Elite marathon runner and mum of five, Janet McAfee has been veteran of the Ironman Australia since 1999 so she will be in familiar territory when the siren goes on May 6.
McAfee grew up in Brisbane and was always a runner
She was a school level champion cross country runner but also played netball, softball and touch football while also swimming and playing tennis.
In her twenties, Janet got inspired to explore long distance running after reading a book about marathons and finished her first race in four hours so with the help of Australian running legend Pat Carroll that PB quickly tumbled and her natural ability started to shine through.
McAfee was the winner of the Gold Coast Marathon in 1987 and the Moreton Bay Marathon in 1986.
Like many athletes before her, the Channel Nine Wide World of Sport coverage of the Ironman in Kona proved to be the inspiration for McAfee to do a triathlon.
“Triathlon was very new at that time but they were really for cross training and to do something different," she said.
"I wasn’t a good swimmer so it was just persistence, my coach Allan Pitman of East Coast Cycos who has a wealth of experience and a good training group that helped me adjust to the swim and the ride," she added.
After running marathons, McAfee had five children and would come back to running between pregnancies but when he sister and husband started training for Ironman she started to train as well.
“My first Ironman was at Forster-Tuncurry in 1999 and came seventh in age group in first one, then a first so I was off to Kona in 2000," she said.
"Over the years I have won or been second in my age group on a number of occasions but only took the Kona spots in 2001, 2011, 2014 and 2016 because I had full-time work, we had five children in school.
“Most of my visits to Kona have all been just for the experience as I am not in the mix at that level," McAfee said.
Although she did come seventh in the world in 2001.
McAfee has participated in every Ironman Australia since 199 with the exception of 2015 where a serve hamstring tear kept her out of the sport and running for nine months.
So she is excited to be heading back to Port Macquarie.
"At the end of 2015, I came back in IRONMAN Western Australia in Busselton and qualified for Kona for the fifth time,” McAfee said.
“I love race day at Port Macquarie even though the course is challenging and I am not a hill climber at all.
"The crowds are great crowds, the support is fantastic support all day and I have had some of my best performances there,” she said.