For 30 year old triathlete Tim Ballintine, 2014 will be remembered for many reasons: competing in his first Ironman, finishing the Melbourne course in under nine hours; completing the World Championship double, taking on the World Championship events for both the Ironman 70.3 at Mont Tremblant and full Ironman at the famed Kona course; and being named Queensland Triathlete of the Year.
But 2014 will also be remembered by Tim as the year he discovered he had a melanoma.
As a self-described “pasty white Victorian” living on the sun-drenched Gold Coast, Tim always checked himself for moles or sunspots.
Luckily, his vigilance paid off when Tim caught the melanoma early enough that it was able to be successfully removed. “Awareness of sun protection is so important,” Tim said. “It’s such a big shift now compared to 20 years ago.”
Tim was back training for the World Championship quickly, but the 10 centimetre scar on his back acts as a constant reminder of his brush with skin cancer. It has also slightly changed Tim’s race-day transition process, as he takes the extra time to reapply sunscreen between each triathlon leg.
His firsthand encounter with melanoma also inspired Tim to help get the one-up on cancer with Smiling for Smiddy.
In August 2015, Tim raced in the Vichy Ironman for Smiling for Smiddy—a 3.8 km swim, 180 km ride and 42.2 km marathon over the provincial French course to raise funds for cancer research at Mater.
“I got to use my creative side, finding interesting ways to get support,” Tim said. This included setting time-based donations, where supporters pledged to donate more if Tim came in under a certain time. Not only did this increase his donations, it also stoked the competitive fire for Tim to take on the Vichy course and maximise donations with his impressive race time.
“I also made sure I didn’t set a fundraising goal and stop at that—I just kept raising funds the entire time,” Tim said.
Both his fundraising and training were not a solo effort. “It’s definitely a team sport. I wouldn’t have gotten through it without the support of my wife Alishia either,” Tim said. “We all got sucked into the vortex of competing.”
Knocking over the course in 9 hours 27 minutes, Tim was able to raise over $4000!
This amazing effort shows just how Smiddy supporters can turn challenges into raising vital funds for cancer research.
You can use your passion to help fund cancer research at Mater like Tim. Whether it’s sporting challenges, hosting a garage sale or having a bake-off—there’s no limit to the ways you can help get the one-up on cancer.
Find out more by calling Team Smiddy on 1800 440 155 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.