Phil pushes lim­its to hon­our Jay­sen

The Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS -

dwayne.grant@news.com.au

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

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