I’m going for six and as it nears closer I am asked why? What do I want to prove? Will I stop after six?

For now, for all I know is I’m doing this, again, because I have the chance to do this, again.

The iconic Coolangatta Gold is the longest endurance race of our sport, and for obvious reasons, said to be the toughest.

When the gun goes, you’ve 42km ahead, tracing the beaches of the Gold Coast, and within that, you’ve got to perfect four different disciplines.

I’ve been training my body and mind for this since I was 16 years old and set myself onto Ironman.  The 20-week training block for this one race, consuming 40 hours per week.

On the day you’ve got 23km on the ski, 3.5km swim, 5.5km board paddle and 14km of soft sand running to get through, all hand in hand with whatever mother nature throws at you.

And for me, it’s not just a matter of completing it, I’m getting from point A to point B as fast as I possibly can, yeah, as much as it’s a race against others, it’s also become a race against myself.

I was 18, it was mid HSC, I sat my exams in a random school at Banora Point all because I wanted to win the under 19’s Coolangatta Gold, and I didn’t. I came 5th.

Broken, I walked to my apartment, still in full race gear, locked the door and cried. In that moment I told myself I’m never doing that race again.

Fast forward three years, it was 2011, and I watched Caine Eckstein cross the line. Immediately inspired, I was in.

No matter what the conditions, no matter who put their foot on the line, I told myself I was doing it, and I committed to it. In the lead up I gave 110% of what I had to give, I left no stone unturned, my preparation was calculated and professional, on the day: I did the same.

I smiled as I approached the start but what wasn’t visible was the fear, the fear of what could happen, the doubt within my mind that steamed from my last attempt, but overpowering that was the fear of never trying again. 4 hours later, I won my first Coolangatta Gold.

From then, every year I have committed to the race, it has given back challenges, taught me some of my biggest life lessons, and provided me with utmost joy.

This race isn’t about proving anything, It’s not about being ‘best ever’, and no, if I win next week, and get six, it’s not going to mean I stop. Its deeper than the results.

This race has shaped me, it’s inspired me, it’s broken me, built me and it’s scared the shit out of me.

In a life where nothing is certain, and opportunities are limited, I do this race because I know it’s good for me.

And so, next Sunday, sure enough that gun will fire, and with it, there’ll be some deep breaths and a few nerves, but I know without doubt that I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else, this is it, It’s the final piece of the past 20 week puzzle and I cannot wait.