Our Own Ironman Competes with the Best in the World

Date: 12/30/2013

Meet Allister

Allister Caird joined Schlumberger in February 2011 and is a member of the Geology and Geophysics team in the SIS segment in Perth, Western Australia. He trains and supports customers using Petrel by providing efficient and innovative workflows. He enjoys all kinds of challenges both in the workplace and in his life outside the office “I like to get the most out of myself and constantly seek improvement in all aspects of life be it work or recreation”.

He has a master’s in geophysics and a bachelor’s in geology from the University of Western Australia. He lived in France for a year after completing his bachelor’s and it’s there that he developed a passion for travelling. He was recently in the US for his final Build-It training and while he was there, “I was lucky enough, with a little help from Schlumberger, to take part in the Ironman 70.3 World Championship held in Las Vegas”.  

Held all over the world, the Ironman 70.3, also known as a Half Ironman, is a series of long distance triathlon races organized by the World Triathlon Corporation. The 70.3 refers to the total distance in miles (113.0 km) covered in the race, consisting of a 1.2-mile (1.9 km) swim, a 56-mile (90 km) bike ride, and a 13.1-mile (21.1 km) run. The series culminates each year with a World Championship competition, a qualification only event for which competitors qualify in locations all over the world during the prior 12 months.  Allister qualified in Busselton, Australia, in May with a time of 4h 26min.

He found an amazing atmosphere in Las Vegas when he entered the Ironman village to collect his race pack, as there were athletes there from all over the world. “It was not unlike Schlumberger in the sense that the international and cultural dynamic of the participants is one and the same”.

The Vegas race is notorious for being swelteringly hot with temperatures up to 40degC. However on the day of the event it poured with rain, in stark contrast to everyone’s expectations. The swim took place in Lake Las Vegas and Allister noted it being a difficult swim, particularly as he was unable to wear the wetsuit he was accustomed to racing in.

He exited the water in the middle of the group and continued on to the bike section, in fairly treacherous conditions, with both steep hills and heavy rain to contend with. While heading back into town to start the run section, he was unlucky to get a flat tire and didn’t have the necessary tools to get back on the road and had to wait for one of the few on-course mechanics to find him and get him going again.

During this time, the sun came up and quickly and Vegas began to cook. With the added humidity from the morning’s rain he knew the run would not be for the faint hearted. Allister recalled the final descent into the finishing chute being quite remarkable as he reflected on the obstacles he had overcome, both physically and logistically, to be finishing the Ironman World Championships. At the end of the day he finished in a respectable 5h 36min and even though he didn’t get the results he was hoping for he felt, “it was an amazing experience and one I will remember for quite some time.”

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