Luke Mckenzie

Scott Athlete

Year of birth: 1981
Height: 180cm
Weight: 73kg
Hometown: Noosa Heads, QLD, Australia, Westlake Village, CA, USA, Bend, OR, USA

Luke was born and raised in NSW on the Mid North coastal town of Taree. From an early age he pursued sporting interests with a passion.Starting with Soccer and progressing to Rugby League, Cricket, Tennis, Golf, Little Athletics, Basketball, Running, Swimming and Water Polo.Luke became a State level swimmer at Primary school and then represented NSW in Under 14 Water Polo.

His interest in Triathlon was fired in the early 90's when he was taken to Forster by his parents to help man an aid station at the IM Australia.

In 1995, he entered his first Triathlon at Trial Bay, NSW and won. From this point he was "hooked".

In 1996 the family moved to Queensland's Gold Coast- a mecca for Triathlon training and racing. Luke was in his element, training and racing, honing new skills and challenging himself against older, seasoned competitors whenever he could. He supplemented Triathlon with Cross Country and Track running and held numerous Queensland school titles and the 16 yrs Queensland Steeplechase record over 2000m.

Luke was selected in the Australian Duathlon team at 16 yrs old to compete in the World Championships at St Wendell, Germany. As the Under 20's youngest competitor he finished 7th. In 1998 he became the youngest competitor in the St.George triathlon series, learning some valuable lessons in the Grand Prix style of racing. Subsequently Luke was selected in three Australian Junior teams for the World Championships. His best result was at Edmonton in 2001 where he finished third. He suffered the disappointment of a flat tyre at Perth 2000 and finished 9th U23 at Queenstown in 2003.

In 2001 Luke competed in the inaugural Sydney Youth Olympics and won by a considerable margin. This result helped to secure him a place in the Australian Institute of Sport Triathlon squad and provided Luke with valuable support , training and learning experiences through AIS camps in Australia and in France. It was from here that Luke launched his international triathlon career chalking up some very creditable performances in Europe.

Luke became fascinated by the US triathlon scene through his friendship with Peter Coulson and Michellie Jones and in 2003 set off to pursue the American circuit where athletes specialize in the non-drafting format. Showing a preference for longer distances, he managed three first placings in his first year. In 2004 he returned to the US again, recording two first placings, a second and some minor placings. Through racing half-IM races Luke experienced the thrill of going head to head with some of the major world players in the longer distance events. This experience coupled with his youthful memories of the Forster Ironman lured him towards Ironman. He began training in earnest for his debut over this distance in the IM Bussleton. Luke finished 3rd in his first outing in a brisk time of 8.34, tired, totally spent but wildly elated as he passed down the finish chute.

In 2006 Luke realized his dream of competing in the IMWorld Championships in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. Although Luke suffered a stress fracture in his knee after a bike crash in training just a few weeks before the event, he decided to compete anyway. Limping to the finish he achieved a major life goal. Luke continues on his quest to one day win the IM World Championships on Hawaii.

What is your Triathlon background? When and why did you start? 
My family and I would go out to the IM Australia race in Forster in the mid to late 80's and work as volunteers at the aid stations. I grew up idolizing these guys and by the time I was 13 I gave up on a swimming career to do triathlon. I did my first race in 1994 and won so I stuck with it.

What was your reason for picking Triathlon? 
It's the best lifestyle you can have. You keep fit and healthy and get to travel the world and meet people from all over. It's a tough way to make a living but very rewarding.

What’s your favorite part about riding for SCOTT? 
I have been riding SCOTT bikes since 2008 and I have a very good relationship with the company. We have grown together over the past few years and they have helped me develop into one of the top cyclists in the sport with great support and the best products.

What are your future goals? 
It's definitely every triathlete’s goal to win the Hawaii. I got close last year coming 2nd and to win Hawaii would realize a boyhood dream for me.

What keeps you going during the off season, if you ever have an off season? 
I like to take some time off training and racing around Christmas/ New Year and enjoy the Australian summer. I live in California these days but it is a good opportunity to go back to my homeland and be with my family, enjoy summer and the beach!

What are your favorite Triathlons? 
I raced Challenge Roth for the first time recently and although I didn't have the day I wanted I still walked away smiling at the experience I had there. I already can't wait to go back to do it again. The atmosphere of the event is different to any other I have competed in.

Where are we going to find you training most often? 
I guess I have four go to training grounds around the world. I live in San Diego and that's where you will find me training most often but I also like to spend time up in the mountains of Bend, Oregon, the coastal town of Noosa, Australia (where I lived for several years prior to moving to USA) and Kona, Hawaii were I usually spend a month prior to the World Championships.

What inspires you to keep going each season? 
My ultimate goal to win Hawaii.

What music do you listen to when training or before a race? 
I listen to a variety of music but the music that gets me most pumped in hard training sessions is mostly electronic music. Artists like Swedish House Mafia, Steve Aoki, Martin Garrix and Bingo Players are some of my current favorites.

Do you have a favorite pre-race food? 
Lasagna is always a good one.

Do you have any funny habits that you have to do before you race? 
Not really. I think more just tinkering with my bike and getting it ready for the race. I don't have a favorite pair of undies to wear or anything.

When your season is over what is the food you have to have? 
There is a food I can't have during the season? ;)

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