Thomas Parkinson

Noosa Triathlon 2021

My Activity Tracking


Why I Tri, mental health.

I've committed to being part of Team Smiddy at the 2021 Noosa Triathlon.

That means in October, I'll be taking on an Olympic distance triathlon. That's a 1500m swim, 40km ride and 10km run! Yes, I'll be pushing my body to the limit.

Why am I taking on this challenge?

Because I'm committed to the long, hard road to fight cancer. 

As part of my challenge I'm aiming to raise $3000 to fund ground-breaking research at Mater into the causes, prevention and treatment of various types of cancer.

And this is where I need your help.

Will you support my fundraising by making a donation today?

My Achievements

My Updates

Covid Adaptation

Tuesday 7th Sep
Hi Team,
So I hope to be back in Australia next week and will then have 14 days of quarantine to enjoy. I will be living in Perth and as domestic travel restrictions keep changing, the Noosa Triathlon organisers have said that all interstate competitors can suspend their entry until next year as they believe there is a chance something might happen.

So where does that leave my supporters who I committed to do the Noosa Triathlon? I have a solution! On the 31st of October, same day as the original Noosa Triathlon, I will complete an Olympic Distance Triathlon in Rockingham, Western Australia. I will continue training. I will continue to somehow train during quarantine. I will still have to source a bike to train with and use on race day. I will wear and represent the Smiling for Smiddy team, and race in honour of Adam and the legacy of cancer research funding his memory has and is providing.
Who knows what will happen next year. This year I will do my first Olympic distance triathlon in 9 years, in Australia, it will just be on the other side of the country.


Wednesday 18th Aug
10 weeks to go. I'm still in PNG hoping the trip back to Australia is successful in September, I have no control over that. 

Looks like we might go to Sydney for hotel quarantine instead of Brisbane which means we might have to quarantine again in Western Australia. I don't have control over that. 

Planning to fly back to Brisbane for the Triathlon at the end of October. Will it be on? Will Western Australia allow me to, and family to get back? I don't have control over that.

At the moment I'm on week 6 of a 16 week training program. I'm about to go for a 10km run. While I'm in PNG I have control over my training. In hotel quarantine I will have a wind trainer, a treadmill ( will organise) and a wife and 3 kids. Therefore have control over some of that training. In Perth I'll need to catch up on my swimming. I can control that. 

There are things I cannot control. I knew that. I can't control if the Noosa Triathlon will go ahead or not. What I can control is my motivation to keep training, and raising money for cancer research. I have already started the fund raising, so in a way I'm already successful, and that gives me something to feel good about. Feeling good is uncertain times is life changing.

What can I control?

Sunday 1st Aug
 I’m worried about board closures and restrictions but that is not something I can change. The point of my participation was to focus on things I can control. 

Sponsorship means money for cancer research which is not affected by a lockdown. I have control over that.

I still have at least 6 weeks of training in PNG. It is hard in a good way. I may have sourced a treadmill for hotel quarantine which would be a huge help.

I just did a little bit of the Kokoda Track up here in PNG which is unfortunately mostly closed at the moment due to covid restrictions. We started and finished as a group. 
I’m part of Team Smiddy and I know the importance of hearing that cheer, “go Smiddy!” During the Noosa Triathlon. I want to hear that again. I know the importance of fundraising for the team.
So another training week starts tomorrow.

Getting serious

Monday 19th Jul
I have started week 2 of the 16 week training program that will see me through to race day.
I’ll need to manage 2 weeks quarantine. I’m still working on how to manage that.
I’ve been vaccinated against Covid 19, I hope Australia can do the same. Seems like politics is more important than people’s health from where I sit.
I’ve gone back through my past Noosa Triathlon times from 2010, 2011 and 2012 and realised I need to tweak my training focus. 
Swim <30mins locked in
Bike - I’m useless at and never trained properly for so will work harder at but want <1:12hrs.
Run I was planning <50mins but have done <47mins so will lock that in.
Working harder on the bike for me will make a huge difference race day!

A story from another person doing the Noosa Triathlon

Monday 19th Jul

This is more than just a swim, ride and run.

For Smiddy triathlete Tom Leworthy, this is personal.

