The Ironman is expected to bring over $4 million in revenue to Augusta. (WRDW-TV / Sept. 1, 2011)
Sept. 24, 2013 Some say an Ironman triathlon is the greatest adventure that pushes the limits between mind and body.
For Sandee Daust, an Ironman race is providing the opportunity of a lifetime.
"Qualifying for Kona is on my bucket list," Daust said. "It's just been a big dream and I wasn't planning on it happening this year. It just happened."
Racing in Ironman competitions since 2006. This year, Daust qualified for the mecca of races, the World Championships in Kona.
This week's Half Ironman event in Augusta is merely a warm-up.
"Just completely speechless, exciting. It still doesn't seem real that I'm going to Hawaii except my American Express is showing it," Daust said.
Paying the price in more ways than one, Daust will compete against the top 50 triathletes in the world amongst her class. She, also, must compete against the island's most extreme elements of heat, wind and water.
"That's what you're at the mercy of...all these unexpected things. You just have to control the things you can control," Daust said.
The mother of two and full time nurse trains five days at least 20 hours a week. Motivated from within, she's thinking clearly about the amazing feat lying ahead.
"I just want to go down there and soak up the experience. To say I've done it. I want to finish and I want to have a good day," Daust said.
While Daust says this is a dream opportunity. She has every intention of competing in the half Ironman World Championships next year.