Meet Julie Orr

Meet Julie Orr

Questions for the Marketing interview

Which is your favourite leg of the Tri/Ironman?

Every leg - as soon as its finished! Usually it’s the bike leg, but on the right day and the right conditions I adore an ocean swim. The run always puts a smile on my face as I know I am 2/3 done and going to finish.

What made you start doing Tri's?

I was chatting to my friend Maree in the changerooms at work one morning and she said that she had signed up for a triathlon and I thought to myself  if Maree can - so can I! Then I realised I hadn’t been swimming since primary school, hadn’t ridden a bike since high school (didn’t actually even own a bike) and had only started getting into a little running. It sounded like a fun challenge so the next thing I knew I was spending an inordinate amount of money on gear and a brand new bike (that everyone said would gather dust under the house – how wrong could they be!) I completed my first sprint tri at Bribie. I hadn’t even worked out how to use the gears on the bike or the cleats on my shoes and I remember thinking to myself – dude it’s one or the other – so it was sneakers on the bike with those tiny little pedals – hilarious but actually made transition to the run a lot quicker!

What was the worst thing that has happened to you in a race and how did you deal with it?

Sunny Coast Half-Ironman 2021. I stayed at my brothers place the day before the race and as we were running up to the shops to get food for dinner, he stopped and doubled over in pain. He said, “Oh dear I don’t think Flynn was joking when he said he had a tummy bug” I said “WHAT?” Well, I got through the swim no dramas at all – it was a beautiful swim, then I did ok on the bike but as soon as I started running that tummy bug hit me. A friend said just pull out. I said ABSOLUTELY NOT, I can walk this thing and still get it done in time – I’ve come this far and I am NOT DNFing this! I was violently ill and trying to hold back tears as I walked/shuffled the whole 21k - and was still not even last.

Best race where everything fell into place?

Noosa Triathlon – I love Noosa, I love the distance, I love the vibe and I love the crowds of competitors as well as the supporters. I am working my way to legend status for this event.

What do you think has been your biggest achievement so far?

Full Ironman – Port Mac in 2019. 3.8K swim, 180k bike ride, 42.2k run. I never thought I would be able to go that kind of distance and was in absolute awe of anyone that did. My friend Lisa and I watched another friend Lucy complete a full Ironman and we both looked at each other and said let’s do it!  Next thing you know I’ve signed up, bought a book called Be Ironfit which Lisa converted it into a training program calendar that I stuck on the wall in my hallway and I just got out there and did the allotted training. I told everyone I would be out of action for about 6 months. I was really lucky to have an awesome boss who let me work a half day during the week so I could complete a longer training session midweek and I worked to fit the other longer training sessions on the weekend. It is as much the mental game as the physical. The calendar in the hallway was a lifesaver as I walked past it numerous times a day and reminded me what I had coming up for the week. I admit by the end of the 6 months I was done, and I just wanted to get out there and have my day.

When you started out did you ever think you would be able to do an Ironman?

I simultaneously laughed and dry retched at the thought of those distances. I know I have got another one in me – I learnt so much about myself and what it takes training for the first one. There are things I will do differently, and I will improve. Like nutrition – the fourth leg of an Ironman. (I have been told to keep this G rated so I can’t tell you about my state of complete delirium in the porta potty on the final lap where I was nearly naked, crying, convinced everyone who was tracking me on the ironman app could see me in this state contemplating my apparent life choices.) The exceptionally bad nutrition plan I had in place saw me in a really, really bad state. I heard the volunteers calling an ambulance for another competitor who had blacked out on the ground outside (same nutrition plan for sure) and I thought to myself – get your tri-suit back on girlfriend and get going. I got out of that porta potty, shoved a banana and a cup of hot chicken noodle soup down my throat and boom I was back in the land of the living and ran the last 10ks at an ok pace.)

Why do you continue to do it?

Because of the endorphin high, because I’m an A type personality and because someone once suggested that I couldn’t. As an Aries this is literally the best thing they could have said – don’t ever doubt me!


Your name, occupation and favourite quote?

Julie Orr, Credit Manager.

“If you are going to do something, don’t half-ass it, full-ass it”

 Damo – bike mechanic of the century from Swim Ride Run Faster, Brisbane, Queensland.

Back to blog

Leave a comment