la fleure floriste

Di Chesmar – 10 Years With Team Qwik Kiwi

Di Chesmar is this month’s ‘Client of the Month’. She has had a massive athletic career since joining Qwik Kiwi over ten years ago. As the client of the month, I arranged for a nice bunch of flowers to be delivered to her. This is her story:

My Ten-Year Journey with Qwik Kiwi Endurance Sports Consultants

Flashback to 16 January 2006

Email to Raymond Boardman: I am considering entering the Scorching Bay “Try” on 2 April 2006.  I would like to participate in an open swim class (or classes) and would appreciate any information you are able to give on these.  I am a young 50-year-old and competed in one triathlon last year (SHE women’s triathlon in Palmerston North) which had a pool swim of 300m.

Response received: Well done on your triathlon last year and being in the first half of your life still. I am currently organising an open water swim course and once the details are confirmed I will send you an e-mail.

31 January 2006

Email to Raymond Boardman: I had a look at your Qwik Kiwi website and believe that I would benefit from one of your personalised coaching programmes and having someone to “report to”.  I see that you have consultations for those on these programmes.   I would find it useful to discuss with you the direction I should / can go in.

I train alone and have been making up my own weekly schedule, however occasionally if I don’t get something written up by Sunday, I find that the week following is a shambles as far as training goes.  I need to have it pre-planned.  As far as the planning goes, I only assume I am doing the right thing.

I entered the lightweight women’s indoor rowing at the South Pacific Masters Games in February, so I have been ergo rowing 5 days each week for the past 21 weeks on a training programme from the Concept UK website.  Interspersed with that, I have been doing some swimming, “running” and cycling for the tri.  I have read lots of different things – magazines, the internet, etc and have tried to do what I think is best.  I know a little about training in one’s heart zone and have a Polar heart rate monitor.

I am willing to be challenged, believe I have lots of energy, am not afraid of being “flogged” in training, and am excited that there are lots of different events to choose from. Realistic goals are what I need.  I want to find my limit!   I think I hold back a lot – that’s probably a mental thing.

Anyway, I hope I do not sound like a 50-year-old “dreamer” !!  I have benefited before from having someone I can “report to”. Unfortunately, the owner of this gym had to close up shop.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? Well, that was the start of a new journey for me. I had no idea where it might take me or how long the journey would last. I just wanted to get the ball rolling.

My philosophy for getting a coach was to get the best out of myself by removing the guesswork from training. I felt self-coaching was not letting me achieve my true potential.

March 2006

I was amazed to see some of my goals in March 2006 are pretty much the same ten years later in January 2016:

  • Can I get faster and by how much?   I tend to “save” myself as I think subconsciously I am scared of running out of steam, and I haven’t yet determined at what point that will happen.
  • Find what events would be my strength – short distances, long distances … duathlon/triathlon… rocking chair (just joking of course)
  • Achieve personal satisfaction

The initial consultation with Coach Ray was a bit daunting. I had a zillion things I wanted to do in the first few months. Would he think I was being too ambitious? What other things could I look to do? And so the weekly Qwik Kiwi training programmes began to arrive in my email box in the form of an excel spreadsheet. About a year later that method of data capture was dispensed with and programmes were loaded and accessed via Training Peaks.

Many of my “stressors” are pre-race related rather than during the race itself. For my first Scorching triathlon, the BIG stressor was “where do I hire a wetsuit?” My wetsuit fitting occurred the day before the race. I recall it clearly. The shop owner literally had to manhandle me into the rubber. He pushed bits of my body and pulled on the wetsuit. It seemed to take forever. I was scared my fingernails would tear something. Once I had the rubber kit on I didn’t want to take it off. Another stressor was “how was I going to get it on by myself tomorrow”. I don’t recall how. But I did.

April 2006 – my first mixed-sex (Scorching Event) triathlon. I loved it so much that ten years on I still love them. There is something special about doing a swim, a quick change onto the bike, bike, a quick change into running shoes, and then charging to the finish line.

