The path from 135kg to ultraman
TROY Geltch is one of the most incredible humans you could ever meet.
Four years ago, he weighed 135kg, and decided to make a permanent change.
Two years later he completed a 100km run, then married his "biggest supporter" Lucy.
Earlier this year he carried the Queen's Baton on the Urangan Pier, but this week, the Air Fraser Island pilot will complete his biggest task.
The invite-only ultraman reads like one of the most painful sporting events to which a human being can be subjected.
A 10km swim, 421.1km bike ride, followed by a double marathon - that's an 84.3km run - over three days.
To many, just reading those numbers is enough to start a muscle spasm, copious sweating, and exhaustion.
Troy will do it with a smile.
There's something about the mental challenge Troy loves. Ever since he saw Maryborough's Hayden Lyons complete an Ultraman event in 2015, he has been keen to give the punishing distance a go.
He watched from afar that year, in 2016 he was at the finish line, and last year he rode in a support vehicle.
Natural progression, fate, or pure luck - whatever you call it, it has led Troy to Noosa Heads Surf Life Saving Club and the start line of a challenge of a lifetime.
"It just seemed fun," he said of his attraction to the event. "I saw (Hayden) do it, I was in the right place at the right time.
"It's a three-day race with a 12-hour cut-off each day."
He will be supported by friends and fellow athletes from B Mee Multisports, while the wider multi-sport community will support him from afar.
While it is all well and good to commit to a race of such magnitude, what has Troy done to prepare?
The numbers are staggering.
Long rides, long runs, a bit of swimming and repeat.
"My biggest run was 45km," Troy said. "I ran for about two hours before ParkRun, I incorporated that into training so I could run with people and maintain a bit of sanity, then had a one-hour cooldown.
"Sundays I'd go and ride about 150km before the crit race (with Fraser Coast Cycling Club), race, then do another 100km afterwards.
"My biggest ride was to Tin Can Bay and back, it ended up about being 230km."
His primary weapon, apart from a big ticker and his ability to endure a generally unfathomable load of physical and mental pain, is simple.
"My stubbornness," he said.
"It really helps me with my endurance stuff. You can be 7.5km into a 10km lap of anything and you'll start that mental battle, and that's where my stubbornness kicks in and gets me home.
"I was out riding, and when I get back to Hervey Bay and still have 20km until the finish I just wanted to give up. The mental battle is always there."
There is a serious side to Troy's tale. Not only did he complete a phenomenal lifestyle and health change, he is one of the most positive, supportive, people you'll meet.
"I look back all the time," he said. "You have to see where you came from to go forward. It makes me think how far I can take it. I just keep adding a bit more distance.
"I wake up, and I'm the same Troy. I'm out of my shell a bit but now I'm that guy out jogging on the Esplanade with a big smile. I like to spread that positivity."
He is the same when he comes across those who may be starting their own journey.
"I offer support," he said.
"When you see someone who isn't race-fit you just give them a nod and a smile, and it can give them a big lift."