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Sport & Events

26 May, 2021

Veteran ready for Ironman

AFTER Getting a taste for triathlons in the 80s Joe Pilat has not looked back, competing in over 20 ironman competitions and even representing Australia, all before his 60th birthday.

By Rhys Thomas

areeba’s Joe Pilat has been gearing up for the upcoming 10th anniversary Cairns Ironman event, a challenge he is no stranger to.

AFTER Getting a taste for triathlons in the 80s Joe Pilat has not looked back, competing in over 20 ironman competitions and even representing Australia, all before his 60th birthday. 

Joe who lives in Mareeba, took to the roads for his first triathlon 1985, since then he has competed around the world including Canada and Hawaii and now he plans to take on his 10th Cairns Ironman.

Entering the Ironman stage in 1991, Joe competed in New Zealand and aptly fell in love, continuing to compete across the world in Canada, Japan and Hawaii.

His drive to compete in Ironman stemmed from seeing Hawaii on TV on the wide world of sport and he thought, “Wouldn’t it be a blast to get to that” and so he did. 

“I trained hard with a heap of my mates down in Townsville and I got to it and I thought, this is great,” Joe said. 

“Once you get to that you go, what am I going to do next?.”

Short course was what Joe was going to do next competing in Olympic Short Course events across Australia eventually even getting picked to represent Australia. 

“After doing Hawaii in 1992 I went to classic distance races and in 1995 I went to Cancun for Australia then again for the long course in Nice,” Joe said. 

“Triathlons are interesting and what challenges me is the challenge. 

“The challenge to get to the end, the challenge to go faster, the challenge of getting out there and having a good time."

After a break to settle down and start a family the call was heard as he returned to the roads in 2010 and has not left since.

Now at 57 years of age Joe will be competing in his 10th Cairns Ironman on June 6 with the invaluable support of his family.

“My family has given me a lot of support having the girls and my wife, it keeps me motivated,” he said. 

“Having my wife Glenys there and seeing her doing sport and what she loves drives me and she enjoys watching me so it’s mutual. 

“There were times I would go running and my daughters would come along riding their bikes.”  


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