Coffs Harbour triathlete Cec Tempone is about to race in his fifth ironman event.
Coffs Harbour triathlete Cec Tempone is about to race in his fifth ironman event.

Ironman set to start in NZ

NEW Zealand may have become one of the tourism Mecca’s of the world but for half a dozen sturdy Coffs Harbour Triathlon Club members, their trek to the land of the long white cloud this week will be anything but a holiday.

Norman Howard, Steel Beveridge, Lyn Fulton, Phil Benoit, Cec Tempone and Peter Wood will be making their way to Lake Taupo along with 1500 other triathletes from 40 countries to tackle the gruelling Ironman New Zealand.

Facing a 3.8 kilometre swim is a task large enough to send most people into a small state of panic but following it up with a 180km ride then a full 42.2km marathon and it shows just how extraordinarily fit these Coffs Coast athletes are.

It’s not just the fitness that is the most impressive though. It’s the dedication that the sextet shows that deserves the most praise.

Some of this group have been training for up to 20 hours a week. Often in the dark, on their own, before work.

Howard is the least experienced of the group when it comes to ironmans as this weekend will be his second attempt at the long distance event but he says that the satisfaction that comes from completing such a Herculean task is almost addictive.

His first ironman was in the Western Australian town of Busselton in 2008 and he was so proud of his achievement he had the ironman logo tattooed onto his arm as a reminder that when you put your mind to something anything is possible.

Howard’s justification for taking part in such a tough endurance event is simple: “If it was easy everyone would do it.”

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