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Lake Dunstan Triathlon

Lake Dunstan Triathlon

By Reuben Thompson

2018 kicked off the right way with the U19 win at the Lake Dunstan Triathlon and 2nd overall.  Out of the water I was 25 seconds down on the leader. I bridged the gap to the front within a couple kilometres before coming off the bike in first with another guy on my wheel. The initial pace was really fast off the bike and I lost touch with the leader for a moment before regaining composure and bridging the gap. With around 1.5km to go I lost touch to settle for 2nd overall. 

Reuben Athlete blog

I then spent the rest of January staying in Tauranga training with the Tauranga Junior Academy where I got some solid mileage in. Whilst in Tauranga I also got to train with 5 time ITU World Series Champ and 2 time Ironman 70.3 World Champ Javier Gomez. Javier was simply a boss.

The Tauranga crew then spent the final week of the school holidays at Blue Lake in Rotorua camping in tents. We spent the first few days training before the weekends Ecomist Blue Lake Multisport Festival. The festival had a Reverse Aquathlon and Open Water Swim on the first day and a Triathlon on the second day. In the Aquathlon I was 2nd U20 into the water for the swim but lost one position to finish in 3rd. The open water swim went really well to bring back some time from the aquathlon. In the triathlon I was quick to get to the front on the bike. I was first onto the run and held that position to take the U20 win. Wasn’t enough to win the series but enough to put me in 2nd.

Reuben Athlete blog

My only race in February was the New Zealand Age Group Triathlon Champs. Some issues off the start in the swim lost me valuable seconds. I never got all the way to the front on the bike only managing to pull up to 3rd. The run was very surgey and I struggled with this. I tried to maintain a good high pace but the group I was with forced the pace a lot. We ran down one of the boys who was up the road on the bike leaving a battle for the silver medal. It came down to the final 400 meters and I couldn’t match the pace of one of the older faster boys to settle for third as a 16 year old in the 16-19 National Champs.

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Waikato Triathlon Champs

Waikato Triathlon Champs

By Reuben Thompson- Ambassador

Reuben Athlete blog

March started off with a win at the Waikato Triathlon Champs. I lead out of the water for the first time ever in a triathlon before putting a descent gap into the rest of the field on the bike before running hard for a comfortable win.

Reuben Athlete blog

I spent two weeks away racing later in the month with two highlight races being the NZSS Triathlon Champs in Nelson on the 19th of March and the ITU World Cup in New Plymouth on the 25th.

Reuben Athlete blog

Nelson just went perfectly. I executed the swim I had wanted all season long and came out of the water in 3rd and made the lead bunch on the bike. Initially I wanted to split the group up that we had on the bike but that proved too hard to do without expending to much energy before the run. I just tried to animate the bike as much as I could and hurt the boys around me. We came off the bike in a group and it was to be a running race for the win. Early into the first lap I found myself with a gap and I put my head down and ran in fear to the line with older more experienced boys in pursuit of me. I won by 9 seconds with the fastest run split as a first year U19 since racing as an U16 the year before. 

Reuben Athlete blog

Between the races I don’t feel I recovered well enough with travel and trying to train on the road plus managing a good diet on the road. Although I had some extra confidence backing up from the NZSS race. The course for New Plymouth suited me better (on paper at least) with lots of hills and a very technical bike course.

In the end it wasn’t to be. My swim was good but not great. I expended a lot of energy to get across to the lead group on the bike. The bike was hard, and I simply didn’t have it on the run. I started the run in the lead for the Youth Olympic spot and finished up in the 3rd with one aussie and one kiwi ahead of me. This made me first loser for the spot but also first reserve.

#WhereAdventuresBegin

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Floortje takes on the Kepler Challenge

The Kepler Challenge Race

By Floortje

Floortje on the Kepler Challenge race

Running the Kepler with Floortje:

Kepler was a big Challenge. I had the pressure on all day, I didn't even have time for toilet stops!

I ran comfortably with a friend up to Luxmore Hut. And started to realise I needed to get ahead to chase the other girls. I was running 4th by the half way point, 32km at the Iris Burn hut.

I had no time to grab goodies from transition, this meant missing out on Christmas cake!!.

From there I thought the hills were over and I would be on flat terrain..... turns out I got that absolutely wrong......

