One of Australia’s toughest Ironman races is back on the Gold Coast with some new challenges for the competitors.

This year’s race marks the 10th running of the event that was first staged in 1984.

Catherine Tucker reports.

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Defending champions Caine Eckstein and Alicia Mariott were at the launch today of the Coolangatta Gold.

Eckstein who last year won his record breaking third race is hoping to make a new record this year.

Caine Eckstein: “Hopefully it shows on the day and I can perform well. You never know it’s the first race of the year.”

Dean Mercer was the 1992 winner. He says this event epitomises racing and he’s keen to complete against Eckstein.

Dean Mercer: “He’s won three because he’s the best and that inspires me.”

The gruelling race pushes competitors to the limit as they surf ski, knee board, run and swim over the 46.5 kilometres for men and 30.5 kilometres for women.

It features under 19s, masters and team events.

Phil Reeves, Qld Minister for Sport: “It’s a way of getting the young and the not so young involved in a healthy lifestyle and healthy pursuit of sport.”

This year the event continues to grow in popularity attracting more than five hundred competitors. Athletes and spectators will be crossing there finger for fine weather conditions on the day.

Though this doesn’t seem to have bothered the defending champion who says she will step up to whatever happens.

Alicia Marriott: “Certainly if we get some cyclonic weather it’s going to become even more of a challenge than it already is.”

The event labelled as Australia’s toughest endurance Ironman race will take place on November 7th.

Catherine Tucker, QUT News.