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December Race Wrap Up

With my first key race of the season at the Future ChampioNZ Triathlon Festival my form was tracking nicely. The race took place from the 15th to the 17th. Each event counted towards an overall time for the weekend with three events plus a team relay for fun. Day one had a lemans style criterium with a 300 meter run either side of the bike to put a triathlon style spin a race favoured for the strong bike riders. From start to finish the race didn’t really go my way. Straight off the start line my heel was stood on ripping one of my shoes off. I hesitated whether or not I stop for my shoe before carrying on, losing enough time before jumping on my bike to miss the front four boys. I ended up in a two-up time trial in an effort to chase the four boys up the road. Just as we came off the bike we had bridged the gap to 2 of the riders but in the heat of the moment I dismounted my bike late and faced a 15 second penalty which was more than enough for the boys around me to beat me to the line. I finished up 6th in my heat but 18th overall.

Reuben Athlete blog

I headed into the second event with extra motivation. The race was a 400m pool swim followed by a 750 meter run two times through. On paper it was going to be the weaker event for me with no cycling and such short runs between swims. Despite this I improved on my result from the criterium and moved up some spots to 16th.

Reuben Athlete blog

The grand final triathlon was the key race of the weekend with double points up for grabs. With a breakthrough swim I came out of the water only 50 seconds down on the leaders. The bike course was very technical and hilly. I nearly bridged the gap to the front group only 8 seconds up the road. My run was good but not great, but I made up a few places to finish in the 7th. Enough for 10th in the series points for the weekend.

Reuben Athlete blog

I’ve since had some time back home in Queenstown and raced at the local Lake Hayes Triathlon.  After a really big week of training I just felt drained from start to finish to finish one spot off the podium in the U20 boys race and 5th overall. However I’m happy with where I’m at as 2017 draws to a close and look forward to 2018 and my lofty goals ahead.

Reuben Athlete blog

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November Race Wrap Up

This month I have continued progressing towards the Future ChampioNZ Tri Fest to be held in Taupo mid-December, with more speed work and specificity in my training. As well as racing at the Te Awamutu Summer Series races every Tuesday night I also raced at the New Plymouth Round the Mountain Run relay and at the Tinman Sprint Tri this month.  

My best result at the TA summer series came Week 7 on the 21st. A breakaway of 5 riders including myself got all the way to the line and I managed to (poorly) sprint to 4th in the open A grade. These races have been an important session of the week building my speed on the bike. I also went down to New Plymouth to race for Team Body Logic in the round the mountain relay. My leg was 5.2 km long. We mixed between first and second for a long time before a mishap in one of the legs put us back a few minutes and we never made up that time. After over 9 hours of running the team finished in 2nd. 

My season opener triathlon was the Sprint Race at the Tinman triathlon at Mt Maunganui. After an average swim I managed to ride myself back up to 2nd place overall with the fastest bike split. On the run I battled for 2nd place for around 4km but couldn’t quite match the pace. Still nudging the 2nd fastest run split however, I finished in 3rd overall. Since the race I have already made some big changes to my open water swimming and am working lots to improve it so I can be closer to the front of the race for the bike and the run.

Looking forward to coming back to Queenstown for a couple of weeks, in late December and racing in the Lake Hayes & Lake Dunstan Tri’s.

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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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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. 

 

 #WhereAdventuresBegin

 

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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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