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The Coolangatta Gold, Cooly Gold is one of the most gruelling and challenging endurance races in surf sports. The 41.8 km multi-disciplinary course combines swimming, running, board paddling and surf skiing in the ocean and along the beaches of the spectacular Gold Coast.
What began as the central theme for a motion picture of the same name 30 years ago, has now commanded a place on Australia’s calendar of prestigious sporting events. The iconic event was held here on the Gold Coast on 10 & 11 October this year.
The Cooly Gold starts and finishes at Coolangatta Beach with a 23km ski paddle to Broadbeach and back to North Burleigh, before competitors do a short run of 1.8km, swim leg of 3.5km, board paddle of 6.1km from Burleigh Heads to Currumbin, then a tough run on soft sand of 7.1km to Coolangatta and the finish line.
Along the course competitors have handlers that help them with their water craft, attire and sports drinks and energy food to keep them hydrated and energized throughout the long course. You can imagine how physically demanding this event is!
As a family we were heavily involved in surf sports and ocean ironman events, spending a lot of our time ferrying our kids to swim training, board and ski training and attending surf carnivals on the Gold Coast and further afield. Although, work, study and travel has taken precedent over surf sport, we still take a keen interest in the Cooly Gold every year it takes place.
Our son, Sam has competed in this event on two occasions which was a huge sacrifice with months and months of training and preparation going into the race in the lead up to the big day. Both times he finished in the top 20 out of 100 or more competitors, some of which are professionals at the sport, so he certainly did himself proud.
If anything it going to draw attention to the Gold Coast’s spectacular coastline and beaches, then this would be the one event that showcases it to perfection. Here are some photos of the Cooly Gold from past years of competition.
The Cooly Gold is a wonderful event. The entry numbers into this iconic event have dropped off over the years and I can’t help but think that it may no longer be contested. Like any sport, the comittment to hours upon hours of rigorous training is required by the competitors and sponsorships or support for athletes is very sparse. It would be a shame to lose such an event.
When I look back on those years I wonder how I managed to ferry my kids around to different sports and recreational interests, plus work part-time and look after a household. Did you spend a lot of time ferrying your kids to sport’s training or watching them play sport when they were young?
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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