By Michelle Downs http://www.getsetupinsport.com.au
Name: Dale Hemley
Country Representing: Australia
Marital Status/Family: Engaged J
Is this the first time you have been to Kona?
No, my first time was in 2006. My experience was certainly a positive one. I had some disastrous stomach issues on race day prior to the start but managed to hold things together and have a reasonable first race. Well, good enough to want to do it all again! As amazing as this experience for me was, as an added bonus you get to meet some truly inspirational people and for me personally, my future wife J
In 2007 I was lucky enough to compete again and had a great experience., improving 22 minutes and enjoying a podium place in my age group. Just unbelievable! I managed to qualify again in 2008 but decided not to go that year, and I’m absolutely pumped to be returning in 2011.
Where did you qualify for Kona 2011?
New Zealand Ironman, March 2011. This was my first ironman race in nearly 3 years so was expecting to be a little rusty, so to speak. The day itself was very trying, and I’ve never experienced a race with driving rain all day, and winds. But, by just concentrating on the big picture I really just wanted to be smart about my race expectations and make sure I did enough to qualify. Things worked out well, but again there were some little hick-ups along the way.
Tell us about your preparation for Hawaii.
So far I haven’t missed a beat. I’ve just had my one and only lead up race at Yeppoon 70.3. This was a great hit-out and makes for a timely boost to your motivation and preparation. Injuries so far have been manageable, and at the moment I’m backing off my training due to a cold but nothing major. As for preparing for the heat and humidity, well training in 2degree temps, running in the dark and the rain, and of course sunshine sometimes has been my standard preparation in Victoria. There are some advantages to preparing in the winter months. The mental toughness needed to get out there and complete the training in these conditions certainly does help you come race day.
What has a typical training week looked like for you in the lead-up to this event?
I’m swimming Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday’s and Sunday at the moment. Two gym/core sessions per week, mag trainer bike or brick sessions Monday, Wednesday, Thursday’s, long brick Saturdays and long run Sunday’s too.
What excites you the most about competing at an iconic race like the Hawaii Ironman?
Just having the opportunity to test yourself in ‘the race’, alongside the best in the world. Being able to truly see what you are capable of achieving! The question still drives me; ‘What can you really achieve at Ironman?”. I also get excited about having the opportunity to hopefully help inspire others to dream a little (or a lot) and also to use this event as a tool to help raise some much needed monies for the people of East Timor, through a fundraiser at the school I teach at.
Is there anything about the Ironman in Hawaii that makes you really nervous?
No, not particularly. I’m not much of the nervous type I guess.
What are your goals for the race?
Simply to complete a personal best Ironman. That’s it!!
What are you doing to relax after the race? Are you planning on a holiday in Hawaii post Ironman?
Yes definitely. I have the week off after Hawaii and will be spending another 5 days relaxing in Hawaii with my fiancée. Nothing planned in this time but simply to enjoy putting the feet up and celebrating a great achievement together.
Tell us a little about your background?
I have been doing tri’s for eight years now, although I had 1.5 years with on and off injury and have been back into racing for the last 12 months. My sporting background has been a huge variety of sports. I grew up playing football, cricket, tennis, golf, surfing, and eventually at 26yrs retired from football, and competed in a couple of marathons while travelling overseas. I had been interested in triathlons for a few years, and finally decided that I wanted to train to complete an ironman triathlon.
How have you managed to balance the training for Ironman with your other commitments such as work and family?
My new coach has really helped me to get my life balance, health and enjoyment back into the ‘right space’ and place. It’s terribly difficult when you want to achieve at the highest possible level, while working full time and of course being able to live your life the way you should by balancing rest, family and loved one’s. And of course making sure you are healthy first and foremost to enjoy all of these things.
I now train less, and simply have more time to get the quality training in, and am able to manage my health, and life so much better.
I have 9 and ¾ digits due to a bike accident years ago!! Ouch J
Thanks for chatting to us and best of luck for the race!Do you have a friend or family member who has qualified for Kona?? We would love to profile them! Please have them email email@example.com