For me, the transition area is where I form friendships. Bikes are racked so close together you can’t help but get close and friendly to the person racking their bike next to you. Nervous people smile. Transition is full of nervous people. Smiling is friendly. Conversations start.

  • Where have you travelled from for this event?
  • Is this your first event/first time at this distance?
  • How do you find that one-piece tri-suit?
  • Do you bother with socks after the swim?

My home town does not host too many cycle/run/duathlon events and being landlocked there are no triathlon events, so I travel, often on my own.

Yes, I do events to complete them, but really I want to be as competitive as I can be, not that I admit that much! After all, I have a twenty-year-old mind in a sixty-year-old body. Roughly my training season goes from May through to March with a month off before recommencing with base training.


  • Several women’s only entry-level triathlons
  • Wellington Scorcher triathlon – short distances   [250/15/2.5]
Duathlon Coaching NZ
2006 June Scorching Event

Wellington Scorcher duathlon – short distances   [5/24/2.5]

  • Wairarapa Half Marathon – first half marathon
  • Tour of Wairarapa [cycle] – 50km distance
  • Tour of Martinborough [cycle] – 50km distance
  • I had no idea how long I would train with Qwik Kiwi. Having someone work out my plan allowed me to focus on doing the necessary work. During my first year, I realised there were a lot of events out there I might be able to have a crack at. Twelve months later it was time to discuss the goals for 2007 (Year 2).  This year was one of stepping up to things I never thought I could do.

    • Tackled my first ocean sea swim in Wellington. Scared stiff of not making the cut-off. Made it, phew.
    • Experienced my first Scorcher long-distance triathlon. It took ages. I think I was last. I loved it.
    • Had a blast during the week at the NZ Masters Games. Got chatting with a couple I met at the duathlon. They were and still are a real inspiration to me. They now live in Taupo and I keep in touch with them.
    Run Coaching NZ
    2007 Oct – first half marathon Wairarapa

    Ran my first half marathon in October, astounding both my husband and a work colleague (both former runners) that I was doing this with my longest training run being just 90 minutes. This is where having the utmost trust in your coach comes in. Why would my coach get me on a start line to fail? I ultimately trusted him and was ecstatic to finish my first half marathon to the amazement of many. The time wasn’t a record breaker, but conversely, I wasn’t a wreck at the end of it either. It seemed these events had barbs and I was getting hooked.

  • I wanted to experience the atmosphere of a half ironman. Get the gist of how things worked. Too chicken to do it solo, I rounded up a couple of friends into a team. This did the trick and I was back there the following two years tackling it solo.
  • 2007

    • Ocean sea swim – Wellington 750m
    • Wellington Scorcher triathlon – medium & long distance
    • NZ Masters Games, Wanganui – Age group medals in duathlon; indoor rowing 2000m, 1000m, 500m, 300m, 100m; road cycle race; 500m TT Velodrome
    • Wellington Scorcher duathlon – medium & long distance
    • Wairarapa Half Marathon – PB time
    • Taupo Half Ironman – team member
    • Tour of Martinborough [cycle] – 115km distance
    • Hawkes Bay Masters Games – Indoor Rowing 1000m & 500m
    Ocean Swim Coaching
    2008 Jan Ocean Sea Swim Wellington

    I was still in awe of what I was doing and cautiously increased distances and goals. Year 3 (2008) rolled around.  Time for another chat with Coach Ray about the coming year and he casually asks if I am going to add in Ironman for 2009. It had always been my intention to go and watch it first and see what it’s all about, so no, I’ll pencil it in for 2010. Then I think, well Coach Ray obviously thinks I am ready to train for Ironman, so why would I delay it a year? Urgent message was sent to Coach Ray. Ironman 2009 – I’m in.


