Meet Ironman Nathan Gray

By - Andy
11/02/2020 03:27 PM

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As part of an ongoing series with Surf Life Saving Australia, we caught up with Professional Ironman, Nathan Gray, to hear what it takes to compete at the highest level of iron-athlete competition. 

"Keep Life Simple"

That is how Nathan lives, as he tells us about his training week that includes an unbelievable four, six kilometre morning swims. As a child near the beautiful beach at Lennox Head, Nathan grew up with a love and passion for the ocean. Now 27, he lives on the Gold Coast, racing professionally for Surfers Paradise Surf Life Saving Club.

PERKii first caught up with Nathan after finishing in the top 10 of the Elite Men’s Long Course Race at the 2019 Coolangatta Gold. As part of our partnership with Surf Life Saving Australia, we were at the event raising funds for our lifesavers and sampling our two latest flavours: Forest Berry and Tropical Splash.

The race itself has multiple legs, including water skiing, two runs, paddle boarding and a swim. As you can probably guess from the amount of energy that was spent (over four hours of racing), most of the athletes would have slammed down almost anything at this point, and sure enough, as you can see in the image above, the PERKii disappeared in what looked like a world record time.

Competing professionally in Ironman requires a massive training workload. We asked Nathan to provide a brief overview of what a normal week looks like for him, in addition to why he chose to become in Ironman. Here's how he laid it out for us:

  • Swimming: Four mornings a week between 5-6km.
  • Board or ski training mixing between beach and flat water on the river.
  • Mornings: Ironman sessions (which is a mix of everything).
  • Rest day to recover for the

"I'm simply a kid who grew up with a love and passion for the ocean. Ironman has given me the opportunity for a career doing something that I love. To me, this is the greatest sport in the world. I believe it is one of the most challenging and demanding sports, and asks so much of any athlete. It allows us to not only gain knowledge of the ocean, but also pass that knowledge on to younger people, possibly saving lives. Not many sports can do that, which is why I believe it is so special."

It's that balance of saving lives, alongside the gruelling athletic routines that the Iron Men and Women put themselves through that struck a chord with the PERKii team. By pushing their bodies to the limit in order to place higher in competition, they are in fact bettering their life saving ability, and ultimately giving back to the Australian community.

For that, we commend Nathan and all the athletes involved in the ongoing life saver athletic events.

Hope to see you out at one (or more) of the events to support the amazing men and women safeguarding our beaches, and you may even get a complimentary PERKii while you're there!

To follow Nath and his journey head over to @nath___gray on Instagram.

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