Phil pushes limits to honour Jaysen
Mr Searle is more than a friend to Mr Weightman. He’s also an inspiration, having guided him through his own attempt at the Hawaii Ironman two years ago.
Now it’s his turn to step up for his mate.
“We don’t know what the future holds but I know he’s going to need plenty of care, therapy and equipment and whatever I can do to raise awareness of what his family is going through is the least I can do,” Mr Weightman says.
As an invite-only event, a mere 50 people will participate in this weekend’s event.
“The race director had already heard about the accident,” Mr Weightman says.
“And when I told him about what Jaysen meant to me … it really resonated with him and he was happy for me to undertake the journey.”
That journey will also see a team of friends and family provide him with technical support during his long hours on the course, including Mr Searle’s wife, Paula.
“This is an experience to be shared by all of us,” he says. “They are a vital part of getting me over the line.”
Mrs Searle added: “I’m as nervous as Phil and I’m not even doing it. I have a tear every day just thinking about what he’s doing for Jayse.”
Not that she’s the only one to have shed a tear in the lead-up to the event.
“Sometimes the emotion takes over when you’re training,” Mr Weightman says.
“I’ve had quieter moments when I’ve been running in the Nerang State Forest where Jaysen and I did a lot together and you have those weaker moments. As Paula would say, ‘I have a sooky la-la moment’ (laughs).
“It just hits home really hard. You do miss your best mate … he just means the world to me.”
To support Mr Searle, visit gofundme.com/2gxed7xq
Phil Weightman, will compete in the gruelling Ultraman Australia this weekend for his mate Jaysen Searle, the cyclist who was left with brain damage after colliding with a scrub turkey last year. With Phil is Jaysen’s wife Paula Searle. Picture: RICHARD GOSLING