    • Ocean sea swim – Wellington 750m
    • Contact Triathlon – standard distance – Napier
    • Wellington Scorcher triathlon – long distances   [1500/40/10]
    • Wellington Scorcher duathlon – medium & long distances
    • Grand Fondo, Wairarapa – Legs 1 & 2 138km
    • Wairarapa Half Marathon – PB time
    • Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge – Legs 1, 2 & 3   120km
    • Tour of Martinborough [cycle] – 115km PB time
    Half Ironman Training NZ
    2008 Taupo HIM Diane Chesmar-300

    Taupo Half Ironman

    Each year I put together a list of “wanna do and maybe” events. It is interesting to look back on them all.

    I hungered for feedback on how my training was going. I threw a lot of questions at Coach Ray’s way. Now I’m a bit bolder I challenge him with “why” and “why not”s.   Praise is given if earned and occasionally a stern word or two are deservedly thrown my way.

    Year 4 (2009) rolls around. Cycle Taranaki (175km) was a training ride for Taupo Ironman. I stepped up the ocean sea swim to 2.8km. Can I make the cut-off points? Yes, I can and my time included a wallow around the lighthouse gazing up at its awesomeness. How often does one get to swim around a lighthouse?   And then Ironman time came. Ignorance is truly bliss. Coach Ray said to treat it as a “catered-for training day”. I certainly got my money’s worth. There were a few things I did on that day that I learned from. That’s one thing I love about doing these sports. I’m always learning something new.

    My running legs managed two half marathons later on in the year and my cycling legs had a go at the Round Taupo cycle and Tour of Hawkes Bay.


    • Cycle Taranaki – 175km
    • Ocean sea swim – Wellington 2.8km
    • Wellington Scorcher triathlon – long distances
    • Taupo Ironman
    • Wellington Scorcher duathlon – medium & long distances
    • Wellington Half Marathon
    • Wairarapa Half Marathon
    • Lake Taupo cycle challenge [160 km]
    • Tour of Hawkes Bay [cycle] 110km
    • Taupo Half Ironman

    The training programmes are getting me to the start line each and every time. My psyche tends to want to do events more than once, to see if I can better myself. So Taupo Ironman was locked and loaded for 2010 (Year 5). Bring it on.

    The training was going well until out of the blue I experienced pain in my left heel during a long run. Another learning curve – the hard way. In hindsight, I suspect it was merely a result of severe muscle tightness. Trust the coach. Run training ceased on 31 December until around 21 February when I did a 15-minute run. Swimming and cycling increased. Trust the coach. Have self-belief. I shelved ideas of doing an improved time and was grateful to be on the start line. When it came to the run leg, I was conscious of some discomfort in my foot and did a bit of walking and running. Where is that self-belief?   Got about halfway, worried that I wasn’t going to make the cut-off. Don’t you hate those cut-off times? Perhaps I’ll just stop now. Friends make hurried calls to Coach Ray who wasn’t on course. Then someone worked out that I had x hours to finish x kilometres. Self-belief then kicked in and I started running in earnest. Blimey. Once again I got my money’s worth.

    2010 included a couple of fun events. City Safari took our team to a range of places in the Wellington environs, seeking answers to clues and gaining points. Butterfly Creek Nighttime Madness was another fun event done in pairs. It was after this event I bought a headlamp as the one I borrowed had weak light output and died during the event. Trying to run in the dark, through the bush with your partner wearing the only working headlamp isn’t exactly ideal. Another learning curve.

    Cycling included the Tour de Manawatu and the year was topped off with the Rotorua Half Ironman. Now that was a toughie, but a goodie.


    Obstacle Coaching NZ
    Bog Challenge July 2010

    Taupo Ironman

  • Ocean sea swim – Wellington 2.8km
  • City Safari – Wellington – 6 hour team event
  • Brookfield Bog Challenge – Wainuiomata 6km
  • Tough Guy Tough Gal, Linton 6km
  • Wellington 10km
  • Wellington Scorcher triathlon – long & medium distances
  • Wellington Scorcher duathlon – long distance
  • Butterfly Creek Nighttime Madness
  • Tour of Hawkes Bay [cycle] 110km
  • Tour de Manawatu [cycle] 115km
  • Wairarapa Half Marathon
  • Round Taupo cycle [160 km]
  • Rotorua Half Ironman
  • Cycle Training NZ
    2011 Feb – Wanganui Masters Games Velodrome

    2011 (Year 6) saw an increase in activities. Hankering for something different, I jotted down Challenge Wanaka on my season “to-do” list. Reading athletes’ 2011 race reports, I knew it was going to be a toughie. Isn’t that why you do it though?

