In August, former Mount Isa triathlete Elle Goodall received the news she had been waiting on for three years – with a surprise twist.
Elle was not only selected to take in the Ironman World Championship at Kona, Hawaii next month but also be an ambassador for the race.
“I was selected as the Ironman Ambassador Athlete meaning I get race in my dream event, it's going to become a reality,” Goodall said.
The Ironman staff in Australia put Goodall’s name forward for the Ambassadorship without her knowledge.
The Kona triathlon is held on Saturday October 13 and is the ultimate endurance race which will test the body, mind and spirit of all 2000 athletes.
It consists of a gruelling 3.9km swim leg, 180km bike ride and a 42.2km run and as an Ambassador Goodall embodies this years mantra – Anything is possible.
It centres on dedication and courage something Elle Goodall has been passionate about for the last three years.
Each triathlon she competes in, inspires others and brings her one step closer to her dream of competing at the prestigious event in Hawaii.
“On the day I found out, I thought I was going to an interview at a bike shop in Brisbane to talk about my story,” she said.
I ugly cried when he said that, it was an emotional moment.Elle Goodall
“The interview started out just like any other one and then the guy asked ‘What does Kona means to me?’.”
Goodall said the Kona race is a place where you can't just sign up, you have to be invited.
“It’s a dream, Kona to me means everything, if I could get there it would be a dream come true,” she said.
“He started to talk about how Ironman chose an Ambassador every year then told me I’d be going to Kona as the Athlete Ambassador.”
“I ugly cried when he said that, it was an emotional moment.”
Three years ago Goodall began a life-changing journey to transform herself from a ‘McDonalds addict’ weighing over 180kgs, to an elite athlete competing in one of the world's hardest triathlons.
She said surgery was a drastic but necessary decision, and not the quick fix many people assume.
“Weight loss surgery helped a little bit but triathlons and training have got me where I am today. It's been my saviour,” she said.
Goodall is going through intense training in the lead up to the event with her coach Emma Quinn from T:Zero multisports.
“I've been working with Em since my first half Ironman last year,” Goodall said.
“She pushes me hard, my times have improved and it's really great to see that improvement.
“It becomes your life – training and work – during the week I train up to four hours a day and on the weekends up to seven hours, but it will increase more coming closer to the race.”
The Ironman website airs a live feed during the race and each athlete wears a tracker.
“People can track me so in the last part of the day they can jump on and track me to watch me finish,” Goodall said.