Ultra-Athletes Take the Center Stage: But is Everyone Prepared?

Australia has always been synonymous with excellence in sports and has given the world one of the best sportspeople and athletes in the world. The landscape, diverse in space, isolation and ethos invites an electric outdoor life. Their continues and flourishing preoccupation with extremes has given rise to a number of Ultra Athletes in the country. This new breed is as intense as they are carefree and forces to be reckoned with.

Now the country has been taken over by a storm of Ultra events, that test competence and endurance, which has been the norm for any sporting event, except this takes you a few steps further. They not an entirely new concept. The Ironman Triathlons in the late 1970s, gave rise to an unprecedented ambitious generation of athletes. Dr. Peter Reaburn is a professor and head of exercise and sports science at Bond University. He is also a former Australian Ironman winner for the 50–54 age group and consequently, placed seventh in the same event internationally. Being a professor and an athlete himself, he analyzes the positives and negatives of being into these limit testing events that also turn into lifestyles for many.

“There are mental issues with not achieving that goal. There is a commitment and dedication and the willingness to sacrifice things to achieve it. I think there are real mental rewards for committing yourself to an event. But for those people who head into these ultra-endurance events completely unprepared, there may be a risk of long-term injury, and dissatisfaction of not completing the goal” he said.