He expects to be in a world of pain by Sunday evening, but Cameron Dribbus knows it will all be worthwhile.
The Wollongong resident heads to Port Macquarie this weekend to take part in the Ironman Australia Oceania TriClub Championships, a prestigious competition that will consist of three legs: a 3.8-kilometre swim, 180km bike ride and 42.2km run.
The event will cap a huge 12 months of training for Dribbus, who has pounded the pavement, swum and cycled each week in preparation under the guidance of coach Jodie Linsley.
The St Joseph's Catholic High School teacher is taking on the challenge to raise awareness for mental health and generate funds for Lifeline South Coast, with his campaign already raising close to $4500.
The 33-year-old was inspired to do the triathlon by the feats of Nedd Brockmann, who last year ran 4000km across Australia while raising more than $2 million for charity.
"I was inspired by Nedd's courage, and his ability to always push through that pain and never give up,'' Dribbus said.
''He had a lot of body issues and I'm sure he had plenty of tough times along the journey in his mind.
"For 12 hours on Sunday, I will be in a world of pain, but by applying the simple concept of one foot after the other, I will get to the finish line."
Dribbus, who is also part of the University of Wollongong Football Club, said he was proud to be raising money for Lifeline South Coast.
"I work in well-being and mental health at St Joseph's High School at Albion Park," he said. "I work with kids and families day in, day out who struggle to get support to get through life's adversity,'' he said.
''So it's almost weekly, if not every second day, that we recommend people to use that (Lifeline) service if they need to. They're the go-to phone support for people who want to reach out and get support. It's run a lot by volunteers and, particularly in the Illawarra, we've had a string of young people die by suicide. It was the perfect charity to fund-raise for along the way.
"I'm also taking on the challenge to inspire my mate Ben Griffiths. I've been supporting him recently and he was a motivating factor at the start of my journey. One of my motivations is I want to prove to people that you can do things that you would think were impossible."
If you or someone you know needs help, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636 or visit beyondblue.org.au.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.