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February Wrap Up

by Reuben Thompson- Ambassador

"February was a real breakthrough"

with some pretty spectacular performances as my form is starting to show going into the final month of my Tri season. I started the month with two A Grade club race wins two weekends in a row. The worst race was up coronet peak where I won by several minutes. I then won again the following week after attacking on a sharp hill with about 3km to the finish and held my advantage all the way to the end.

 Reuben Thompson- Ambassador

I had two of my more important races of the season on the 18th and the 24th. The 18th was the Wanaka Round of the New Zealand 16-19 junior series. Having only turned 16 three days prior I was one of the youngest in the field. After a pretty trashy swim I was around 2 minutes down on the leaders. Then I had my work cut out on the bike where I rode the fastest bike split by a minute to get into 5th. My run was a really good one. Got from 5th to finish on the podium in 3rd.

 Reuben Thompson Outside Sports Athlete

On the 24th was the Southland Secondary Schools Champs. I had a relatively good swim coming out 28 seconds down. My bike and run were really quick and I biked over two minutes faster than my nearest competitor and then over one minute faster in the run to take the win.

February 26th was the first round of the Calder Stewart Elite series held in Cheviot. The course was 137km with one very steep climb to face 5 times throughout the day.

"I was the youngest rider racing and the only under 17 racing against seasoned pros like James Oram and Brad Evans."

The first 2 laps were fine as I rolled along in the group saving energy but halfway through the third lap I got a bit excited and jumped on the gas a bit on the climb and then rolled some hard turns on the flats. This took its toll on the final lap when I blew up a bit and fell off the back of the bunch to ride the final 20km solo. I am still happy to have finished as the tough course whittled the field down from 80+ starters to 43 finishers. It really was a valuable experience and a lot of learning done out there.

I was also pretty cool to be riding as a team in our rather slick looking kit from Champion System, Central Benchmakers, The O'Brien Group and Willbike Cycle Coaching. And as ever thanks to Specialized Bicycles, Outside Sports and Southern Sports Podiatry for the continual support.

Reuben Thompson Outside Sports Athlete


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Godzone – go team Slice of Heaven!

by Casey Brown

“Welcome to our team 'Slice of Heaven'! We are pretty much 4 people that love running and exploring and somehow managed to talk ourselves into this crazy bloody race. Made up of 2 mums, a track guide and a personal trainer we simply hope not to be short coursed and cross the finish line talking to each other. 


With ultra off road running as our backgrounds the thought of sitting on a bike grinding up large climbs wasn't too appealing to begin with. Battling our way through on 10-15year old bikes made initial stages of training really tough! And then came the Ruze Expert 6Fattie.... we love , love, love our fatties! They are like sitting  on a lazy boys. Great mobility on single downhill trails, will beat any 29 up hill, roll efficiently on the road and are easy on the butts off road. 


Follow our 3 fatties and a skinny around the unknown course starting on Feb 25th! We are team #73. Yell loudly if you see us going around in circles....

Thanks Outside Sports Te Anau and Andy's Bike Shop for looking after us and our bikes!! 


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January Race Wrap Up

January Race Wrap Up

 By Reuben Thompson- Ambassador

In January I continued to build on my training, clocking in my biggest bike week ever as well as a good block of swimming and running. I was very privileged to do some training with Youth Olympic Triathlon Champion Aaron Barclay and now have Aaron helping me out with my triathlon plan and am also on board with the Willbike Cycle Coaching Team with James Williamson.
Even more exciting was the arrival of my new bike, a 2017 S-Works Tarmac. It is incredible! 

 Outside Sports athlete

Aboard my old steed I raced three final times in January. My first race was on the 2nd of January, the Dunstan Tri. I came away with third place in the “under 18 category” and fifth place overall.
The second race was the Dunstan Cycle Challenge. The 96 km race was a bit of a battle after missing the break. I worked quite a lot to keep the pace high in the chase group. With five guys out in front I was sprinting for the sixth place overall and for the second under the age of 20 in the final. After two hours and 20 minutes of racing I put in a pretty poor sprint to take the 11th place overall, but the second place under 20 in a field of 170 riders.
My final race on my 2016 Specialized Tarmac Expert was an 80km club handicap race from Hawea to Makarora and back. I was on scratch 33 minutes back on the first group off. Our five man group worked well to catch up with the riders ahead around 40km in. This was only a small bunch of riders though and there still a few groups up ahead. Two really quick A grade riders rode away to claim first and second while I soloed for 35km before catching all but one other rider. I was now in a three up sprint for fourth place and I came away with fifth in what was probably the hardest two hours of riding I’ve ever done.

