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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.


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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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Adam Wilson takes on Challenge Wanaka 2015

Outside Sports sponsored triathlete Adam Wilson gives us a personal account of his winning race review from Challenge Wanaka 2015:

Adam Wilson:

Challenge Wanaka was an amazing feeling, especially seeing it was my first ironman. I didn’t expect to win let alone by that amount.

My race when better than expected right from the start, 18 degree, mirror flat lake couldn’t ask for better swim conditions. They changed the swim to a beach and with a couple of good duck dives 2 of us cleared the hundreds of other swimmers and shot away into the clear water. The other swimmer was pushing pretty hard so I snuck in behind him and he gave me a good drag around the entire swim course. It wasn’t till early into the 2nd lap that I realised that this other swimmer was my sister’s boyfriend who was also competing in his 1st ironman. As we exited the swim we had a decent gap before the chase group.

Adam Ironman Outside Sports NZ Swim Challenge Wanaka

I took the lead for the 1st time early into the bike and tried to settle into my race plan and forget about the chasing riders. For quite some time I didn’t see another rider which made it feel rather like a training ride and took away any race nerves. During the ride I was lucky enough to have some supporters updating me on how the race was progressing behind and to my astonishment my lead just kept on growing. By the time I entered the bike/run transition I had a 15 minute gap and had rode a 5:05 bike split, much faster than my 5:20 target time.

Adam Ironman Outside Sports NZ Bike Challenge Wanaka

Into the run, which tends to be my weakness in any distance triathlon. In the back of my mind I was wondering whether 15 minutes was enough and didn’t really know how fast the chasers would be. My target was to run around the 3:30 mark and with the day heating up I was wondering if even sub 4hrs was possible after a hard ride. My first lap when much better than expected and to my surprise I was well on track for a good finish. With more progress updates from my support crew and nobody catching fast I was beginning to believe I could really win. The 2nd lap was really painful and I had a couple of moments where I thought I was blowing to pieces but I managed to keep ticking over finished the marathon in 3:33.

Adam Ironman Outside Sports NZ Run Challenge Wanaka

I finished over 14 minutes in front of the next amateur and even bet some of the professionals (They started 15 minutes before the amateur field).

Adam's Times:

Swim – 54:52

Bike – 5:05:55

Run – 3:33:41

(plus some transition time)

Total time – 9:39:24

Adam Challenge-Wanaka-2015-Prize-Giving Outside Sports NZ

I’ve been a sponsored athlete with Outside Sports now for around 3 years and I’m really grateful for the support they have provided. Without their assistance I would have struggled to achieve my goals as a triathlete. Triathlon is an expensive sport, with multiple bikes, bike accessories, wetsuits and not to mention the international travel it soon gets expensive and without the assistance of Outside Sports I would not have been able to afford to compete internationally.

Outside Sports specifically help by supporting me with all the equipment I need to be a competitive triathlete and more importantly help me maintain this equipment so it’s all running smoothly not only at all my races but during every training session in between. The staff at Outside Sports Ride Centre, Queenstown are extremely skilled bike mechanics who have always managed to get my bikes working perfectly whenever I come to them with any issues.

One of the most effective improvements since coming on board with Outside Sports was my bike positioning. After they put me through a Specialized Body Geometry Fit which is a highly scientific approach to bike fitting I had my best result to date, placing 5th in my age group at the New Zealand Half Ironman Champs in Tauranga in a personal best time of 4hrs 19mins. Subsequently I qualified to race in the World Long Distance Champs in France. I definitely recommend that any recreational or competitive cyclist or triathlete who wants to be more comfortable and efficient on their bike looks into getting a Body Geometry fit with Outside Sports.

I’m happy to see Outside Sports moving into their brand new store. The new store looks and feels amazing. One of the issues in the past was parking and store access which will be vastly improved making it much easier for customers to spend time in the shop and not wasting it trying to find a park.

In my role for Cardrona we worked closely with Outside Sports last winter to provide some great packages for skiers and snowboarders visiting Queenstown and we look forward to teaming up again in 2015.

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