The Mount Monster is an endurance Surf Ironman event held on the plush shores of Mount Maunganui. The race blends four disciplines across a 25km course. Starting with a 5km run atop soft sand, the entire event includes swim, board and ski components. Competitors need stamina and adaptability- which make a chlorine addicted sprint athlete like myself, rather nervous…
My desire to compete at the Monster was pretty simple, I needed a new challenge.
Since the 2016 Rescue World Championships, I’ve become a little severed from motivation. Throwing myself (literally- from a 6m rock jump) in to a different environment was an injection of inspiration. I hadn’t realised how much I missed the hurt locker after leading a life of leisure for the past few months.
Getting amongst the event was an epic experience. The surf lifesaving community is defined by passion and The Mount Monster is testament to that.
From briefing to prize giving and everything in between, the sheer number of volunteers, sponsors, athletes and supporters was amazing.
Hosted in one of my favourite spots in the country, this year’s race kicked off under a cloudless sky. I’ve always respected endurance athletes. To front up and smash out the course in its entirety under the sun and across soft sand is impressive. My legs had turned to sticks of jelly as I clambered down the rocks for the jump. I couldn’t imagine what the individuals felt like with an additional few kilometers in the tank! I competed as part of the ‘Sassy Tsunami’ team, meaning I only raced the swim leg.
-Which turned out to include more running than I had anticipated…
As a swimmer, land based activity is alien territory. Getting a few shouts of encouragement from random spectators genuinely meant a lot! Spectators and supporters are the flavour of events; they add a spice of infectious excitement.
One of the best aspects of the Mount Monster is that it can be completed in bite sized pieces or munched in one go. The teams were comprised of either two, three or four members. The variety of disciplines meant it appealed to a number of different athletes and goal driven peoples. My leg was challenging, simply because it involved land based movement… I’m generally more at ease swimming circles round a black line!
All in all, the weekend was most memorable for the atmosphere. The Mount Monster was a perfect blend of community, athleticism, environment and challenge.
I look forward to taking it on again in 2017!
For more information on the event, follow the Facebook page at: Mount Monster