Sunshine Coast Ultraman Australia competitors Robbie Andrews, Tony Bryan and Stephen Gage.
Sunshine Coast Ultraman Australia competitors Robbie Andrews, Tony Bryan and Stephen Gage. Iain Curry

Hyundai in for the long haul at Ultraman Australia

LONG distance triathletes often talk about having a strong "engine".

But the powertrain within Ultraman Australia competitors is something incomprehensible to most mere mortals.

Today the athletes will embark on a three-day triathlon, starting with a 10km swim, followed by a 420km bike ride and 84km run. Backing the inaugural event is Hyundai, supplying support vehicles throughout the epic journey, which will start and finish each day at Noosa Heads.

The sponsorship is a perfect synergy for Hyundai which has embarked on a long and determined journey of its own.

Once regarded as "cheap and cheerful", the marque has grown to become Australia's third most popular brand, with a variety of adept hatches, sedans and SUV, while it has recently launched a large luxury sedan to rival the best from Europe.

Hyundai Australia chief operating officer, John Elsworth said Ultraman echoed the brand's ethos.

"This is 'new thinking and new possibilities' of the grandest scale," he said.

"Ultraman athletes are facing three of the toughest challenges their mind and body will encounter over three days. We're in awe of the enormity of the task ahead and are rapt to go along for the ride.

"Most people would think an event of this nature is near impossible, but Hyundai knows what it's like to challenge public opinion and we look forward to seeing the athletes prove what can be achieved."

The ceremonial start will be held at 5.45am today, and throughout the three days the Ultraman crew will be getting around the Coast in Hyundai Santa Fes and the Sonata.