start.
Old PB of 10:33, finished well off at 11:17 but I didn't catch up with Gary to find out what problems he had. I need the feedback to improve my tune up routines for next year!
Old PB of 11:46 was irrelevant. Cameron had been flat on his back in hospital for two weeks having a couple of hours of physio a day. He came over with two other of his work colleagues and wasn't sure if he would be able to race. His goals were for me to get him to the start line and to finish it would be great. He finished in 13:11
First Ironman, hoping to beat 12 hours. Finished with 11:17 a 43 minute improvement on his expectations.
With an annoying PB of 12 hours and 1 second, Neil wanted to break 12 hours in the men's 50+, but came away with a 12:05 but came third in his age group which probably more than compensated.
I am very interested to hear from any of the above athletes I worked on pre race as to whether my pre race tune ups helped and for any suggestions to improve it for next year. Provide feedback
I didn't work on David, but I have to mention that he comes from my home town of Rockingham and won the male 45-49 in 8:55 and incredibly was home before the winner of the male 35-39 category, and 23rd overall.
Performed massages for 10 days straight. From the above results he concludes that he is not harming competitors chances and may well be helping them, but you can be the judge. Arthur also did 17 massages straight after the race using leg flushes to remove lactic acid to avoid muscle soreness the following day. He would like feedback on the effectiveness or otherwise of the leg flushes. Arthur backed up with 7 recovery massages the day after to get people back on their feet ready to dance, tapped danced at the Awards night and did a few more massages on the Tuesday and Wednesday for stragglers staying on in Busselton to relax for a day or two, then headed back to Rockingham in search of getting a massage for himself!
This year I watched the swim leg and then set up for the general public, very quiet for the next few hours, but I was there cheering the leaders as they started the marathon before the public moved from watching the cycling to watch the marathon. I was then flat out for a couple of hours, and had to disappoint a few people waiting when I packed up to watch the end of the race and get ready for working in the massage tent.
It was very quiet in the massage tent for the first couple of hours before going ballistic. This year I was intending to break my PB of 24 warm downs, but I decided to do better leg flushes instead, doing what I had done all week, athletes face down, face up and in the recovery position to better do the adductors and IT Band. I am very interested to hear from athletes I worked on as to whether it reduced muscle soreness in the legs the following day. Provide feedback
It was great catching up with the athletes I worked on pre race to find out how they went. Tereza Macel was very excited to have got a 9:22 and come fifth. Dave Ciaverella I worked on and he was excited that Ann had knocked 22 minutes off her PB in the F35+ category and smashed 45 minutes off the course record.
I then had something to eat and went back to camp. Unfortunately something didn't agree with me or I ate too much and I spent all night making the trek to the toilet block and got very little sleep. And I had to back up the next day!
Despite not feeling the best I did five recovery massages at the tennis club until three pm and then did a further two callouts before attending the awards ceremony. My objective was to get athletes ready to dance the night away. I again focussed on the legs, as they do most of the work, face up, face down and in the recovery position. Again I am interested in feedback on the effectiveness of my recovery massages. Provide feedback
I was still back at the Awards night before it opened at 6pm with my tap dancing shoes on. The food was great, and I made the effort to circulate to catch up with with athletes whose results I didn't already have. After evacuating everything the previous night, I probably ate too much. I was first on the dance floor, had a photo taken with Ann Ciaverella but was home by 10pm with more stomach cramps.
Was set up at the beach by 8 am and spent the next two hours walking to and fro to the toilet block, then did three hour long massages straight, after which I went in search of some electolyte / rehydration sachets and stomach cramp relievers. A pity because the wind dropped and the afternoon was really sunny. Kingi Smiler had indicated he might drive by after taking his family to see the caves. Had a steak at Albies to try and get some food to stay in!
I had three massages booked. It was cold, and threatening rain. During the second massage it was raining, but the athlete was covered in towels and a blanket so we just carried on. The athlete was from Melbourne so he said he was used to this weather.
By agreement, the third massage was cancelled and I drove home to Rockingham to start updating the website!