An Ironman Abroad…from Bairnsdale to Miyakojima
Australian Triathlete Ryan Cross is unsure how he ended up in the spotlight of the Japanese media. Invited to compete in this weekend’s Strongman Japan in Miyakojima, Cross and his young family from Bairnsdale in regional Victoria have become darlings of the Japanese press in the far-east. For the quiet but engaging Cross, it seems a world away from the sleeping fishing village of Mallacoota where he first fell in love with the sport of triathlon.
Cross first made local headlines in a town nestled deep in Victoria’s far east, when he won the Mallacoota triathlon as a promising junior athlete. After winning the event for the 3rd year in a row, and presented with a beautifully mounted vintage clothing Iron on Teak, Cross earned the local moniker of ‘Ryanman’.
As a boy from the bush Ryanman’s introduction to triathlons was through country racing. This small, very friendly racing scene was not only where his passion for the sport born, but is also something that to this day remains an integral part of his career as a triathlete.
In 2000, Ryanman moved to Melbourne to study at RMIT and gain exposure to the highly competitive local triathlon racing circuit. He raced in the junior elite field before graduating to Melbourne's elite. Cross’ first Olympic distance world championship experienced came in 2003 where he went to race with his wife to be in Queenstown, New Zealand. He finished 9th.
In 2004 he raced in the open age division at Noosa. He finished 2nd on the heels of Craig Mottram. Other highlights in his career include two more Olympic distance world championship events with a notable 4th at Hamburg in 2007; a season as a sponsored athlete racing for a club in Belgium; 5 Ironman finishers, two of which were at the World Championships in Hawaii; and becoming a recognised competitor in the world of adventure racing.
Ryanman has represented his country twice at the IM World Championships in Kona, Hawaii, first in 2007 (9:31) and in 2013 (9:01).
Today, Cross’ passion extends beyond his own pursuits giving back to the local community and sport that supported him and inspired him to achieve his dreams. His extensive knowledge has allowed him to volunteer his wealth of experience to coach local junior athletes and organise regional races.
His 2013 performance in Hawaii was such that he received an invitation to compete in Japan’s 2014 Strongman triathlon.
From a small fishing village to the glow of neon city lights in Japan, Cross is proud of his past achievements and optimistic of the path that awaits.
2013 Ironman World Championships, Kona - 9:01 (14th, 30-34 Male)
2013 Ironman Asia Pacific Championships, Melbourne, 8:26, (2nd, 30-34 Male)
2007 Ironman World Championships, Kona – 9:31
2007 Olympic Distance World Championships, Hamburg, 4th overall
2004 Noosa Olympic Distance Triathlon, 1:56:33 (2nd, Open Male)
2003 Queenstown ITU Triathlon World Championships - (4th 20-24 Male)
Good luck tomorrow bro!