Marathon Man

May 15, 2010 by Odile Faludi - Maccabi NSW
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Maccabi Masters Sportsman of the Year 2008, Michael Besser,  recently competed in the Half Iron Man event in Busselton, WA.

Michael Besser

Sydney-based Besser, 63, received the Order of Australia in 2001 for Services to Neurosurgery as a Clinician, Teacher and Administrator. The outstanding Jewish athlete of the day was 25 year old Jason Rhine (from Perth) who came 2nd in a very competitive field. As far as Maccabi News is concerned the real winner was Michael Besser. Michael came 7th out of 12 in his age group 60-64yrs in an impressive time of six hours and 20 minutes, a personal best! The race was a 1.9km swim, 90km ride and a full 21k half marathon.  Conditions were perfect although parts of the bike course were quite windy and Michael confesses, “The last 5km’s of the run was tough going. I was fairly sore afterwards and for the next few days I had to go downstairs backwards!”

Maccabi News couldn’t resist asking Michael some more questions about his life and love, especially about his wife, Anne. Michael said, “Of course I could not have done any of this without the loving support of Anne who remains my inspiration. Anne and I have been married for 43 years, have raised four children and now have nine beautiful grandchildren. We married young, I was still a medical student and Anne a nurse and we struggled with financial difficulties for more than a decade but always pulled together eventually achieving our dreams.”  Michael went on to say, “It was not easy. I drove cabs at night for five years and we lived in Canada for three years on rice and spaghetti. We worked very hard with Anne holding up my ladder and basically raising the children. Anne has always pushed me and when we (or rather Anne) JUMPS off a cliff I have to fall faster to catch her. This is how I got started in Triathlon.”  It’s amazing how when you scratch the surface people always tell you a little gem, something to remind you just how important love and life is.

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