Less than a month after an unfortunate crash, Blake Kappler is ready to roll at Kona.
“As an athlete travelling on a tight budget (the crash) was a major problem,” the Aussie triathlete says. “But I guess when you buy a top-of-the-range bike from the best bike company on the planet, the service extends further than just sending you out the door.”
This isn't the first time Blake has overcome adversity with help from his friends. Three years ago he was 32kg overweight and drinking heavily. Needless to say, he had never completed a triathlon. But after joining some friends in tri training for the sake of his health — and for the sake of his "amazing" wife and two daughters — something clicked. The pounds melted away, rekindling Blake's love of physical competition. His youth, after all, was filled with soccer and golf.
Plenty of hard work soon led to appearances at the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon and Ironman New Zealand, as well as the Ironman Mandurah 70.3 training camp. The latter, especially, paid off in spades when Kappler raced in Ironman Western Australia. A time of 8:53 helped him punch his ticket to Kona, an achievement Kappler describes as his most memorable Ironman moment to date.
His goal for Kona? A top-5 finish in his 30-34 age group. The racer known as “Mad Max” will know he’s on the right track when his Ironman motto — “make sure it hurts” — comes into play.
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