That Coolangatta Gold Race - Ali Day
I JUST BLOODY LOVE IT.
It's that simple.
I choose to do that race, year in year out not due to any reason other than i love it. It's my favourite, and not because i have had success in completing it, but because it's my vision of an epic race.
I really like the idea of a tough event thats left down to fitness, will power and heart on the day, it's why i get so much enjoyment watch races like KONA and although the Gold doesn't compare to that event, it's kind of the closest to it within the Surf Life Saving realm.
I first competed in it as a team, at the age of 16, doing the ski leg with my brother and a good friend, Aaron Helmer, i found it so dam hard and was baffled as to how someone could keep racing after that.
My first individual attempt was in the under 19's, where i sacrificed studying for the HSC (seemed like a big deal at the time) to train and compete and after crossing the line in fifth place, I was immensely upset with myself and in my mind at the time, never wanted to do the event again. it wasn't until 2012, when I watched Caine win that i had a little spark driving home. Somewhere inside me I just knew i needed to do that race again and so i decided i would, 100% be there next year no matter what.
Every year i have competed in it since than i have been SO lucky in taking home the win. Its never something I expect but only something i hope and in all honestly, work my ass off for. I honestly really enjoy starting the program knowing its not going to be easy, theres going to be challenges and I'm going to take away a whole lot from it, regardless if I win or not. To me, it is about the journey to the start line, everyone knows i love the grind, i love the hard work and the discipline that goes with this race and thats why i show up every year. I think that as an athlete, you get limited opportunities, doing the race is always a risk for the Ironman Series that follows shortly after it, but its a risk i feel much better taking, rather than looking back and wishing.
You probably know that, when watching me, i'm not try pretty or technically sound, but i am a perfectionist. When i race, all i want to do is perfect it, that race, on that day. I still think I have such room for improvement, there is always something I can work on, something i can perfect. Regardless of results, in my mind, I have not perfected the race, and yes, I want to. Anyway, It takes a Twenty week program, a lot of dedication, some serious self help conversations, and an awesome team to get you not only to the start line, but than again to the finish line. The race is a journey, its a process and I think that not only as an athlete, but as a human it challenges you and betters you each year, so my suggestion, would be to get out there and do it. Race your perfect race.