Tom at the 2018 Noosa Triathlon in his Smiddy tri-suit

Tom will line up alongside you at Noosa eyeing off a sub-2:20 finish. His wife Siobhan, and children Eva (11), Remi (5) and Rae (2) will be cheering him on.

The “hurt locker” for Tom is relative—knowing he would likely not even be alive today without the ongoing cancer research advancements your fundraising enables.

In 2015, Tom was living in Abu Dhabi with his young family. He was a fit, healthy 36-year-old in the prime of his life—before his world was tipped on its head.

Tom was diagnosed with Stage 3 metastatic melanoma, changing his life in an instant.

For the last five years, Tom has undergone countless surgeries and immunotherapies and his cancer having spread to different parts of his body. His cancer progressed to Stage 4 and at one point Tom was told that he had just 12 months to live.

Tom receiving treatment for melanoma

But Tom persevered and stayed hopeful—he had to. The thought of leaving behind his young family was not an option. 

Positivity and hope are powerful things.

“On my next scan, the cancer was all gone. I have been cancer-free ever since—but I’m still taking the treatment. My odds of relapse are 50 per cent.” 

Tom is lucky. He was able to access treatments that were not available only 5 or 10 years ago. Tom's incredible journey illustrates why—with Mater Smiling for Smiddy—it’s about more than the finish line.

After clocking 2:30 and 2:28 in 2018 and 2019, Tom is gunning for a PB this year, hoping to shave some time off a 2:21 effort he netted prior to his initial diagnosis.

So for Tom, when he hears the cheers from his family, he knows why he will push through the “hurt locker”.

And for you—when you hear those same cheers in Noosa—know why your fundraising efforts with Mater Smiling for Smiddy are so critically important.


Wednesday 23rd Jun
You can only fear something that hasn’t happened. 
I’m scared when I walk up a steep hill but strangely I’m ok once I start walking down. 
I’m not scared of the Triathlons I’ve done, but I am nervous/ fearful about this triathlon. I have an idea of what I will be doing, but  my training so far has re-enforced the fact that it is going to be very hard and it scares me a bit. 
Fear is normal, but without it you can never be brave. 

I’d prefer not to be brave and not have a fear of heights. I guess people could say that about cancer, and cancer treatments. I hope cancer treatments in the future would be so good that no one has to be brave. 


Monday 7th Jun
How can I keep motivated to keep training? Things I’m doing:

I have a routine and clear plan. 
I have people sponsoring me, so I’m not alone.
I remind myself that the cause changes lives.
I just need to start a session.
I record and review my data. 
I can imagine the goal. 
I recognize each session will help during the race. 
I can’t put training in after the race.
I recognize it is just hard, and I need to just suck it up, because there are somethings you just have to do yourself. 

Week 7 starts today with a swim session.  I just need to start.

The fact I can train is a gift.

It doesn’t get easier.

Sunday 30th May
My training program uses my “rate of perceived exertion “, which is my own personalised effort scale. I record my speed, distances, heart rate and times which measures my improvement. Looking back on a session really helps to gauge change. 
This week I did some speed work in the pool during a session , building up to working at a very high level for myself. Other programs used times  with split times, which as a non swimmer just made me struggle and not focus on technique. This time I worked at 3 different  levels, working harder; starting at 200m, then 100m, until at almost maximal effort for 50m. I repeated these reps 3 times and although it felt harder and harder I managed to maintain or improve the times through the session! 
I don’t feel like I’m improving because I’m pushing my Rate of Perceived Exertion,  but my times clearly show I am. I just have to remember to keep working and I will improve over time. 
I forgot to press start on my watch on time this week a couple of times, so when I found I was 3 seconds short of doing 6 hours of training it made me smile. Did I do more than 6 hrs or not? 

Swimming is a bit like golf.

Monday 24th May
Another swim session today. It is hard to start but knowing I have people interested got me there.

I’ve really started to notice that if I focus on body position and smooth strokes, I’m much faster than when I try to go fast. It made me think of my golf swing. A smooth controlled and well timed stroke goes much farther for me. So today I thought about reaching, pulling and keeping my hips up as high as possible. It was hard but I know I’m getting better. 200m in 4 mins twice!

