ENDURANCE athlete Deiter McDonald says he has not ruled out returning to full ironman racing.
But for the time being, the popular Camperdown plumber is content travelling across the country competing in half-ironman events.
McDonald, 39, will head to New South Wales for the Ironman 70.3 Port Macquarie on Sunday, the latest of his arduous swim-bike-run tests.
The father-of-two will compete in the 35-39 years age group, chasing class success after a series of near-misses.
His most recent effort was a second in the Ironman 70.3 Yeppoon, in central Queensland in August, where he finished in four hours, 15 minutes.
“Training has been good. I’m confident in what I can do. It’s just a matter of how I wake up on Sunday,” he said.
“I want to go one better. The last 70.3s I’ve done I’ve come second, so I’d like to go one more.
“This is my last race in this age group. Next year I’m up an age group.
“But it’s always hard. There are still guys going fast in the other age groups.”
The Port Macquarie event features a 1.9-kilometre swim, 90km bike ride and 21.1km run.
Such events are known as 70.3s because they cover 70.3 miles.
McDonald, who has completed 13 full ironmans and countless half-ironmans, has been preparing for Port Macquarie under respected Geelong coach Jarrod Evans.
His training regime includes three swim sessions in Colac, three or four runs, longer rides on weekends and ride-run combinations.
He is also completing a strength and conditioning program “just because I’m getting a bit older”.
“I did 4.15 in Yeppoon. If I can get close to that this weekend, that’ll be good,” he said.
“It’s a bit tougher bike ride at Port Macquarie. If I can be consistent with the times, I’ll be happy.
“I did a 4.24 last year.”
McDonald said he was unsure if he would return to full ironman racing.
His last long race — a 3.8km swim, 180km bike ride and 42.2km run — was the 2010 ironman world championships in Hawaii.
“I haven’t ruled out going back to fulls,” he said.
“Every time I do a long Saturday, a run and a bike, I swear I’d never go back. Then you watch the Hawaii ironman and you think ‘I’d like to go back there’.
“There are a few things to weigh up. You can never rule anything out.”