Ironman completes NZ challenge to honour stillborn son

ALL SMILES: Kephran Izzard , Delise Lutz and Troy Austin right at the Ironman event in New Zealand.
ALL SMILES: Kephran Izzard , Delise Lutz and Troy Austin right at the Ironman event in New Zealand. Contributed

AS TROY Austin competed in an ironman event in New Zealand his son was right there beside him in spirit.

Just five weeks after son T.G. was stillborn, Austin ran in his honour as he put his body to the ultimate test.

Completing a 3.8km swim, a 180km bike ride, and a 42.2km run Austin finished the ironman with a time of 11 hours and six minutes.

Talking to the NewsMail Austin said his son helped him push through the pain.

"He was certainly with me all the way," he said.

"The race is just as mental as it is physical so he helped me with the spirits."

After taking up the sport following his crossfit career, Austin explained his preparations for the event.

"For the last six months it has been a part-time job with Saturday a write-off," he said.

"I'm just pleased to complete the race and I did the time I wanted."

Following his family tragedy, Austin turned the ironman into a fundraiser, with his partner set to compete in a marathon in the future.

Creating the T.G.'s Legacy fund page Austin is hoping to raise money from those events for the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Support Group (SANDS Qld).

They have raised just over $3500 with the team hoping to get to just over $5500.

"I never thought my baby would stop breathing so close to when he was due," he said.

"People need more information on this and know there is support to get through the tough times.

"We're hoping the money can provide that and also add more beds in hospitals in the region."

To donate to the campaign head to give.everydayhero. com/au/t-g-s-legacy.

Meanwhile two other athletes competed in New Zealand, Kephran Izzard (9:50) and Delise Lutz (13:14).

Finishing her first event before she turns 50, Lutz said she can't wait to race again.

"It was an amazing experience and I exceeded my predicted time by over an hour," she said.

Topics:  bundaberg ironman new zealand

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