It's been a life-changing and transforming year for Brent Knight and Mandy Edwards, as they took on all the highs and challenges of preparing for an Ironman race.
Every year two free entries to the next Ironman New Zealand event in Taupō are given away at the post-event volunteers' dinner.
Brent and Mandy were last year's winners, and they are set to take on the full Ironman this weekend.
Mandy said training had been going steadily, and that as she got fitter she believed she could complete the Ironman.
"I think I've built the mental toughness and strength to get through it, I hope."
She has managed to fit her training in quite well around being a preschool relief teacher.
She said it was a bit of a blow when Ironman was postponed as she was well and truly ready to do it, but it had given her some more time to gather a bit more confidence.
"I have dedicated my Ironman journey to Mum and Dad; Dad having passed away suddenly in November and Mum with her Alzheimers - her journey is so tough, much tougher than Ironman.
"I have a Givealittle page called 'Volunteer to Ironwoman - a journey to remember' for Alzheimers NZ."
When Mandy won the entry she had been very excited, and she said this last week before the event was a bit nerve-racking.
"I'm feeling a bit nervous, but I'm assured by my coach Alison Boggs that even top athletes get nervous before the big day.
"I hadn't biked a lot before and I wondered how I was going to get up to the right speed, but I've surprised myself.
"Originally I said I just want to finish even if it took the whole time, but I actually think I can do better than that now. I'm hoping I finish in about 15 and a half to 16 hours.
"I want to do my best and say I made it.
"It's been a huge, transforming year and you had to have a lot of self-belief. It's been a huge thing to do."
She said she had lots of friends and family coming along to support her and she was looking forward to having them there to cheer her on.
She thanked her coach, husband and children for their support throughout her training effort. She also thanked the Taupō District Council for this opportunity to chase her dream.
Brent Knight said his 12 months of training had gone very well.
"It was a bit of a bummer with the three-week setback, but the journey has been really great.
"It's definitely changed my life so to speak. Training takes up so much of your time, you have to restructure your days."
He said he enjoyed the whole process and the commitment to training, though it was definitely challenging through winter on those cold mornings.
"When I won the entry I had never swum before. I had to learn to swim and didn't realise how technical swimming was. I spent a lot of time on it.
"I've always run so running is quite easy for me, but it was hard getting used to coming off the bike and going straight into running."
Brent said although his first goal was to finish the race, he was pretty competitive, and so wanted to finish it in a good time - aiming for about 10 hours.
His wife Elle had been keen for him to do Ironman for years, and was the one who convinced him to put his name into the draw for a free 2021 entry.
"My wife is so pumped for it, I'm going to have a lot of support out there. She's had T-shirts made and is putting marquees up for those coming along to support me."
He said he couldn't have made his Ironman journey without the support team he had, including his wife and his coach Aaron from Peak Strength.