A FURTHER CHALLENGE
There's no rest for Michael as he begins training for the Mark Webber Pure Tasmania Challenge - a five-day adventure race in November.
Barely off the plane from Beijing, Michael was straight back on the bike to maintain his fitness. With race partner, Tony Bond, he is also preparing for the trekking, kayaking and mountain-biking sections of the gruelling race.
Michael originally signed up for last year's Challenge but was forced to pull out when he was diagnosed with Oesophageal Cancer in July 2007. Seven months later he made contact with organisers to let them know he wanted to take part in the 2008 event.
He then teamed up with his massage therapist, Tony Bond, an experienced adventure racer. Long-time sponsor Toyota Australia came on board to cover their entry fee and flights.
'I had to make sure Tony understood we wouldn't be in the front of the pack, that the goal is to go as fast as we can as a team, finish the race and have fun.
'The activities that pose the greatest challenge are definitely the running legs, especially the race up Cradle Mountain. Being on crutches really slows me down but I'll put up a good fight on the flat road cycling sections. I'm hoping there will be lots of those,' laughed Michael.
He says the endurance event will be a new experience for him.
'Both cycling and skiing are all about strength over short distances. In preparing for the Beijing Paralympics, I was training for a race that lasted barely four minutes. Getting my body and my mind ready for a five-day effort is a very new challenge for me,' explained Michael.
The 2008 Mark Webber Pure Tasmania Challenge kicks off on Wednesday 19 November in Tasmania. The pro-am style event will take 80 competitors through 280kms of the most stunning and demanding terrain.
The Mark Webber Challenge Foundation is raising money for the Leukaemia Foundation and the Save the Tassie Devil Appeal.