NAME: Luke McKenzie
DATE OF BIRTH: 26 – July – 1981
PLACE OF BIRTH: Taree, NSW, Australia
CURRENT HOME TOWN: Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California, USA
OTHER SONSORS: Saucony, Scott, PowerBar, SRAM, Zipp, Quarq, 3T, Speedplay, Fi’zi:k, X-Lab, AquaSphere, Garmin
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: 5 x Ironman titles (2 x Japan, Malaysia, China & Brazil)
WHY DO YOU LIKE SMITH OPTICS: I have been proudly sponsored by Smith Optics since 1998 when I was a junior. I’ve always liked being a part of the Smith family and love the products. I want my eye wear to feel comfortable but also look good!
FAVORITE SMITH PRODUCT & WHY: I like the Pivlock V2 with the interchangeable lens which is very handy and functional for Triathlons
HOW DID YOU GET INTO RACING TRIATHLON: My family and I would volunteer on aid stations at Ironman Australia when I was young so I was around it from a young age. I was a swimmer till I was 12 but soon found I was a better triathlete and enjoyed it a lot more so I began competing in junior races. When I left high school I started racing professional and it went from there.
DESCRIBE THE SUFFERING YOU EXPERIENCE IN A DIFFICULT RACE: When I think of suffering in a race I immediately think of the Hawaii Ironman. I have competed there in Kona on 6 occasions now and it is the most you will suffer in any race in the world. The course is tough but it’s the world championships and its the speed of the race that puts people into trouble. Going so close to the red line (or sometimes a little over) is common. It’s a dark place. Sometimes you enjoy the suffering and other times all you want to do is stop and lay down. Obviously you push through it but success in that race will never come without certain suffering!
HOW DO YOU OVER COME THAT TO PUSH ON?: I think a bit of experience from the past and knowing that the pain will eventually end. Also pushing yourself to that point and beyond in training definitely helps establish limits. That limit is usually a mental one. The body can endure more than we realize!
CRAZIEST THING YOU HAVE SEEN IN A RACE?: I am not sure it would be considered “crazy” but more “inspiring”. Watching Rick & Dick Hoyt compete at the Hawaii Ironman was one of the most memorable experiences in my life as a triathlete. Dick tugging his son Rick around the swim course in a raft, cycling with him on the front of his bike and pushing him in a racing chair to finish right before the 17hr cut off still gives me goosebumps thinking about it. I was lucky to be at the finish line to witness it!
IN THE OFF SEASON I LIKE TO: Surf, golf and Mountain bike
MISC SHOUT OUT, THANKS & RANTS: I always have to thank my parents for supporting me through my career. They got me into the sport and haven’t missed a single Hawaii Ironman I have raced in since 2006.