Congratulations to Mark Melbourne-Walters for being selected as Red Dog’s Athlete of the Month for January 2023.

Mark wins this month's award for his commitment to training and the positive attitude he brings to every session. Well done!

A big thank you to our sponsors for donating this month’s prizes.

1.Red Dog AOTM, how do you feel about that?

Really surprised, and very appreciative to have received the call from Trent.  Watching the monthly AOTM mails come out you see so many people that have achieved great outcomes in events etc, I never actually thought I'd be a contender myself so to receive the phone call was as equally appreciated as it was a total shock.  I was literally sat with my director in a sales meeting when I saw “Trent” pop up as calling me, I had to make an excuse to exit the meeting and take the call (clearly the coach being more important than my boss), 5 minutes later I return to the meeting as red as a beetroot and smiling from ear to ear.  I've applied myself back into training quite hard this last 6 months and it's really quite cool to have received acknowledgement.

2. What attracted you to the club?

I actually joined the club back in late 2018 when I decided it was about time to get back into some serious training again.  With a solid COVID hiatus in the middle I then rejoined squads again September of last year and have been a daily attender ever since…  What attracted me to the club?  I actually remember seeing Red Dog named as the biggest attending club in several Australian Ironman events when I used to take part in the sport back in the UK .  Never did I think id be living and training in the same area as the club just a few years later so when the time was right to start training again I gave Trent and call and joined in the squad.

3. How much training do you do at the moment?

At the moment, i'll say I have a very understanding husband.  I'm training quite a lot and have thrown myself in with gusto and have missed only 4 days training since September 2022.

4. What’s your favourite session and why?

Had to think about this one.  I actually prefer the sessions where I'm being handed my backside to me and having to really throw everything at it just trying to keep up.  There is something quite primal about learning just how far you can take your body before it gives up…  I think Rosie and Tony will remember several Monday morning bike sessions up and down Cootha where that application failed spectacularly.

 5. Who’s your ideal training partner and why?

I really enjoy friendly rivalry and banter with clubmates and much prefer training with others rather than on my own.  I like a healthy mix of people that could talk the hind legs off a donkey and those that are happy to rip your legs off on a bike or run…  Good example being Rosie and Alana taking us up over Gateway bridge just a few weeks ago..  I've never been so close to max heart rate so early in a session before lol.

6. Favourite motivational quote?

Not sure if this will be publishable, or not..  but here goes…  I immediately am reminded of an old run coach…  his motivational 1 liner was “Don’t be Shit”…  it has a certain ring to it…

7. The one bit of advice I’d give to a newbie is…

I'd say the best bit of advice I'd offer anyone new to the sport is don’t overthink it.  There have been so many times I thought I was ready to come back to squad but I made up a million different reasons for not turning up.  Whether it be I was unfit, overweight, didn’t know anyone, didn’t like the session.  Just turn up, meet people in the squads and get on with your journey.  Every person in the club has a wealth of experience they are willing to share.  We all support each other to progress in individual disciplines – be it in the pool, on the bike, in your trainer, or at the bar!  However, the best bit of advice I would offer to anyone new is never be afraid to ask a question…

8. What’s your next event?

I've actually got my first event in a little over 2 weeks, down at Tweed Enduro.  The first event I will have done for over 5 years and I'm equal parts excited as I am downright terrified.  Following that I have HOTW (smackdown with the red dog himself) at Gundi and then the big one at Cairns in June…

 9. What do you do outside of training?

Contrary to some peoples perception that I may well live some hedonistic party lifestyle outside of training, I actually am quite boring and rigid lol..  I do work quite long hours and when we add training into the mix I don’t really have all that much time spare…  however, when I do, I can often be seen heading out to friends for some scheduled party night.  

10. What’s your one guilty pleasure?

I have far too many guilty pleasures to list here, most of which may well result in either being removed by Trent, or having me up on some form of police report…  If I was to hone in on just 2 guilty pleasures – I like new shiny things (my new TT bike for one ?) and I love sweet things.  I'd love to get my diet under control but…  cake…

A list of all AOTM recipients can be found here