September 21, 2020 7:32pm
IT IS the not-so-scenic route to Cairns you won’t find recommended on TripAdvisor by Tim Van Berkel or Tim Reed anytime soon.
The duo, from northern New Sales Wales towns Lennox Heads and Ballina, respectively, have travelled just about as far as you can within Australia’s domestic borders to make the Ironman Cairns starting line.
Tim Van Berkel finished second at
They live agonisingly close to the border with Queensland, but despite multiple negative tests and a lack of community transmission in northern NSW, restrictions have sent the pair to Adelaide for a fortnight of hotel quarantine before they can get into the Sunshine State, due to border restrictions.
“Don’t get me started on that rant,” Reed said with a laugh.
“We’ve just been staring at the walls of this small apartment for almost two weeks.”
The pair flew from Ballina to Sydney, then connected to Adelaide, where they went straight to an apartment and set up camp.
“We’ve been in smaller apartments together before so it’s not too bad,” Van Berkel said. “We go to Asia a lot, and we’ve got some common sponsors so we travel and train together there.
“We have a good time, and if there’s any little spats we sort them out and get over them pretty quickly.
“It’s pretty good. I’ll cook one night, he’ll cook the next; we’ve got a good system.”
If they were by themselves, they “could never go through this”, but the long-term travelling and training companions have kept each other in check leading into Ironman.
Sessions on the treadmill, a swimming ergometer, and virtual riding through programs like Zwift on stationary bikes have allowed the duo to maintain some fitness over the past fortnight.
“We don’t often say this but you usually spend that last week or so training indoors ahead of Ironman races,” Reed said.
“Some places we race just aren’t safe to be out on the street beforehand or you get sick. These days, it’s not too difficult or too bad, given the technology we’ve got.”
In 2020, that means using Zoom to talk to as many as 30 other riders as they ride through the glorious (and virtual) French Alps and other destinations.
“It’s not quite the same as being outdoors but it’s not the worst thing,” Reed said.
“Plus, you take out the risk of getting hit by cars, so that’s always a positive.”