Coolangatta Gold leaves Minogue drained

SURF LIFESAVING

Thirroul Ironman Josh Minogue admits that, like teammate Ali Day, he underestimated the impact the Coolangatta Gold would have on his Nutri-Grain Ironman Series aspirations.

Day sent a shockwave through the series when he withdrew days before the first round at Margaret River in November; he cited fatigue from a second successive Coolangatta Gold win in October.

Minogue, who trains with Day under Michael King at Mooloolaba, finished third.

He said that surf lifesaving’s toughest endurance test took a similar toll on him.

‘‘I think having the Coolangatta Gold only four weeks beforehand has flattened me a bit and made it a bit tough,’’ Minogue said.

‘‘We saw that Ali couldn’t even get to the start line.

‘‘Nathan [Smith] and I and Whitey [Hayden White] who finished second third and fourth, struggled a little bit in the first few rounds.

‘‘While we had a couple of half-decent results it’s sort of shown in the long run that it’s really hard to do all those things so close together.

‘‘I put my faith in Michael King up at Mooloolaba – he knows what’s best – but it was certainly a challenge.’’

The toll of completing the torturous race was exacerbated this year by a bizarre series schedule which saw rounds one and two held over consecutive days at Margaret River on November 20 with rounds three, four and five crammed into two days at Newcastle on December 14.

Competitors must now wait 2 months for the final round at Coolum on February 23, where Shannon Eckstein only needs to finish to claim the series.

Minogue, who is battling to requalify, said the scheduling made preparation difficult.

‘‘It’s a bit strange we’re going in with five rounds done so all the guys can roughly see where they’re going to end up,’’ he said.

‘‘I’m sitting sort of eight, nine, 10 at the moment in a pretty close battle for that eighth spot.

‘‘Top six is the requalifying spot so it’s going to take a massive effort and a bit of luck with a few of the guys having to bomb out for me get through next year.’’

Minogue conceded that 2013 was not his best season but said he was determined to finish strongly.

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