At an age when most professional triathletes have retired, five-time World Champion Craig Alexander is still finishing on the podium in some of the biggest races on the 70.3 circuit.
Not only that, the man voted Australia’s greatest pro male triathlete has his own fitness and wellness brand (Sansego) and coaches children in soccer.
Soccer was actually Craig’s main sport until he was 20 and he also played cricket, water polo, golf and tennis before the switch to triathlon.
“I watched Greg Welch win the Hawaiian IRONMAN on TV,” he recalled. “I just thought the whole thing looked so awesome: the sport, the island, the athletes.
“I had mainly raced biathlons for about a year up until that point but started taking triathlons more seriously after that.”
Craig has taken the sport so seriously in fact that he has notched more than 50 half-distance IRONMAN victories and a host of records and achievements in over 25 years in the sport.
He won the World Championship at Kona three times in five years (2008, 2009 and 2011) and added two 70.3 world titles in 2006 and 2011. That golden 2011 campaign saw him become the first man to take both titles in the same year.
The 2011 Hawaii success meanwhile came in a time of 8hr 03min 54sec, a course record, and at age 38 he also became the oldest man to win the title. This was achieved despite Craig cramping during the last 7km of the marathon.
“I didn’t cramp too much during my career but that was a very hot, humid race and my muscles felt like they were about to rip off the bone,” he remembers.
In addition to these on-course triumphs, Craig was named Australian Sportsperson Of The Year in 2009 and awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in 2015.
That OAM was an appropriate way to round off a glittering career at the full distance, which originally came to an end in 2014 after the Asia Pacific Championships. He was though subsequently tempted to have one last crack at Kona later that year, finishing 13th.
Also in 2014, Craig had launched Sansego, which offers “personalised training programs for all abilities”, and that now keeps him busy - along with those 70.3 races, soccer coaching and his three children.