The Mount Monster is no easy feat. It's a challenging but exciting surf ironman event that puts an athlete's endurance to the test.

It's a monster of a challenge that starts with a 5km beach run, followed by a short run to the end of Moturiki Island where competitors leap from the blowhole into the surf to start their 1.5km swim, then a 12km ski paddle and ending with a 6km board paddle.

The Scholes brothers Justin, 41, Gareth, 39, and Ryan, 37, have joined together to enter a team in tomorrow's event, joined by Gareth's son Henry.

They are among the hundreds of people who are entered in the sixth Dexion Mount Monster, which started in 2013 based on Mount club coach John Bryant's training programme using it as a training tool for years.


Competitors can enter as individuals or in a team consisting of either two, three or four members.

Though they haven't done too much training ahead of the event, they are no strangers to the surf life saving scene, having been signed up to the Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service by their late father Ewen as nippers about the age of 5, competing throughout their teenage years and into their early 20s.

They've had a break in recent years, busy with their own children and their Nippers commitments, but the brothers are excited to be pushing the challenging themselves as part of the Dexion-sponsored 25km surf life saving endurance race this weekend.

"One of us floated the idea and all jumped on board," Gareth says.

They've roped Henry in to do the opening run leg, Greenpark School principal Gareth will take on the swim leg before accountant brother Justin does the ski paddle to Omanu and back, with sales manager Ryan taking care of the final 6km board paddle leg.

Ryan says he got stuck with the leg that "no one wanted to do" while older brother Justin got the best deal.

"That's [the ski paddle] probably the easiest to be honest. He's the oldest so he got first choice," Ryan said.

"I can't remember the last time I knelt on my knees on the ground let alone on a board," he said.


He hasn't been training but hopes it will all come back to him on the day.

Henry, who also joined the lifeguard service at 5 and has grown up on the beach, says he hasn't done a lot of running training and kind of didn't get a choice which leg he would be doing.

Gareth however, who will do the iconic jump, has been doing some preparation work for the endurance challenge but he can't tell you how cold the water at the Mount Main Beach has been because he's been swimming in a pool up to three times a week.

"You sort of want that shock factor, just jump in and hopefully it makes you swim fast because it's cold," Gareth says.

He's looking forward to that jump, saying he and his brothers used to do it growing up for fun and for training.

"That'll probably, hopefully be the most exciting part," Gareth says.

"It'll be good to go back there."

When the Scholes brothers and son head to the starting line they are sure to have plenty of cheering directed towards them.

Although Ewen Scholes died four years ago, he and wife Karen have left a proud legacy; all seven grandchildren are involved in the club and will be supporting their fathers and uncles tomorrow.

This year will also be the second time the Mini Monster, an endurance race for under-14 athletes, will be taking place. The Mini Monster starts at 8am and the Mount Monster starts at 10am.

Previous Mount Monster individual winners:

2017: Hamish Miller (NZ), Rachel Clarke (NZ)
2016: Luke Cuff (Australia), Danielle McKenzie (NZ)
2015: Ben Cochrane (NZ), Kirsty Wannan (NZ)
2014: Max Beattie (NZ), Kirsty Wannan (NZ)
2013: Cory Taylor (NZ), Danielle McKenzie (NZ)