HAYDEN Smith admits he had never entered an Ironman event prior to competing in the Port Macquarie race recently.
But that didn’t seem to matter on the day as Smith impressively finished the 3.8km swim, 180km cycle and the 42.2km run in well under 10 hours.
This effort secured him a spot as one of 40 Australians heading to the World Championships in Hawaii in October.
“My wife India is a bloody good supporter. I think if she wasn’t there telling me to get my head together and keep going I may not have finished.”Hayden Smith
Smith said while he is proud of his achievement, he almost thought he wouldn’t reach his goal.
“In the end I was probably in line with how I thought I would be time wise,” Smith said.
“But during the race someone had put thumbtacks all over the road so I had a punctured tyre and was on the side of the road for about 20 minutes.
“My wife India is a bloody good supporter. I think if she wasn’t there telling me to get my head together and keep going I may not have finished.”
Hailing from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Smith comes from a Surf Life Saving background and was involved with the Kawana Surf Club for eight years.
His involvement has seen him win several national and world titles in individual and team events.
Smith started competing in triathlons about 18 months ago with the dream of competing in an Ironman.
“Eight years ago in 2006, my wife and I wrote a bucket list of sporting events we wanted to do and the Ironman was on the top of my list,” Smith explains.
“When the Port one came around I just thought why not.
“If you’re into endurance, Ironman is the ultimate. It’s a real honest test of hard work.”
After moving to Forster in December, Smith and his wife took over as licensees of the Macintosh St McDonald’s restaurant.
Smith says while he can understand the irony of being a triathlete and owning a fast food outlet, he believes takeaways like McDonald’s are not what they used to be.
“It’s funny I think maccas has previously had a stigma that it’s not healthy food,” Smith said.
“But I’m a living example of it. I train and am active but I eat maccas every single day.
“McDonald’s also support many local sporting groups. I see Forster as a tight knit community and I hope to be able to help out as many community groups and organisations as possible.”
Smith is having a month off before commencing training for Hawaii in June. His training regime will involve cycling 400kms and running up to 100kms every week.
“Whilst I’m new to this I know the kind of training that’s required,” he said.
“Being involved with surf clubs I think the swim will definitely be my strongest leg.
“But I’m expecting Hawaii to be the hardest sporting event I’ve ever done.”
The Ironman World Championships will be held in Kona, Hawaii on October 11.