Multi-sport star Braden Currie is preparing to attempt the toughest endurance double in the country in the space of just a month.
The Wanaka-based athlete has been cranking out the long yards for his return to an event he previously dominated - next month's Coast-to-Coast from Kumara to Christchurch.
Currie achieved a three-peat before trying to crack the Olympic triathlon team last year and now the 30-year-old is planning to step up to the ultimate tri-test - the New Zealand Ironman in Taupo.
"I feel like I am in the best form of my career so far," he said.
"It's been a rapid journey as an athlete. I've raced a lot over the last few years, which has sped up the 'live and learn' process that every athlete goes through."
The Ironman race won't be a simple process though as Currie will endure 3.8km of swimming, a 180km bike ride and a 42km marathon, all while up against the likes of 12-time champion Cameron Brown.
The multi-sporter begins his endurance challenge with a mere 150km run over two days as he competes in the Red Bull Defiance event in his home town this weekend.
Over the past two years Currie has competed in 34 events, finishing on the podium 95 per cent of the time, and claiming top spot at 21 of the 34 events.
"The Government has to balance pay demands across the public sector. We have gone as far as we can in terms of extra Government money," Dr Clark said this afternoon.