Ironman Josh Minogue attributes his rise to master mentor
A STRING of career-best results has instilled Mooloolaba's Josh Minogue with a newfound sense of belonging in the ironman series.
The 25-year-old finished outside the top 10 overall in 2009-10 and 2010-11 and then failed to qualify for the 2011-12 campaign.
However, he has enjoyed a remarkable return to the top tier this summer and is in a share of sixth place heading into round five at Coolum Beach this weekend.
In the four rounds so far, he has finished 12th, eighth, sixth and fourth - the last of those results coming at Surfers Paradise last Saturday.
"As luck would have it, it just keeps getting better for me and hopefully I can keep that going this Sunday," he said yesterday.
"I'm just trying to do all the simple things right and keep it going."
The rising performances have ignited Minogue's self-belief.
He now knows he deserves a place on the sport's biggest stage.
"At the start of the season, I didn't really feel like an ironman and I didn't really feel like I deserved to be involved in the series," he said.
"As a bit of an outsider it was hard, but now I'm mixing it up with these guys.
"When you pick up your ski alongside Shannon (Eckstein) in the last leg of a race, you know you're going all right. And when guys like Wes (Berg) and Shannon and Ky (Hurst) say 'Great job, you were really good today', it is very gratifying and makes it all worthwhile."
Minogue believes the rigours of an off-season under renowned coach Michael King have paved the way for his strong results.
"Kingy has been great," he said.
"His one rule is to never go into a race under-prepared and I know we say it a lot and it probably loses its impact, but he's the mastermind behind this success we (Mooloolaba) are having.
"Matt (Poole) came from Northcliffe as a good ironman, but he wasn't a world beater, and Kendrick (Louis) came up from Manly as an Aussie titles winner, but he (King) takes good ironmen and turns them into great ironmen and he takes great ironmen and turns them into champions. That's what he's done with Kendrick and Pooley and Ali (Day)."
Eckstein leads the 17-man series on 344 points, ahead of Louis (304), Day (300), Hurst (260), Poole (236) and Berg and Minogue (200). There are two rounds remaining.