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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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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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Specialized Healthy Catch Ups back for Summer 16/17

Specialized Healthy Catch Ups at Rabbit Ridge

Specialized healthy catch ups is a program for 2016 that aims to promote healthy living for females. The program asks leading Specialized retailers around the world to organise social cycling experiences for women that are about friendship, fitness and fun. The initiative aims to inspire people to get out there, discover new experiences with friends –and have lots of fun along the way!

Healthy Catch Ups Rabbit Ridge Outside Sports NZ

Outside Sports hosted social ladies rides in January, February and March 2016 which turned out to be so popular we decided to make an annual event. The first ladies ride of this summer was to go ahead at Rabbit Ridge Bike Park on the last Sunday of November, within a couple of days from the event announcement the ride was fully booked.

Rabbit Ridge Bike Park is located next to Gibbston Valley Winery and features more than 40kms of trails suitable for all levels of riders. A perfect place for anyone getting into mountain biking that wants something a bit less intimidating than a lot of the riding in Queenstown.

Healthy Catch Ups Rabbit Ridge Outside Sports NZ

As the weekend approached the forecast wasn’t looking great and early Sunday morning the rain was pouring down. Between the clouds we saw that there had been a big snowfall on the surrounding mountains –

and it’s supposed to be the start of summer!?

We decided to go with the optimistic approach and head out to meet at Gibbston Valley Winery hoping that the sun would come out and the trails would be dry. On meeting at Gibbston valley Winery, Sean from Rabbit Ride had just got back from test riding the trails with a bike caked in mud.

It was not looking promising.......

We were expecting a small turnout due to poor conditions but nearly everyone that booked showed up excited to ride– great effort! The enthusiasm from the group seemed to pay off as the sun started to peek through the clouds and the rain stopped - a ride was definitely in order.

Healthy Catch Ups Rabbit Ridge Outside Sports NZ

The call was made that Rabbit Ridge was too slippery and the Queenstown trail across the road would be a good option. The group set off to ride the loop down by the river with the possibility of coming back to the Ridge if it dried out. The trail took the group on a loop down towards the river for a cruisy ride looking out over the Kawarau. As the group rode, the sun seemed to fight its way through the clouds making for a pretty nice day! The snow on the hills made for some great scenery and everyone seemed stoked to be out riding.

There was a mix of skill levels but everyone rode as a group and the more skilled riders gave riding tips and encouragement, making for a really great environment for all. Ronan the mechanic from Outside Sports rode along at the back to fix anything that went wrong and had with him the Specialized Levo pedal assisted mountain bike which several of the ladies had a turn on which made the ride a LOT easier.

Healthy Catch Ups Rabbit Ridge Outside Sports NZ

After the river loop we got a call from Sean who had been keeping an eye on the trail conditions at Rabbit Ridge and he had good news. The lower trails had soaked up all the water and it was looking good to ride!

As we had already done a decent amount of pedalling and food and wine was on the mind, we decided some shuttle runs would be more enjoyable then riding to the top of the park. With the Outside Sports truck and the Rabbit Ridge van, the riders were taken to the top of the park for a couple of descending trails to finish the ride.

Everyone arrived back at Gibbston Valley Winery where some complimentary bottles of wine and juice were waiting for the thirsty riders. After a post ride catch up over some food and drink, the riders left with new friends and have hopefully been inspired to get out there and do more healthy social catch ups.

Healthy Catch Ups Rabbit Ridge Outside Sports NZ

Thank you to Rabbit Ridge for free access to the trails, Gibbston Valley Winery for hosting us, and all the riders who came along with such great attitudes!

Keep an eye on the Healthy Catch Ups Facebook page for information on the next ride, and feel free to use the page to organise your own healthy catch up!

Thanks to:

Specialized Healthy Catch Ups programme

Rabbit Ridge Bike Park

Gibbston Valley Winery

Cookies Coaching


Photo Credit: Meagan Lee Wilken

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Keep Safe in the NZ Backcountry

Keep Safe in the New Zealand Backcountry

With Rocky Mountains and expansive Alpine ranges, New Zealand has a vast amount of Backcountry to explore, perfect for a variety of snow adventures including skiing, snowboarding, hiking and climbing.

With so much terrain to be explored always remember to be prepared for the unexpected to happen.

Outdoor Safety Code Outside Sports NZ

Although we may not experience huge metres of snowfall like such places as Europe, Canada and America, the risk of avalanche is still extremely high in the New Zealand Backcountry. Whether snow, mud or rockfall you should be aware of the risks and what to do to avoid them or in the event that one should occur.

The weather in NZ Mountains can deteriorate extremely rapidly. Make sure you check the weather and avalanche forecasts before and during your trip for all of the time that you will be in the mountains and backcountry. Prepare for the worst conditions and ensure you can seek safe shelter.

This is a small piece of advice for you to consider before entering New Zealand backcountry. You should be well experienced in your undergoing activity, have a great understanding in the area you are entering and ensure that appropriate measures are in place within your group to recognise that when there is a problem the appropriate authorities are alerted. Ensure you and your group have in place, and fully understand a procedure to enable rescuers to find you quickly.

The New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process, endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies, provides 3 simple options which enable you to 'tell someone' all the details about your land-based trip into the outdoors.

NZ Outdoors Intentions Plan Outside Sports NZ


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