after volunteering at the World Long Distance Triathlon i thought this would be a great experience. seeing an ironman up close and personal and a good opportunity to catch up with dad. managed to talk him into coming down to busselton with me and knew that he could at least have a nap in the car until i was done. i had scored the first up swim transition shift so we were up at 3am for the half hour drive to busselton. probably could have gone to bed a bit earlier and maybe the two bottles of wine we polished off didnt help but that is what nurofen is for. initially i helped with storing the street clothes bags and then had time to head off down to watch the start. the professionals took off (34) and then the age groupers. from memory 1000 individual competitors of which 400 were international. the swim was around the busselton jetty and again this was a place that as a young kid i spent plenty of time at. either swimming, fishing or crabbing. but it is along way out and while beautiful and calm in close it got a bit rough 2km out. i was then assigned the task of keeping all the brainless people from crossing in front of competitors coming out of the water. this was great as i got to see everyone come in. highlights - 74 year old lady who finished swim under two hours, guy who sat down beneath the fresh water shower while he took off wetsuit, daniel kowlaski who swam for a team and finished under 45 minutes (amazing), the guy who races with his mate who cannot walk (he carries him through the transitions), the girl who swam in her speedos (who needs wetsuits) and the last five people - while they only had minutes to get in under the cut-off they waited for each other and came through as a group. i then helped set out the bags for run transition and my shift was over. stayed and watched the bike leg for awhile but dad wanted to get back for the cricket. had to drive out on the bike course to leave and by then the heat had started to set in. it was going to be long tough day. turns out only 20 professionals finished. it reached over 35 and they ran out of most supplies. here and now i will make the pledge to be a volunteer every year until i am a competitor.