Local triathlon buddies Aaron Collis and Zac Cunningham put their best swim, bike and run efforts forward at the 2023 Hell of the West in Goondiwindi and raised thousands for the Rural Doctors Foundation.
Aaron, 45, and Zac, 35, trained long hours around Beaudesert in the lead-up to the 26 March event, their banter keeping each other in good spirits even in heatwave training conditions.
Both triathletes made good time in their races, reaping the rewards of their tough training on the 2km swim in the McIntyre River, 80km bike ride and 20km run.
Zac placed fourth in the State Champions 35-39 category, less than two minutes off a podium finish, and fifth in the male 35-39 category, with a time of 4 hours 18 minutes.
Aaron finished his triathlon strong in the 40 – 44 males, with a time of 4 hours 54 minutes.
He also accepted third place in the Community Spirit award on behalf of irreverent local training group the Leo Wanker Academy of Fitness, which he is part of.
It was Aaron’s fourth Hell of the West and Zac’s fifth.
Aaron shone in his fundraising efforts for the Rural Doctors Foundation, spreading the word through his networks to raise $1045 toward a combined total of $3110 at time of print.
Aaron and Zac were both raising money for the Foundation, alongside Goondiwindi doctors’ team Anna Carswell (runner), Matt Masel (swimmer) and Sarah Gleeson (cyclist).
Locals Caroline and Dr Michael Rice, who is the Rural Doctors Foundation Chair, and Foundation Fundraising and Relationships Manager, Kathryn Ritchie, travelled out to Goondiwindi to cheer the local triathletes on.
Aaron and Zac thanked the Beaudesert community for its support, particularly acknowledging fellow local BUGS cyclists including Ken Ardrey, Jo Perry and Bo Morley for spurring them on in their training for Hell of the West.
The Rural Doctors Foundation is still taking donations in their Hell of the West fundraiser at https://2023-hell-of-the-west.raisely.com/donate