Following his recent crowning as Asia-Pacific Australian PC Champion, Coates Hire ambassador and vision impaired triathlete Nathan Johnston is preparing to face the world’s best at the 2015 Ironman World Championship held at Kona, Hawaii in October.
After hard-won successes in gruelling events including the Australian Ironman Triathlon, the iconic Sydney City2Surf and now the Ironman Melbourne event - and with a goal to compete in the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games - Nathan Johnston and his running guide, Ironman veteran Glenn Gorick, will now head to Hawaii to challenge the world’s best in the Ironman World Championship.
First held at Waikiki in the 70’s, the event was moved in 1981 to Kona and is considered the toughest one-day sporting event in the world. Located where barren black lava fields dominate the landscape, athletes are set to face battling crosswinds of 72kph under a scorching sun.
On October 10th, Nathan and Glenn will join over 2,000 athletes as they embark on a 226-kilometre journey that is said to be the ultimate test of body, mind and spirit. The championship was built out to test the dedication and courage of the athletes. This philosophy is evident in Nathan’s demonstrated belief that anything is possible.
Despite losing 90 per cent of his sight since being diagnosed with the degenerative eye condition Retinitis Pigmentosa at age 7 and only starting sports in his teens, Nathan, now 29, has never let the condition define him and has made his mark as a talented athlete on the national and international stage, as his running guide, Glenn Gorick, attests.
“Nathan has performed extremely well over the years, so his latest win in Melbourne and selection for Kona are very well deserved,” Glenn said. “Despite the challenges his condition presents, Nathan overcomes adversity to beat over half the able bodied field in his events every time and continually inspires us all.”
Speaking to Nathan, who was only notified of his selection for the Kona Ironman World Championship in May, the young sporting star was pleased but also well aware of the challenge ahead.
“It’s humbling to get this opportunity; I’m excited, shocked and a little bit nervous,” Nathan said. “It’s going to be a hard day, so I’ll be happy just to finish in the 17 hours they give us.
“We have eight busy days of cycling and swimming and running there, with one day off before the race; but that day we have to check our bikes in and get them sorted, so it’s going to be a pretty hectic time but hopefully a good result,” he concluded.
We won’t be with you on the day, Nathan (phew!), but best wishes from the team at Coates Hire who will definitely be cheering you on. Good luck, champ!