At the age of 75 years and 355 days, Kathy Morton was the oldest competitor the first time the Tough Guy and Gal Challenge came to Palmerston North two years ago.
In September, 2010, Mrs Morton had a triple bypass operation and five months later two stents were inserted into her heart.
"The doctor said ‘that is back to front but Kathy is a bit like that'."
She wants to do the six-kilometre off-road endurance event one more time to prove she can.
And at one week shy of her 78th birthday, she has her eye on being the oldest gal again on Saturday.
"I'm just interested to see if there's a man older than me."
In 2010, the oldest male competitor was in his 60s.
Asked how she would feel about a female competitor aged 78 or older, Mrs Morton replied: "Oh, bugger her."
She is not expecting an older woman as "usually women are too lady-like".
Mrs Morton made "brag books" of photographs of her competing in her first Tough Gal for family. Her brother took one to golf to "skite" to his mates, and her grandson in South Africa took his book to school.
The book shows Mrs Morton wadding through mud, crawling under barbed wire and lowering herself into a tunnel.
Mrs Morton is a member of the 23-strong CLM Health & Fitness Tough Guy and Gal team.
For her 70th birthday Mrs Morton was given a year's CLM gym subscription.
"I have just never stopped, it's just such a family feeling - scary, but I love it," she said.
Since her surgery Mrs Morton has walked four half marathons and done a ladies triathlon.
Her times have slowed but her doctor is pleased because she is not meant to push herself excessively.
Her last half marathon was Great Forest Events in April in a time of 3hr 25min.
Mrs Morton goes to the gym three times a week, usually for an hour.
She is a member of CLM's 500 mile rowing club.
"I've been surprised at how little injury you get when you are under proper supervision."
The grandmother of 10 also does eight newspaper delivery rounds a week, including for The Tribune.
People have asked Mrs Morton, who has five marathons under her belt, how someone as fit as her could get clogged arteries, but doctors told her if she had not done so much walking she might have needed the surgery 20 years earlier.
Mrs Morton remembers "excruciating" chest pain. The pain eased when she stopped walking, but when she went to the doctor he put her straight into hospital.
CLM staff are running a six-week Tough Guy and Gal training camp for 18 people. Participants have been doing everything from army crawling to burpees and carrying another person.
While not replicating the expected mud at Linton Army Camp, fitness co-ordinator Sheree Mclean said the majority of the training had been at Ongley Park, which was boggy at this time of the year.
Mrs Morton thinks she has enough sanity to not do Tough Gal again. However, she does want to keep doing women's triathlons.
- © Fairfax NZ News