Triathlon, for all its grueling endurance requirements, whippet-fit athletes and exotic locations, says Queensland’s Courtney Atkinson, is like chess. But better, because it’s stupidly grueling endurance chess, and best of all, it’s all slathered in radioactive green ooze.
“It’s like a chess game of where you’re going to elect to put your energy,” says Atkinson. “If you think that you can be just a half a percent off your best on your day, you’re going to get beaten, and you have to weigh up strengths and weaknesses between competitors in the run and swim and bike, over two hours; expend too much energy in one spot over those two hours and in the end it can affect your run to the finish.”
Akco is a knockabout guy from Mackay, Queensland. His talent at the world’s most exhausting mainstream sport has been paying his bills since high school. He’s an unaffected beacon of clear-thinking and determination in a storm of travel, pain and Atlas-level endurance, equally at home in the water, in the saddle or on foot.
“Twice in Europe last year I came out of the swim leg with a flourescent green ooze over my body,” he says. “Some of the water they put us into is... dubious at best.” Flourescent green ooze! “Flourescent green ooze. And it literally wrecks your suit. You have to get a new one.”