With the girls on my heels I started to pace out fast, working on mental strength to stay ahead. After holding the lead for 1.5 hours of fast pace I still hadn't found the flat terrain I was expecting, and so I decided the guys in my train could lead for a while.  It was at that moment I realised one of the girls was hanging on and passed me freshly.

The fast out pace bit me in the bum. I kept going, sitting in a black box, I got passed by another girl in the last 10km. Still looking for the flat terrain I finally found it in the last 500 meters before I happily finished.

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Pre-season ski adventure at Tasman Glacier

Skiing the Tasman Glacier

By Elmo Cotter

It was Thursday afternoon before Queens Birthday weekend and I was packing up to head home from work when I received an email. "Hey, we are going to Mt Cook for some ski touring if you want to join. You'd have to be here tomorrow night. Back Monday evening. Cheers, Dad"

The ski fields were still a week away from opening and about a week earlier there was a huge snowfall throughout the south island, I had been itching for a ski since!

"Count me in!"

24 hours of anticipation later and I was in Wanaka gathering my gear from all over the show. Due to last season’s gear not all being up to scratch I was able to treat myself to some new Smith goggles and an O’Neill ski Jacket from Outside Sports. We packed our bags and went to bed for an early start. 

After loading up on a full-monty breakfast and checking avalanche.net.nz to assess the conditions we were on the way to Mt Cook, I was still unsure of what was planned for the trip. Once there we met some friends who just the night before had decided to join us at Mt Cook airport for a 10am chopper into Tasman Saddle.

Tasman Glacier Elmo Cotter Outside Sports NZ

We flew past Mount Cook and up the length of the Tasman glacier, scouting the area we planned to ski for the long weekend. We were dropped at an altitude of 2000m and as the sound of the helicopter drained away, we found ourselves in knee deep snow surrounded mountains and without another soul in sight.

"The sky was blue, there was not a breath of wind, the snow was light and frost dried. Perfect conditions - we were amazed to see we had it all to ourselves". 

 Tasman Glacier Elmo Cotter Outside Sports NZ

As we walked over to the hut we found the door almost completely buried in snow, which we had to dig out before moving our stuff inside. After a cup of tea and some admiration of the stunning views of Mt Darwin, Mt Aylmer the valley back down the glacier to Mt Cook; it was time to put the skis on! 

Tasman Glacier Elmo Cotter Outside Sports NZ

Our first slope was up toward Mt Aylmer and after an hour or so of skinning uphill we were at the top looking down the Maximilian Range. Time to get rid of the skins and switch to ski mode. Yew!

 Tasman Glacier Elmo Cotter Outside Sports NZ

"Between the 5 of us, we cut 10 fresh tracks down the wide untouched slope and had a great time getting our skiing legs back on".

As the sun started to set behind the hills we got back to the hut for a big dinner and stories around the table. 

Tasman Glacier Elmo Cotter Outside Sports NZ

The next day we bounced out of bed and got prepared for another day of it. The recent wind had been blowing snow into North Westerly facing slopes and due to the consistent snowfall and cold weather, most terrain was at low avalanche risk. We spotted some steeper slopes in the shade below Hochsetter Dome and headed straight over. When we got to the base of the slope we found the snow was even lighter and deeper than what we were skiing the day before – just what we were hoping for.

 Tasman Glacier Elmo Cotter Outside Sports NZ

We cut some skinning tracks zigzagging up the hill and spent the whole day making the most of this awesome zone. The snow was about shin deep and if you really turned hard into it in the right spot you could almost get a face full of snow. We made lines between the crevasses until the whole area was covered in our tracks. Even found a couple of spots to jump off.

Tasman Glacier Elmo Cotter Outside Sports NZ

The sun started to drop behind the hills and we squeezed one final run in before it went dark. After a full day of skiing, we were more than ready to get cosy in the hut and rest the legs.

The next morning we set out to ski down the glacier to the bottom of the valley. After a short skin up we started the 15-20km journey. The terrain was quite flat on the glacier so we just cruised down admiring the scenery as we went.

Tasman Glacier Elmo Cotter Outside Sports NZ

Several hours later we found ourselves near the top of the Tasman lake with scroggin levels depleted and our legs spent. It was time to go back to the real world.

"It may seem difficult to drop everything and head off on an adventure for the weekend but all you really need is the right gear and a keen attitude - everything else is right on our doorstep".

Happy birthday to the Queen!

#WhereAdventuresBegin

 

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