This Years Spring Challenge was epic for me. It took a long time to get a team sorted for the event. For some reason there's not that many woman I know who are chomping at the bit to do a 6hr adventure race! There were a few women who said they'd love to but couldn't afford the entry, a few who said it sounded great but they'd never be able to do it. So after registering 1 team and pulling out, I slotted into a friends team who had an injury. After weeks of training together and only 3 weeks from the race 1 of the team members pulled out due to pregnancy. We were really lucky to get a another woman to join the team at such late notice, especially one who was such an athlete.
My first Christmas at home for nine years was a very special one shared with my family, but the fun had only just begun as I was heading out to Glenthorne Station , Lake Coleridge that night with a few friends. We were staying in the middle of nowhere at the shearers quarters in the upper Glenthorne Station. Surrounded by glorious mountains, trees, bellbirds and horses, it was a great place to chill out for a few days, and get into some outdoor activities! Boxing Day we climbed 1100m to The Spurs at 1760m, it was a nice climb and we worked hard to get there but the views and serenity were well worth it.
Monday morning we decided to go for a mountain run from the shearer’s quarters through the Gargarus Saddle to Lake Lilian. There was a blustery Nor West wind with some horizontal rain at times, but Sully, Jimmy and I braved the elements and went for it. Despite the wind and rain it was very warm and once we were in the tree line the wind and rain was non-existent. The run up to the saddle was certainly tough; following along the mustering tracks we made steady progress without too much drama, but it was difficult to get into a rhythm and we had to walk here and there. After 50mins of running up hill we were at the saddle and it was fantastic. Some great undulating running with tremendous mountain views all around, and an easy rhythm. Unfortunately my hamstring was not right and I strained it blasting down the first descent, that slowed me down and I had to follow behind Sully and Jimmy so as not to hold them back! There were a few Canadian geese and hares out there but not much else.
Lilian creak provided a few small river crossings and then we got into some tussock bog lands which made things interesting. Jumping from tussock to tussock and running through some boggy areas made things challenging, but also fun. The run around the side of Mt Fitzwilliam was tricky with a few slippery rocks and narrow sheep tracks, but luckily no further injuries. We arrived at Lilian lake after 1 ½ hours and I went into the lake the soak my hamstring. The water was lovely and I was tempted to go for a swim but didn’t want to get too cold as the rain and wind was a little more predominant by the lake. Luckily our support crew arrived and we had a short walk to the car for a 4WD ride out of The Retreat along the Harper River. A good day out followed by hot showers and cold beers.
Become a fan of Tri-Planet New Zealand on Facebook and check out the photos from the run.
Starting out in any multi-sport event is definitely a challenge and can be quite daunting. I remember my first triathlon in Clontarf, Dublin. Believe it or not I was wearing speedos and a t-shirt in the race! I had no idea what to wear and what to do, but I loved it and was instantly hooked.
My transitions must have been the slowest in the world, it was a pool swim and trying to put on a t-shirt after the swim was an absolute nightmare. It fell like someone was holding onto my shirt and rolling it up! I was so excited about doing the race but had no idea about training. I was cycling to work . running and swimming so progression to a triathlon didn't seem that unrealistic. I had an old 10 speed road bike with a steel frame and the gear change levers were on the frame of the bike! Still I guess we all started somewhere.
That's where Tri-Planet evolved from, Richard Cattle and I came up with the concept, as we realised there was very limited support for beginner athletes. So we put together some beginner Boot camps to cater for triathlon, duathlon and multi-sport.
And its been so rewarding seeing people achieve their goals or complete something they never believed could be possible. The best part is that we are there with the athletes on the day of the race to not only help them to prepare for the race but to also be their number 1 supporter. Its so amazing seeing people from all walks of life finishing a triathlon, and then there is the post race party which is always great fun and a chance to swap some race stories.
Being able to train, advise and support the athletes as well as share knowledge that has been gained over a number of years of training and racing in triathlon, is an important part of coaching. We also provide some weekly coached Tri-Planet club training sessions, due to the demand of our Bootcampers who wanted to continue training and take their racing further. It really is a great community of fun, dedicated people who give up a lot of time to take part in one of the most rewarding sports you can do.
So don't be afraid to take that step and do something that your friends might tell you is crazy, its very achievable doing the 'swimming, running thing', and it really gets you fit and improves your general well being. I've always been involved in multiple sports at one time like swimming, cricket, basketball, mountain biking so triathlon has really helped me to focus on one sport (but still train for multiple disciplines!), plus I can race at my level and just compete against myself if I want!