It took Porepunkah “Ultra Nana” Rosie Spicer 30 hours and 20 minutes to complete the 515-kilometre Ultraman Australia race in Noosa last month.
Her time meant the 62-year-old smashed the world record for her age group by two-and-a-half hours.
- Rosie Spicer, 62, shaved more than two hours off the Ultraman race world record for her age group
- She is also the oldest women to complete the race
- Ms Spicer started training 18 years ago when she wanted to give up smoking
“Not only was I the oldest woman in Australia to ever race, but I was also the winner of my age group, and I beat the world record which hadn’t been broken in more than 30 years,” Ms Spicer said.
“I was very proud — I came fourth overall in the women and I beat men too which I’m very proud about.”
Noosa’s invitation-only Ultraman Australia race is replicated from the original race in Hawaii, and is considered one of the hardest endurance races in the world.
Over three days, athletes swim 10km in the ocean, cycle 420km and run 84km.
Ms Spicer was supported by her crew, led by her partner of 30 years, Travis “Trout” Wayth.
She said as she reached the 60km mark of the run she was feeling a touch tired.
“I never thought of myself as a really good athlete. So to be able to sit up there with the best is a wonderful feeling. “
Late start to triathlons
Ms Spicer started running 18 years ago after her father died from leukaemia and her grandchildren were born. It was at this point in her life she decided to make her health a priority.
“I was smoking at the time and I decided that I needed to give up the cigarettes,” she said.
“I started to run around the outside of my house, because I was a bit embarrassed to run down the street.
“I’d do seven laps around the house which was a kilometre. I remember thinking that I couldn’t do this.”
Her partner was already running marathons and he continued to encourage her to join him on bike rides and runs.
She says the turning point was completing her first Ironman race at age 47.
“I started to cry at the finish line because I couldn’t believe what I had done. I was the fittest I had ever been in my life — I’ve done 25 Ironman competitions now,” she said.
“I hope maybe one day I will be the oldest lady doing triathlons in Australia.”
Waking up at 3:30am together
Ms Spicer acknowledges that much her success comes back to the support of her partner.
“We do everything together, he’s my best friend and I’m his best friend, I hope,” she said.
“He keeps us going — he keeps the bikes maintained, he organises our races and our nutrition and drinks and everything. I’ve just got to turn up and race … and clean the bathroom in the house.”
Ms Spicer said they took their health very seriously.
Mr Wayth was diagnosed with cancer eight years ago and still races in marathons and triathlons with her.
“Trout looks after himself very well. He’s had leukaemia for eight years now. He doesn’t drink or smoke and because of his good health he is living a good life. You wouldn’t know that he has cancer.”
When Ms Spicer isn’t riding up Mount Buffalo or around the Tawonga Gap for training, she works as a diversional therapist in aged care.
Her best advice for anyone who thinks they can’t do what she did is to just start moving.
“Find a local park run, or find a run for cancer or something and commit yourself to the run,” she said.