Everyones story from getting into endurance sports is just as exciting as another;
Damien Collins is no exception. Growing up racing BMX from an early age of 9 to 15, he developed some solid biking skills and form that little known to him at the time would play a major roll later in life.
From there, till the age of 21; surfing, skateboarding, spearfishing and kickboxing dominated his past time, coupled with a very active night life as most typical guys do in their early 20's.
In his first endurance endeavour, Damien raced a 24hr adventure race, 2012 then consisted of many 4-48hr adventure races, 4-8hr mountain bike races & a couple off road triathlons. It was then the seed was planted...
May 2013 he entered his first official triathlon, that being Ironman Australia..... Age 23 in the 18-24 age group and finished 3rd. Till that point Ironman had just been a bucket list race but soon realised he had potential in the sport. Damo turned his focus on Ironman NZ early in 2014 with the goal of qualifying for Kona where he achieved this with an AG win. With 6 months of serious training Damo went on to place 4th at the Ironman World Championships on his first attempt
With a taste of success in Hawaii, 2015's goal was to become world champion in the 25-29 AG. The year started well with T:Zero coach Richard Thompson with another AG win in Ironman Melbourne and his first sub 9hr IM with a 8:46, and first sub 4hr 70.3 taking overall AG'er at Sunshine Coast half IM. Being so motivated and pushing far too hard all year he reached Hawaii over trained and on the verge of injury not achieving a result.
The following year was plagued with an overuse injurie having not been in the sport long enough and learning how to manage it, coupled with being hit by a car and later a ruptured AC joint scattered through the year saw no consistency. Being too focused on a 3rd attempt at Kona rather than sorting out the shin splints saw him race another 2 Ironman's, although going 9:06 in both and qualifying he was still well off his potential and continuing to harm the shins. Racing Kona for a 3rd time probably wasn't the wisest decision for longevity in the sport, however knowing it would be a long time before being back on the island in the pro race, he saw himself on the start line anyway.
2017 Damo applied for is professional triathlon licence, also with a change of coaching direction under TriSutto's Australian head coach Cam Watt.
Taking the time to sort his body out during the first half of the year, this paid off as the back end of the year saw some mixed results with his first half win at Murray Man and some podiums, also having some challenging races where he's really learning how to race in a pro field where the dynamics are very different. The fun and fire to race has really been ignited.
And now this is where the real story begins from being a elite age grouper to successful pro. Damo can definitely see himself on Ironman and 70.3 podiums and this is where the focus lies.