RACHELE Sanderson will have to wait another 12 months before creating Mid-North Coast sporting history.
The 42-year-old was set to become the first-ever participant from the Mid-North Coast (male or female) to compete at Ultraman.
One of the largest-ever endurance races in the world has already had events in locations such as Mexico, Canada, Florida, Brazil and Spain.
It started in Hawaii in 1983 before the first Ultraman event was held in Australia in 2015.
When Sanderson finally lines up alongside another 49 specially selected competitors from around the world between May 8-10 next year, it will have been a path she first set foot on five years ago.
The three-day, 515-kilometre annual endurance race had to be postponed a fortnight ago due to concerns around COVID-19.
It means Sanderson almost has to hit the reset button before she can tick off the latest item that appears on her bucket list.
It would have been a goal of five years, but it's something I'm passionate about and a goal I've wanted to do for quite some time.Rachele Sanderson
"I had been working 50 hours a week full-time and also had to fit in 25 hours of training a week so it took a lot of dedication and a lot of time away from friends and family," she said.
"So to be told it wasn't going to happen was disappointing because a lot of work had gone in to get to this point so it was heartbreaking.
"It took me three years to qualify, then 12 months of training and then it will be another 12 months of training again by the time I get to the start line.
"It would have been a goal of five years, but it's something I'm passionate about and a goal I've wanted to do for quite some time."
While the goalposts may have been moved, Sanderson said the hunger and passion still burned bright.
"I'm still motivated," she said.
"For me, triathlon is really a part of my lifestyle anyway and it is nice to have a goal, but it really isn't just a hobby, it's a lifestyle."
The race requires athletes to complete three gruelling days of competition beginning with a 10-kilometre swim and a 140-kilometre ride on day one.
Day two is a 281-kilometre ride before competitors must run a double marathon of 84 kilometres on day three.
"It's a substantial amount of work and not one for the faint-hearted, but I really enjoy doing triathlon and long-distance sport such as long rides and swimming," Sanderson said.
It's nice to be able to challenge yourself and to have these goals even without a goal of a race it's nice to know you can do it.Rachele Sanderson
"It's nice to be able to challenge yourself and to have these goals even without a goal of a race it's nice to know you can do it."
Sanderson booked her ticket to the race after completing her fifth full-distance Ironman Australia event in Port Macquarie last year.
"To qualify for the race have to do a qualifying time through an event - usually Ironman Australia," she said.
"Because only 50 athletes in the whole world get selected in the whole race, you have to apply, then they select you based on your racing background and racing times.
"Being such a huge endurance event, it's not something they want someone just jumping into and going to.
"You have to understand the level of fitness it takes and some people might think it's all a bit mental, but I love being fit and healthy."
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