PORT STEPHEN’S EXAMINER OCT 2ND
NELSON Bay triathlete Pat Hay is one week away from facing one of the toughest endurance races in the world – the Ironman World Championship.
Hay flew out of Australia for Hawaii, where the championship has been held for close to 40 years, on Thursday.
The primary school teacher, aged 33, qualified for the championship after placing second in his age group at the Port Macquarie Ironman in May.
It was his third ever Ironman event.
When the Examiner spoke with Hay in May, he said qualifying for the championship was indescribable.
“One of the last times I was chatting with her [mum] she told me to chase my dreams,” Hay said at the time.
“It’s what got me back into triathlons. Words can’t describe what it means for me to get here.”
Hay did his last training session at Top Coach Functional Fitness in Taylors Beach on Wednesday.
“I can’t thank Chris and the team enough for pushing me so hard over the past year and for keeping me injury free,” Hay posted on his Facebook page, Ironman – my husbands journey.
“Words can’t express the gratitude I have for giving me the chance to achieve my goals.”
Considered the toughest one-day endurance sporting event in the world, the championship consists of a 3.8km swim, 180km ride and a 42.2km marathon across the balmy Hawaiian landscape.
The inaugural Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon was held in 1978, which attracted a field of 15.
Honolulu-based Navy couple Judy and John Collins proposed combining the three toughest endurance races in Hawaii – the 2.4-mile Waikiki rough water swim, 112 miles of the around O’ahu bike race and the 26.2-mile Honolulu marathon – into one event.
In 1981, the race moved from the tranquil shores of Waikiki to the barren lava fields of Kona on the big island of Hawaii.
More than 80,000 athletes compete at 40 Ironman events held across the world for the right to be one of the 2000 athletes who take on the championship event.
Hay will be joined in Hawaii by his wife, Rebecca, and two young sons.
He will race in the championship on October 8.
Good luck Pat!
The Top Coach Team