UltraHumps: Blog #16 Poppy Day

Tri Training NZ
New Zealand Defence Force personnel out collecting on the streets of Wellington for Poppy Day. MAJ John Humphries collecting for Poppy Day.

Hi Blog followers

Well the countdown is definitely here now.  With the weekend just gone it is 4 weeks until start time of the 515 kms of the Ultraman Australia event.

This week I have had my partner on location with her work commitments, so training has been a bit of a swap around, but an enjoyable opportunity to share it around commitments with her.  One thing I did get wrong in training is letting the intensity slip of what Coach Ray Boardman from Qwik Kiwi Endurance Sports Consultants had planned.  Whilst I completed all activities, Ray reminded me to focus on the intensity, an excellent reminder to keep me on track.

Most of my training during the week was on the Kapiti Coast which was a refreshing change of scenery.  Saturday I had a 4.5 hour cycle, so being back in Trentham I hit the hills of Whitemans Valley from the Blue Mountains hill road, through to Maymorn then over the Aokautere Summit to Waikanae then along the coast and up the Paekakiriki Hill, then up and over the Haywards.  I would have finished at the 4.5 hour mark but I couldn’t get into the turning lane for Silverstream due to heavy traffic on the motorway.  The next turn off took me to Upper Hutt then back down through the city.  One can certainly tell that autumn has kicked and winter is closing, as until I hit Kapiti Coast I was like a frozen ice block on the road after starting at 7am.

Sunday I had a 2 hour run, so I followed my normal route of running through Trentham Park to the Upper Hutt River and following that until I reached the 1 hour mark then turned around and retraced my steps.  Nice and brisk but nothing a running jacket and beanie with runners gloves doesn’t take care of.  I noticed there were plenty of other brave (or crazy) people out there during the weekend braving the cold either training or walking dogs.

One of my highlights this week, which I enjoy doing each year, is selling Poppies.  I was located in the Wellington CBD.  The donations go the RSA who use the funds received for a variety of reasons, but importantly to assist ex-serviceman who are in need.  In the weekend I read a Facebook blog of an ex-serviceman who served on Operations in Bosnia in the ’90’s and the RSA provided assistance as he battled cancer.  After he passed they are still in touch with the family.  It is moments like this that make me appreciate the country we live in and make me proud for the contribution I am making by raising funds through my Ultraman Australia event for KIWI (Killed, Injured, Wounded and Ill) of the New Zealand Defence Force.

Next weeks blog will be slightly late due to a heavy training weekend that Coach Ray has planned for me during ANZAC weekend, where I will do my training in Taupo, hit parts of the Ironman Course and attend ANZAC Day service in that location.

Be safe everyone and thank you for your support. Please attend an ANZAC Day service in whatever location you find yourself in.

Regards John Humphries (UltraHumps)!

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