The Rise Up Team Challenge was created after the earthquakes that recently struck Christchurch, this was a fun event catering for everyone designed to start people back on the road to a healthy active lifestyle. Any profits from the event went towards re-building triathlon services in Christchurch. With this in mind I couldn't help but enter a Tri-Planet team to show our support to the people of Christchurch. Very little arm twisting was required and in no time at all I had Caren and Natasha signed up for Team Tri-Planet!
We registered for the Enduro which was a team duathlon relay consisting of each member doing a 2km Run, 10km Bike and 2km Run. On the morning of the race Caren had to unfortunately pull out due to illness, so team manager Natasha set about organising a last minute recruit and luckily for me (I would have had to do 2 duathlons!) Charlotte accepted and was on her way in no time at all.
The event is held at the Ruapuna raceway which is an ideal venue with no traffic so you can really go for it on the bike. Unfortunately it was raining so that meant the course was a little slippery, but by the time we started it had cleared. Charlotte, who is currently training for the SBS Half Marathon, decided to go first. So after a quick team pep talk (i.e. go out there and and give it loads), Charlotte was on the start line ready to go. The race started and we all shouted and screamed our support. There was a diverse mix of people which was really great to see. People were dressed up as chickens, super heros, tooth fairies, The Pink Ladies etc and this created a real carnival atmosphere.
First run done and Charlotte was on the bike, each lap when she came past us she shouted, “You owe me one!”, not sure when that debt will be called in, gulp! Great effort considering that she hadn’t been on a bike for a while. Next up was Natasha, after a quick warm up she was waiting for Charlotte to finish the run and then was off on her first run, in her usual determined fashion. A solid effort on the bike and then she was off on the run. My turn next, I find it difficult to get into a race when there are waves and your in the last one or in a relay situation like this. You wait around and the initial buzz of the start has worn off, so you really have to get back into it. Not much time to think though as Natasha came flying back, big high five and I’m off, woo hoo. Did I mention that I love racing? Its such a great feeling to get out there and push yourself, no matter what your level is. First run went well and then off on the bike. At this stage most teams had finished the bike and there were not many people on the course, so I chased a few that were on their last lap and then passed one who was on the same lap as me. Yee haa! Off onto the second run (after a very fast transition, although I did pause to wave my cap at the announcer!). This is were it gets tough, the legs are burning your lungs don’t seem to be big enough and you’ve just got to put your head down and go for it. If you pushed too hard on the first run then you have nothing left for the second, so you’ve got to race wisely. Unfortunately I had no one close enough to chase down so I focused on putting distance between myself and the guy behind me. Into the last km and I could see the gap widening so one final push to the finish line. As I got to the finish there were my team mates waiting to cross the line with me, awesome!
What a great feeling and a great race. Thanks to everyone who helped with the race and to my team members. Go team Tri-Planet! We finished 16th overall in the Enduro in a time of 2hrs 15mins and 19secs.
Anyone keen for next year???????
The JD Duathlon series is being run out at Ruapuna, the first race is on the 25th June. If you want to get involved then I recommend you do, there are no cars to cause you issues. Its ideal for anyone doing their first race or as a high intensity training session. For more information go to www.jdevents.co.nz