    I spent a week at the NZ Masters Games in Wanganui enjoying a range of sports. I repeated a few events, often catching up with people I’d met before. A new event for me was the IronMaori half ironman. The atmosphere was great. Like the Scorching Triathlons, it is a friendly, supportive event. So these events were part of my build-up to Challenge Wanaka in January 2012.


    • Ocean sea swim – Wellington 2.8km – PB time
    • NZ Masters Games, Wanganui – Age group medals in duathlon; indoor rowing 10km, 2000m [PB], 1000m, 500m, 300m; road cycle race; road TT race, 500m TT Velodrome
    • Contact Triathlon – standard distance @ Wellington
    • City Safari – Wellington – 6-hour team event
    • Tough Guy Tough Gal, Linton 12km
    • Wellington 10km
    • Wellington Scorcher duathlon – long distance
    • Wellington Scorcher triathlon – long & medium distances
    • Tour of Hawkes Bay [cycle] 110km
    • Tour de Manawatu [cycle] 115km
    • Wairarapa Half Marathon
    • HB Triathlon club – long-distance duathlon
    • IronMaori long distance duathlon
    • IronMaori half ironman
    Tri Coaching NZ
    2012 Oct ITU AG World Champs Auckland

    2012 (Year 7) and my interest in events is not waning. In April I again present Coach Ray with a list of things I’m keen to do and ask as per other years “do you still want to coach me?”   After a period of unstructured training, I’m always keen to see that first new week of base training loaded up. Time to get back into a routine. Training gives me a good feeling – mostly.

    A change of race venue is a good way to make a distance you often race feel “fresh and new”. With a solid few months of training banked my comfort zone was about to be challenged. The first stop on my drive to Wanaka was Rangiora and stay with a sister and brother-in-law. They were a short drive from the Contact Triathlon at Pegasus. I loved that venue. With a compact course, it was spectator friendly and for the athlete flat and fast.

    Wanaka was something else. Finishing an hour outside the official cut-off time, I was filled with adrenaline, however afterward I always felt that my result should have been better. The legendary Garth Barfoot finished behind me. I suspect that was the only reason I wasn’t pulled from the course. No one would pull Garth Barfoot from a course. The swim was awesome. Nice cold water interspersed with patches of warmth. The cycle leg was something else. Elite athletes’ blogs indicated they found it really tough. Headwind. About 80kms of it continuous. I made the transition with five minutes to spare. The run was OK, but I started it with no spare time up my sleeve. I did get my own minder on a mountain bike though. This is the first event where the outcome sticks in my mind, for all the wrong reasons.  The post-event report can be read here.


    • Contact Triathlon – sprint distance @ Pegasus
    • Challenge Wanaka – iron distance
    • Contact Triathlon – standard distance qualifying champs – Wellington

    Qualified in the 55-59 age group

    • Wellington Scorcher triathlon – long distance
    • Great Forest 10km run
    • Tough Guy Tough Gal, Linton 6km
    • Manfield 6-hour cycle
    • Manawatu Striders Half Marathon PB
    • World Age Group Standard Distance Triathlon Champs, Auckland
    • World Age Group Aquathon
    • Contact Duathlon Standard distance qualifying champs – Taupo

    Qualified in 55-59 AG

    • Tour de Manawatu [cycle] 115km
    • Wairarapa Athletics – 10km run
    • Tour of Wairarapa [cycle] 110km
    • 40/50 Cycle Tour
    • IronMaori half ironman – PB by 70mins
    Cycle Training
    2012 Manawatu Country Classic

    However, out of lemons comes lemonade, and 2012 turned out to be my best-ever year.