I also wore a pink Tri suit and was told I have a very strong jawline for a woman. 

Tri Suit

Friday 21st May
Into the forth week and I'm using a tri-suit for the swimming, which makes me work harder because if I didn't, then I shouldn't be wearing it. 
The tri suit is not the one I will wear this time. I'll only get that when I have raised more money. On that note I will upload a photo of the suit and try for more sponsorship. 

Routine motivation

Saturday 15th May
Tomorrow is the last day of my 3rd week of training. I have a plan with each session ready to go, so I just have to worry about doing it, not what to do. It seems simple but the only way to train. 

Week 3

Wednesday 12th May
I did a swim session followed by a run session today. My swimming needs improvement but I did 4 x 200m at 4:30 to 4:40mins. It is not easy but I know that I need a couple more weeks before I see improvement.

I keep getting attacked by a Willy Wagtail when I run at the Yacht Club. I have to wave my hand above my head as I run past to stop it pecking me. It got hot during the second 5km. I figure Noosa will be hot so good practice. I ate mint slice biscuits. The 10km was 63mins, so that is the max for the triathlon at the moment, I’d like to do 50mins.
I’m going to work on fundraising over the next week. I’m putting in 6 sessions a week so I think people will know I’m serious.

Week 2 completed

Sunday 9th May
I’m really grateful for the sponsorship so far. It helps to motivate me to train, and think of ways to train better.
I’m probably going to do most of my riding on a stationary bike as I just can’t safely ride at speed on the roads around Port Moresby. I’ve been lucky to borrow a bike and found and air trainer. I did an hour on it today listening to the quarterly essay on climate change. I only fell off once when I was first setting it up.
I tripped over a half buried rock while waving to people on my Friday run. A few scratches and a bit of blushing. It was hot so I don’t think people knew I was blushing. I also don’t  think the security guards noticed the blood on my elbow when I ran back in the gate. 
Week 3 starts tomorrow. 

First Week

Tuesday 4th May
I’ve started the riding training on a  spin bike in the gym. Later I will try to ride in Port Moresby on a borrowed bike when I’m fitter. I don’t actually own a working bike.
Running included a group hill walk/run up Burns Peak, a hill near where I live. Great views. We left in the dark and arrived at the top as the sun came up. I ran back home by myself to make the kids lunches and breakfast. 
Swimming is challenging but I’m focusing on style. I got cramp in my foot and right leg but that was after an hour of swimming each time so I expect that won’t happen with more fitness.
I have a training program so I know what I have to do. It is critical for me to have a plan and a goal. I feel like each training session is getting me closer to a Noosa which helps me deal with other daily challenges that I can’t control.

Community and control.

Saturday 24th Apr
With all the challenges in the world at the moment that I have no control over, I thought I’d give myself a challenge that would give me back some control. 
I participated in the first 3 Smiddy Noosa Triathlons raising money for cancer research in memory of a fellow Physiotherapist, Adam Smiddy. His story and the positive stories of the people who have become a part of the Smiddy legacy with the Mater Foundation makes me feel a part of a community. It is this type of community I want to be associated with and a part of, even from a physical distance.
I’m living in PNG, I’m married and have 3 wonderful children. The situation in PNG at the moment is fluid. The logistics to train, raise money and actually get to the starting line this time is very different to what it was 10years ago; but it has begun.

Thank you to my Sponsors


Eleanor And Tom

Well done Tom, you’ll smash it!


Brendon Sedaitis



Anthony Mason


Grant Heggie


Jennifer Wilkinson


Andrew Barclay


Emma Lattimore

Go Tom!!!


Thomas Parkinson


Jackos, First Street

Go you good thing!


Em And Ben T

Amazing effort fighting off the Willy Wagtail poro!


David & Lauren

Good luck and all the best! Hopefully we can get you moving through the water at a cracking pace!


Rachel Moseley


A Whittle Family

Great work Thomas, keep it up!


Amanda Young


Joe, Erin & Fam

Good on you Thomas, such a great thing to work towards! Good luck!!




Emily And Nick

Go Tom!!!!


Julie And Chad

Go Tempest!


Darryl & Fadi

Well done mate! We'll be cheering you from the sidelines!!


John & Nuno

Good for you!