Ironman Bootsma to Smile for Smiddy

Friday, June 6, 2014 - 6:06 PM by Alex Paull

PEEL football manager Brad Bootsma is harnessing the inspiration of a lost mate when he saddles up for the SunSmart Busselton Ironman in December to raise money for cancer research.

Bootsma, who played 23 games for the Fremantle Dockers and was a member of South Fremantle’s 1997 WAFL premiership side, will compete in the Iron Man in a bid to fundraise for the Smiling for Smiddy Foundation.

The foundation honours the memory of Adam Smiddy, who passed away to an aggressive cancer in 2006 aged just 26. More than $4 million has been raised for cancer research and support services since.

Bootsma said he was inspired by a friend who passed away last year, and he wanted to raise awareness for the cause.

“Some stage in everyone’s life they’re going to be touched by someone with cancer, and cancer’s very rife in society, so it was more about getting out there and getting some awareness of it for myself as well as trying to raise awareness for other people,” Bootsma said.

Bootsma raised over $1000 last year, but he is aiming to raise the bar even further this year, hopefully with the help of a corporate sponsor.

“I’m aiming for a bit more than $1000, but if I can hit that mark and try get a little bit more than that for the foundation, then every little bit helps,” he said.

On the track, Bootsma is aiming to lower his personal best time of 10 hours and 47 seconds, and has enlisted the services of a coach as he aims to go under 10 hours in his fourth Busselton Ironman and eighth overall.

The tough course begins with a one lap swim of the Busselton Jetty for 3.8km, before a 180km bike ride and a 42.2km run, but as gruelling as the Ironman can be, Bootsma said the inspiration of racing for a charity constantly drives him.

“My goal is to get under 10 hours but there’s a lot of work in getting it down under that mark, the beauty of it is that I am racing for a charity so that inspires me when I’m out there on the day,” he said.


“Last year was pretty tough, about three weeks before the race I hurt my calf, and as the race went on it got worse and worse, but like any Ironman event I actually find the Busselton one a little bit harder; because it’s a flat course you have to be pushing the bike and the legs during the run.”

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