Port Douglas triathlete Cam McKay finishes 14th in Ultraman Australia

Published Tuesday 17 May 2016

EXCLUSIVE: Port Douglas triathlete Cam McKay has achieved the ultimate in his 23-year career by finishing a highly credible 14th in a field of 40 in the gruelling and torturous three-day Ultraman Australia, a 515 km endurance race, which ended yesterday on the Sunshine Coast.

As the pain and stiffness lingered in his quadriceps, neck, stomach and shoulders, the 43-year-old reflected on how each day offered something different, and how the mind took over on the final day as he approached the finish line of the double marathon (84.3km).

“You get in a zone. You somehow ignore the pain barrier and you soldier on. The people around you are your inspiration. Each kilometre completed, is one less. If there is a need to walk up the hills, so be it. This is when the mind takes over – 80 per cent mind, 20 per cent body – and the goal is clear: to get to the finish line,” he said in this exclusive interview with Newsport.

“It would be understating how I feel if I said I was over the moon. When you’ve experienced and overcome this kind of challenge, you know you’ve achieved something special. This is a golden moment.”

McKay completed the event in 27 hours, 27 minutes and eight seconds.

On day one, the 10km swim took him 2:56:27 and the 145km bike ride 5:21:35. On the second day, he completed the 273.6km cycle in 9:50:25 and on the final day, he completed the 84.3km double marathon in 9:18:39.

Arnaud Selukov (47) from Singapore won the race in 22:25:57. Daryl Allen, aged 66, was the oldest in the field and finished in 33:43:58.

The first day for McKay was clearly the toughest and he felt shattered after the 10km swim and 145km bike ride.

“It was weird as I am a strong swimmer, but I think the hilly terrain on the bike took its toll and I was pretty happy when day one was over,” he said.

“But day two was better and I felt strong on the bike as I tackled the tough 273.6km route and was more than satisfied with my performance. It all fell nicely into place.

“I knew the double marathon would be tough. The hills were brutal. Anyone who has been up the road to Mt Molloy will no doubt consider that steep. What we faced made the Mt Molloy hike look like a picnic,” said McKay.

What helped McKay was the incredible camaraderie on the final day and the constant chatter among the athletes, and support from the various crew members.

”It’s like one big family out there. This is what makes this so different to other events I have competed in. Crew members from any of the teams will assist anyone and this is what makes the event so unique,” he said.

McKay said he feels “pretty good” despite the pain, and attributes this to the right amount of fluid and food along the route.

“My intake comprised water, electrolytes, coke and jam sandwiches. Over the three days, I only lost 3.5kg which is positive,” he said.

Tonight McKay will be attending the presentation where he will receive an engraved trophy, which all finishers receive, in addition to his medal.

He returns to Port Douglas on Thursday and after a week’s break, will be preparing for the Cairns 70.3, one of numerous Cairns Airport Adventure Festival Events 2016 from June 5-12.

McKay said that he would not be competing next year.

“I have decided that I will be a crew member for Duncan Hunt, who was part of my support team. Duncan is real keen to compete and I want to assist him,” he said.

For full results, go to www.ultramanoz.com.au/results.