The High Five-0 Challenge for Mental Health

I first met Mal Law 4 or so years ago at a running event and was introduced by a mutual friend. To be in the company of one of New Zealand’s top adventure runners was awe inspiring to say the least, but I soon realised he was a very down to earth and humble person, actually a real nice bloke.

He talked about this BHAG (big hairy audacious goal) he had in mind but wasn’t quite ready to share just yet and please watch this space. He then rang me one day asking if I could give him a ride as he was doing a “reccie” up Mt Te Aroha.  I met Mal and Steve Neary half way up the mountain and ran down with them and discovered just what this BHAG was, to run 50 peaks in 50 days, 50 marathon distances! And before I could stop myself, I was heard to say “can I run with you on this leg”, being Mt Te Aroha and my home town. I was told that I could but there were more details to come and once again watch this space.

I got home and after thinking about it thought, Geez Suzy what have you got yourself in for this time! But I had made the commitment and will just have to follow my word. Over the course of two years it took him to train for the High Five O Challenge, I was known to send Coach Ray numerous emails that read like this….. I don’t think I can do this!…..I don’t think I am going to be able to keep up!…..holy moly it is one mother of a track and I’m scared!!! ,… .to which he replied with a list of many reasons why I could and would be able to do it.

Day 45 Mt Te Aroha finally arrived; Mal was very tired after all he had just run 44 peaks in 44 days and 44 marathon distances all over the country. I was excited, apprehensive and in awe of this very normal man doing huge feats of endurance and holding it all together to plaster a smile on his face and greet each and every one of us, his support runners of which there were ten.

We set off from the Karangahake car park in the gorge, Mal set the pace and we all settled in behind him and trucked along chatting and getting to know each other. The crew were a mixed bag, a lovely girl from Ireland, a man from Germany, runners from Tauranga that could do sub 3 hour marathons, runners from Auckland and Hamilton, and then there was myself and Julie from Te Aroha. The pace wasn’t fast but it was a good steady gait to which we made the most of on the flats as there was certainly some steep stuff to come. Plenty of river crossings, swing bridges, a quick snack at the Waitawheta hut along the way, plenty of photo opportunities and some very steep climbs and there it was…the Mt Te Aroha TV Mast and trig, we had made it! We were at the top, Whoop Whoop another peak knocked off. We were met by a small group of supporters with flags and after a last minute refuel we were on the decent.

We came down the mountain at speed and were met at the lookout point with a another bunch  of supporters and a bottle of red wine, after a compulsory swig it was home James – we burst out of the bush to a good old fashioned small town welcome, local band singing, BBQ and a hundred people yelling and screaming just for us! We felt like movie stars….

There are not enough “WOW” words to describe this Epic Journey – to help raise money for the  Mental Health Foundation, such a worthy cause and to run with a group of cool people and to be a wingman for the legendary Malcolm Law,” an ordinary man doing extraordinary things!”

 

Suzy Monds

From Timor to Tauranga

I was posted to Timor-Leste with the NZ Army and had completed three Ironman events where I completely self-coached with no idea what I was doing and finishing results that said as much.  Two of these events I had trained and competed in whilst on holiday leave from Timor.  I quickly realised that if I wanted to be committed to the sport that had changed my life around, I needed to take it seriously and sign up with a coach.  There are plenty of coaches to look for on-line or cheekily obtain a training programme on-line, but I had already made up my mind that Ray Boardman was the coach I wanted from Qwik Kiwi. Continue reading “From Timor to Tauranga”

How to prepare for a successful Enduro Cycling Event

Cycle Training NZ

I asked Andrea Davies (helmet number 9636) to write about her experiences training for and riding the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge Enduro (2 laps or 320km) event. Here is what she contributed:

I’d always wanted to ride two laps of Taupo so in Feb 2013 decided this was the year to tick it off my bucket list.  I had reconnected with trainer Ray who set my training schedule.  All was going well until I got knocked off my bike (by another cyclist) in July, which resulted in a hospital stay due to concussion and my pelvis suffering two breaks. Continue reading “How to prepare for a successful Enduro Cycling Event”

Di Chesmar: Not yet a World Champion

Tri Coach NZ

“Ray has been coaching me for a number of years now. Initially I approached him when, as a 50 year old, I started doing the women’s only triathlons.

At the time I was training myself for a range of distances in the indoor rowing competition at the Wanganui Masters Games. Ray developed a training plan specifically for me incorporating swimming, running, cycling and indoor rowing. This took into consideration my family and work commitments. Continue reading “Di Chesmar: Not yet a World Champion”

What does it take to ride the 640km Maxi Endurance as part of the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge

Cycle Training NZ

Helen [Chief Crew] and I left our Turangi accommodation around 8.30am Friday morning for Taupo.  Handed in our waiver form, got race number onto the bike & front of helmet.  Nice to catch up with Tracy Parke & saw Andrew, both of whom did last year’s Maxi and also the Graperide.  Didn’t really know many of the other starters.  I believe that 26 men & 2 women were on the start line. Continue reading “What does it take to ride the 640km Maxi Endurance as part of the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge”

Maxi Enduro Taupo Cycle Challenge 2014

Helen [Chief Crew] and I left our Turangi accommodation around 8.30am Friday morning for Taupo.  Handed in our waiver form, got race number onto the bike & front of helmet.  Nice to catch up with Tracy Parke & saw Andrew, both of whom did last year’s Maxi and also the Graperide.  Didn’t really know many of the other starters.  I believe that 26 men & 2 women were on the start line. Continue reading “Maxi Enduro Taupo Cycle Challenge 2014”

Cindy Gordon: First Timer

“As a first timer and relatively new to the sport of Triathlon, Ray and Andrea provided me with the expertise, advise and a training plan to get me not only to the start line but also to the finish line for my first 1/2 ironman. Their input was invaluable and I would highly recommend all those first timers to consider seriously using the services of Qwik Kiwi.”

–  Cindy Gordon