Thursday, February 1, 2024
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
Mark was a late starter to triathlons tackling his first race at a Bowen Enticer distance event in 2015 when in his early 50’s and was instantly hooked by the multi-sport concept.
After his first event eight years ago, Mark embraced the challenge of triathlon quickly and went from being unable to swim a lap of the pool in 2015 to nowadays regularly completing multiple 4km swim sessions every week.
He has since completed 6 Half Ironmans, 10 marathons and multiple Olympic Distance and Sprint distance triathlon events and on Saturday, March 2 he will face his biggest challenge to date when Mark tackles the 2024 Ironman New Zealand in Taupo over the 3.8km swim, 180km cycle and 42.2km run course.
He joined the Whitsunday Triathlon Club in 2015 and is currently the vice president of the club along with being Junior Development Coach which is where Mark has excels as he has a passion for coaching and encouraging junior athletes.
Mark’s long-term goal is to race and compete as long as possible and to pass on his experience and knowledge to both senior and junior athletes in a coaching role.
In every chapter of his life, Mark exemplifies what it means to have heart, stamina, and willpower. His triathlon journey is inspiring to his club members as it's a story of resilience, determination, and a mental fortitude that propels Mark forward when others might falter.
As one of his final long rides before the New Zealand IRONMAN in March, Mark completed a 170km ride in 8 hours last Saturday in the sweltering NQ heatwave conditions while most were sheltering indoors in the air-conditioning.
It is this determination which will see Mark finish his first full distance Ironman event in 2024 and hear the famous words, “Mark McConkey, You Are An Ironman”.