Sinclair a class above
ONE week ago, Sinclair Black dreamed the dream of every triathlete or ironman.
Sinclair was one of the best triathletes in the world, taking part in the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.
They were accompanied by a handful of lottery winners and charity athletes, all lined up for the gruelling 3.8km swim, 180km cycle and 42.2km run.
"Kona didn't disappoint and delivered tough conditions with a blistering hot day and extreme winds," Sinclair said.
The event was won by Germany's Sebastian Kienle in a time of 8hr 14min 18sec.
Australia's Mirinda Carfrae was the fastest female in 9hr 55sec.
Sinclair finished in a respectable 12hr 10min.
"The Kona Ironman was definitely the toughest race I have ever done," he said.
"The swim was up there with the South West Rocks or Byron Bay swims where you can see the bottom of the ocean the entire way.
"It was not only the fish you could see watching you but also underwater cameramen.
"Above the water were helicopters, drones and countless photographers.
"It was a media spectacle.
"The bike leg was amazing and heading out of Kona through the crowd was such a buzz, while the ride through the hot lava fields looking over the Pacific Ocean was spectacular.
"The wind was extremely strong and gusty and I saw a few cyclists get blown off their bikes, crashing to the side of the road.
"Then I watched as ambulances raced past.
'My hands were covered in blisters after the race from holding on so tightly to my handlebars for six hours."
The run started off well for the first 10km but, as fatigue and the heat set in, Sinclair reports he really slowed down.
"I am certainly not built for marathons and I think my calves are bigger than most triathletes' thighs.
"Conditions were tough and I saw lots of athletes walking, sitting down or withdrawing from the race but I knew I had to keep going.
"With only 3km to go and running in the dark, I could hear the music and the commentators at the finish line. That inspired me to pick up the pace and I brought it home.
"As I ran down the finish chute, Mike Reilly - the voice of Ironman - said the words I had been waiting to hear all day - 'Sinclair Black from Coffs Harbour, Australia, you are an Ironman', and I can't tell you how happy I was to cross that finish line after hearing that.
"It had been a tough day and many Kona veterans were saying conditions were the toughest in 10 or so years."
Like many who have taken the Kona challenge, Sinclair said it's difficult to describe the experience any other way but "incredible".
"I am very grateful to Tour de Cure for this amazing opportunity to represent an important cause," he said.
"Thanks to the generous support of family and friends, I'm delighted to have raised $30,000 to help (one day) put a stop to cancer.
"We can all do our bit by keeping healthy, eating well, getting regular checks and reminding friends and family to do the same."