    I did the Contact Triathlon in Wellington after Wanaka to try and qualify for the World Age Group Standard Distant Triathlon Champs in Auckland. My time wasn’t fast enough, so imagine my surprise when I got an email a few weeks later offering me a team slot.   At this point, I was having success with reducing body fat and gaining muscle.

    I’m a bit of a data geek. In March 2012 I purchased a Garmin 910XT which I still use. In December 2012 I started using a PowerTap wheel, which I swap between a road bike and a TT bike. My newest road bike has a Quarq power meter. I wouldn’t be without either of these devices. My training is based either on pace, heart rate, or power. Training with power has definitely lifted my cycling capability.

    In June I did a training camp in Australia set up, especially for athletes doing the champs in Auckland. This proved to be a turning point. A week of solid training lifted me up to another level. I ran my fastest half marathon a few weeks later. You need to remember that all I need to focus on is doing my training. Trust the coach. Do the work. My results at Auckland are something I’m proud of. I’ll never ever forget that experience.

    With quality training in the bank and improved self-confidence, I travelled south with my husband and we took part in the 40/50 tour. Held over a period of three days this cycling event had a couple of stages each day. I quickly realised I was a bit out of my depth, but hey I’d paid my money and I was racing. Each stage started with a neutralised section. Getting dropped on the neutralised section each and every time has a demoralising effect on your demeanour. I wasn’t not going to “race”, so I just had to suck it up and do it. Another learning curve.

    Still pinging from the World Age Group Champs in Auckland, I entered the Wellington Vets 2-day cycle tour in January 2013 and followed that up with the Wellington to Auckland 7-day Cycle Classic in February 2013. I love that event. Coming to the Wellington region it’s best to get two or three riders and a vehicle driver sorted and share costs. I want to do it again, so let me know if you’re keen.

    Cycle Racing
    2013 March PNP Easter tour

    So how was 2013 going to top 2012, my best year ever? Scrolling through Facebook posts I read that the organisers of the Graperide cycle event were thinking of celebrating their 10th year in 2014 with a ten-lap event. Wow, I thought, that’s Mammoth. What was I thinking? 1,010 kilometres. Message to Coach Ray – do you think I could do an event like this?   The answer was never going to be “no”. So Year 8 was filled with massive amounts of cycle training. Events started to get bigger and more ambitious. Triathlon took a back seat. I found there is a trade-off doing long endurance events as my speed began to drop away.

    Coach Ray said as preparation for the Mammoth Graperide I was to do the Taupo Cycle Classic Enduro event which is two laps (320kms). My response was: why don’t I just go for the Maxi event of four laps (640km), which is closer to 1,010km? Monthly training sessions were scheduled in Taupo. They were to be done with a rider from Auckland training for the two lappers, but she, unfortunately, was knocked from her bike and had to delay her two lappers until 2015. So these weekend training blocks were done solo. Believe me, that was one way of building mental fortitude. I’m sure Coach Ray’s ears were burning on numerous occasions as I cursed his damn training schedule.

    Starting at 1.30 am Saturday cycle one lap of Lake Taupo. Starting at 1.30 am Sunday cycle one lap of Lake Taupo. This one tripped me up. On Saturday it rained the entire ride. Sunday morning I set off at 1.30 am. The wind was strong and it seemed to take forever to get anywhere. Tree debris littered the road. My spirits started to dip. My feet (in wet shoes) and by now wet socks got really cold. I had enough. Found a wee hut to shelter from the wind in. I text someone whom I was staying with to come and get me. That was a learning experience.

    Other typical Taupo sessions included starting at 1:30 AM Saturday cycling one lap of Lake Taupo, then biking to Turangi and back (264km). Sunday at 1:30 AM cycle one lap of Lake Taupo.

    On a couple of those weekends, I drove up by myself, however, I found I needed to take sleep breaks on the way home. I was shattered. The side effects of long riding were numb hands and arms and it was worse when my arms were in the “driving position” for the long drive home. More learning is to be done.

