Laura Wallace is on a bit of a high after finishing her ultra-marathon swim over the weekend which helped raise money for people with MND (Motor Neurone Disease).
The Saturday, April 17 race went from Palm Beach to Shelley Beach and was 27 kilometres long. Laura, a Mollymook ocean swimmer, raced in memory of her close family friend Keith Blackburn who passed away from the disease a number of years ago.
Despite the choppy conditions at the start of the race, and the fact she had to swim against a southerly swell, Laura was able to draw inspiration from her supporters and get herself over the line faster than expected, finishing fourth overall after being pipped for third.
"It was just euphoric, honestly I just had the best time out there, I never felt tired or fatigued, I just had so much adrenaline going through me," she said.
"It was such a close race swimming for third position for most of the way. We were basically sprinting for third position for the last kilometre or two."
Laura was continuously getting donations throughout the race, and by the end she had exceeded her goal of $10,000. At the time of publication, the amount of donations was sitting at just under $11,000.
You can go here to make a donation.
MND is a terminal illness that rapidly degenerates the nerves controlling your body's movements and affects a patient's ability to move, speak and ultimately breathe.
"It's something close to my heart, and with the swim being 27 kilometres, it was quite fitting to tie that in with the 27 month life expectancy that someone is given once they're diagnosed with MND," she said.
The race was due to occur weeks ago but it was cancelled due to dangerous sea conditions.
"I was just so grateful that the swim went ahead because it had been postponed three times before. It just felt wonderful that I had the best team alongside with me," she said.
She is no stranger to ultra-marathon swims having completed the 19.7 kilometre Rottnest Channel swim in 2018, although she said preparing for this race was tough.
"I started training about a year ago, from having a two-year break after swimming the Rottnest Channel swim in 2018," she said.
"Although juggling the training with the restrictions of COVID 19, part-time work and caring for my daughter Lindy, has certainly been challenging."
For now, Laura wants to celebrate with her family and spend time with her daughter, soaking in the feeling of her achievements.
Laura gave a "massive, massive thank you" to those who donated and said she was overwhelmed by the amount of support she received.
"Everybody's been so encouraging and supportive and it's a great feeling of fulfillment to achieve something greater than yourself," she said.
"It's great to be able to give back and support people who are less fortunate when I'm so physically able to train my body to be able to achieve this, and just having that gratitude is important for me."