THEY have enjoyed good success as long distance runners, but now Bathurst husband and wife Chris and Fran Grady are impressing as triathletes.
On Sunday at Busselton, the pair took part in the Ironman Western Australia event and both placed in the top 10 in their respective age divisions – Fran in the Half Ironman event and Chris the full Ironman.
While things were a little different as a shark sighting meant the swim was cancelled over the longer distance and Fran was stopped in the middle of her 1.9 kilometre leg, their efforts highlight that the pair are not just strong runners, but good sporting all-rounders.
Chris, who was contesting his second Ironman distance race after tackling the Cairns event 18 months ago, has enjoyed the new sporting challenge. He said that cycling leg is one that has taken time to adjust to, but the lower-impact when compared to running is a positive.
“It’s been pretty good. The cycling takes a bit of getting used to, because you are sitting on your bottom for six-seven hours it’s hard on the bum and shoulders, but as you get used to it, it gets easier,” he said.
Fran placed sixth in her 55-59 years category for the Half Ironman distance, crossing the line in five hours, 57 minutes and 36 seconds. She clocked a 3:13.35 split for the 90km cycle and 2:35.49 for the 21.1km run, with the swim leg having been abandoned.
“She was really happy because it was the first Half Ironman that she had done. She didn’t know what to expect, but she did very well on the bike,” Chris said.
He finished 10th in his 60-64 years age division, clocking a time of 12:44.55 for the 180km cycle and 42.2km run in testing conditions.
“We went straight into the bike, it was 35 degrees and there was a 30 kilometre wind during the whole bike ride and it actually didn’t get much cooler during the day, it was pretty hot during the run as well,” he said.
“It was pretty tough conditions, I saw 20 or 30 people on the bike ride who succumbed to heat exhaustion.
“I was really happy with how things went. The last lap of the run I was really starting to cramp up, so I went quite slow, but I was really happy with how I went.”