My new bike started off sharply. My first ride on it was from Queenstown to Wanaka and back and aside from the rain and some snow on the top of the crown range it was great fun. I raced it the following day at the Cromwell to Alexandra handicap race. Again placed on scratch our four man group had to make up 27 minutes to the leaders over 39km. I came close to catching them but fell short by around 200 meters. I did however take the fastest time of the day after attacking on a short but steep hill to ride away solo from my group. My last race of January was a 35km mountain bike from Clyde to Bannockburn through farmland with 993 meters of climbing. I surprised myself to come away with 3rd place ahead of some very big fit lads who were on form one week out of The Pioneer. 

 Outside Sports athlete

In February I will be racing the first race of my secondary schools season at the southland secondary schools triathlon champs as well as the challenge Wanaka sprint tri as part the NZ Junior try series. I will also be riding for the first time as part of the Central-Benchmakers Willbike Cycle Team in Round 1 of the Calder Stewart Cycling Elite Series. 




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Let's Go Disc Golf!

Disc Golf Queenstown: Social, fun, and free!

by Brenna McGown

When I first arrived in Queenstown, I was curious why so many tourists and locals were carrying around compact Frisbee discs. I soon discovered that as much as Fergburger is a staple of Queenstown, so is the Frisbee golf course in the Queenstown Gardens.

"Frisbee golfing is an integral part of the Queenstown lifestyle."

People of all different physical ability can play, it gets people outside, and most of all it fosters a sense of community. All you need to bring is a Frisbee golf disc- these are heavier and more compact than normal Frisbees, a beverage to keep you hydrated and a good attitude and sense of fun.

Frisbee golf Queenstown

The course itself is designed to be friendly for beginners, but also offers challenges for more advanced players. A map at the beginning shows each hole and the associated par. Each tee has an informative graphic that depicts the distance to the basket, obstacles, and where the basket is placed. At each basket, a small sign directs players to the next tee.

Disc Golf Queenstown

The course is a pleasant mix of open spaces, trees, and amazing views. People from all different backgrounds are drawn to Frisbee golf because of its versatility. Working at Outside Sports, I have sold Frisbee golfing discs to whole families, to couples, and to friends.

"All of these people are united by the desire to get outside and enjoy Queenstown."

Out on the course, I have met locals and travelers from various countries while playing, and everyone has been inured with a sense of joyfulness and friendliness.  Everyone brings a different story and background, and they are all willing to share their experiences. Frisbee golfing is the quintessential Queenstown activity because it combines outdoor activity with a sense of community and happiness, and to me that is what Queenstown is all about. 


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December Wrap Up

The Lake Hayes Triathlon..

took place on the 27th of December.  The race went really well for me. I swam reasonably well coming out of the water around two minutes behind the leaders. I enjoyed the bike on home roads chasing down the majority of my rivals and coming of the bike in 4th overall and 3rd in the 15-18 category. About 1km onto the run I caught a runner and pushed past putting a gap in before the turn around point. I held the gap into the finish, to finish 3rd overall and 2nd in my age group.

 Reuben Thompson Outside Sports Athlete

I have also been participating in a whole host of cycling events held by our local club on Sundays which has built my confidence loads. I have been racing A grade where I have picked up a 2nd place in the Speargrass Flat 60km Road Race, a 3rd in the Ripponvale Circuit Road Race and a 10th in the Hath’s Trophy Handicap race in which I started 30 minutes back on scratch. 


In December I was also very privileged to ride with two olympians.

The first was Annemiek Van Vleuten. Annemiek was mere kilometers from winning gold at the rio olympics before crashing on a sharp right hander on the descent which also took out some of the big names in the mens road race. She is also current and 2014 Dutch Time Trial Champion and placed 5th at the World Championship Time Trial. We rode together three times. Once just the two of us from Queenstown to Alexandra, again joined by Olympic 4th place getter and former team pursuit world champion Pieter Bulling and L&M Group Ricoh rider Guy Carter from Queenstown to Glenorchy and back and once more up the Crown Range. This experience was really awesome. 

 Reuben Thompson Outside Sports Athlete

In January I will continue to build with my training and hope to race the Dunstan Triathlon and the Dunstan Cycle Challenge as well as the club cycle races on Sundays. I will also have a new bike and gear arriving from Specialized NZ so hopefully I will back up the need for all this fancy gear with some results. 


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