Jordan Mercer ready for a 'tough' Iron X fight
SURF LIFESAVING: Noosa's Jordan Mercer says Iron X is primed to be an extremely arduous affair, but hopes to strike early in familiar territory in a bid to conquer the inaugural event.
The 26-year-old received her first glimpse of the intimidating Iron X obstacle course over the weekend alongside Lincoln Dews and it more than lived up to expectations.
"It's been flooding my imagination as to what it's going to look like and how its going to feel to work through these obstacles and seeing it for first time is pretty daunting but at same time its incredibly exciting," she said.
She was able to scramble up the cargo net and slip wall while also getting a feel for the monkey bar and ring sections.
With tyre flips, sandbag drags and underwater swimming thrown into the traditional swim, board and ski of iron racing, Mercer was bracing for one her toughest battles when Iron X gets underway.
"It is going to be so tough," she said.
"There's been ironwoman races alone where you've tried to push yourself to what you thought were your limits and you've had to find new ones.
"So if that's the case in an ironwoman race, then Iron X is going to take us to levels that perhaps we've never been to before."
However, she took some comfort from her small taste of what was to come.
"Come Monday after now having had a bit of a feel for the course and the battlegrounds, which is all brand new, it does give me a bit of confidence," she said.
"But at the same time it's definitely made me realise how much of a challenge the Iron X event will be."
Having now seen the course, Mercer emphasised the importance of striking early on the familiar opening board leg of the race before entering the obstacles.
"Obviously, leading from the start would be amazing because I think it's going to be pretty chaotic and stressful if there's a lot of us together in among these obstacles," she said.
"The board leg is the first ocean leg before we enter our first transition.
"So I'll be aiming to get off that board comfortably and in a nice position and conserving in those small moments so in those bigger moments and challenges you're ready to do what you have to, to be in front, catch up or get way."
Meanwhile fellow Sunshine Coaster Dews, who is the world technical SUP champion, was also blown away by the battlegrounds' obstacles.
"We haven't seen anything like this ever and it's really going to challenge some of the fittest athletes in the country racing in this," he said.
"You get really used to what you race and you find a rhythm, whereas with this there is no rhythm and no settling into a groove.
"Every corner there is a new obstacle or something you haven't done before, so it's going to be an interesting concept."