Dave Makea had to borrow a bike from his brother when he first entered Iron Maori. Five years later, 40kg lighter and armed with a bike of his own, as well as the attitude to conquer anything, the Hawke’s Bay man is determined to complete the IronMaori Half Ironman this morning.
He will endure the mentally, physically and emotionally challenging event, along with hundreds more expected to compete in the 2km-swim, 90km-cycle and 21.1km run.
Mr Makea said his triathlon journey began with some life-threatening news.
“It started back in 2009, when my doctor told me I wasn’t going to make it to 2010. It was a wake-up call.”
The 51 year old Napier Port worker has carried on ever since he started in 2010.
His first Ironman in that same year took him 10 and-a-half-hours to finish, but over the years he has gradually gotten better.
“I’m going to do it, because I can. That’s the attitude I have to have otherwise I will become a couch potato again.”
His exercise regime keeps him motivated, despite severe pain in his knees.
“During the winter season, I’m at the gym and at the pools, swimming. In the summer, I swim at Pandora Pond and cycle, either with my brother, wife or by myself.”
The enthusiastic sportsman is looking at completing this years event in under 9 hours, but would be over the moon with anything better. In the day leading up to the big event, he was planning to go for a short run, bike and swim to keep the momentum going.
As for advice for people in a similar situation to what he was in, Mr Makea said they need to start doing something.
“You need to get off your butt and so something, do anything. When you start, you need to pick yourself up, even when you are in a rut.”
Meanwhile Te Ururoa Flavell, the Maori Development Minister and Maori Party co-leader, will also be taking part in the event for the fourth time.
“It is an inspirational Maori event which encourages everyone, particularly our people to give it a go,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter about a person’s age or level of fitness it is about participation.I love it. I enjoy the whanau atmosphere of IronMaori. It is Whanau Ora in action.”
By Astrid Austin
PS: If you are interested in training for and participating in IronMaori join my FREE online seminar (webinar) on Wednesday 15th June.
Click here to register for the event.