    Cycle Training
    2013 Graperide

    Coach Ray agreed to be part of my crew and put together a ride plan. I organised bins of clothing, nutrition, and lots of lists. Another year later I realised I didn’t need quite that much detail and organising. It was after all just a multi-lap ride.

    Riding in the November Lake Taupo Cycle Classic Maxi Enduro (640km) is another story on its own. Remember this event was a step towards the Mammoth Graperide in April. To summarise: it was epic. Exciting to be there. I’d done a lot of reading of previous entrants and other enduro riders’ blogs beforehand, so I had a bit of an idea of what to expect. It was certainly a step away from all the other events I’d done. Once again my personalised Qwik Kiwi training programme got me across the line. Doing endurance events above the “norm” became alienating. Few people talked to me about the event. They didn’t know what to say. I don’t believe they could get their heads around the distance and enormity of it.


    Cycle Coaching NZ
    2013 Manfield 6hr

    Taranaki Bone Collector [cycle] 152km

  • Wellington Vets 2 day cycle tour – Martinborough
  • Wellington Scorcher triathlon standard distance – PB by over 30mins
  • Wellington to Auckland 7 day Cycle Classic
  • Easter Tour – 5 stages over 3 days – cycle
  • Great Forest run 10km
  • Manfield 6 hour cycle challenge
  • The Longest Night (shortest day) 257km cycle starting at 4.30pm in Masterton through the night to Hastings via back roads
  • Wellington Scorcher duathlon – long distance
  • Wairarapa Cycle Challenge 80km
  • Tour de Manawatu [cycle] 2 laps 224km
  • Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge Maxi 640km (4laps)
  • Roll on 2014 (Year 9) with more “out of the norm” endurance events. Many of the smaller events I enjoyed were side-lined. It was not possible to train to perform well in both a 40km and 1,010km ride in one season. I really missed the social aspects provided by these small events.

    Coach Ray probably cringed when it came time to look at what I was keen to do for the season ahead. This included something totally new for me; a women-only adventure event.

    My personalised Qwik Kiwi training continued to get me to the start line. Any issues I experienced along the way were generally related to lack of stretching and lack of sleep compromising recovery. Each year I learn more about the role different muscles play and how and why they needed to be stretched.   Optimal sleep and recovery continue to be a work in progress.

    Swim and run training were still part of my weekly sessions. I noticed my run pace drop immensely. To avoid feeling down about this I reminded myself of the Mammoth “big picture”.

    I did the Wellington Vets 2-day cycle tour again, however, the long endurance training took its toll on my speed. A quote from my post-event notes on Training Peaks: I managed to stay with the front 5 until the last 10km when the thread snapped. I felt like I burnt enough matches to destroy a haybarn.

    Cycle mileage ramped up at the weekends. I was lucky to have the Kitchen Sink scheduled for both Saturday and Sunday. Kitchen Sink you ask. It’s just over 5 hours of cycle intervals. It keeps the mind active and alert and challenges the legs, lungs, and heart rate.

    April = Mammoth time. 10 laps of the 101km Graperide course. That had highs and lows. 4 laps and I was over it. Riding through a night of dense fog can do that to you. In fact, the fog didn’t lift until mid-morning. Grey. Gloomy. No two-way radio contact with the support crew. The MP3 player died. Time for the negative demons to play havoc with my thoughts. The demons almost won. Sleep in the sun in the back of a van, some carbohydrates, and a lot of cajoling from Coach Ray and I was out doing my 5th lap.   The 6th, 7th, and 8th laps are done and dusted. Lap 9 and the barrier posts start to look like bicycle pumps lined up. Double vision starts to kick in. According to Coach Ray, I kept failing to keep hard left. I make it safely off the hills into Havelock. Hey, the bathroom floor has swirling water all over it. Hallucinations set in. I’m aware what I’m seeing is not real, but I’m still seeing it. A longer sleep ensued. I woke refreshed and ready to go. Lap 9 finished. At this point, a call was made for me to have an overnight sleep at my accommodation. Taking this long to do the event wasn’t expected. Due to other commitments, my crew wasn’t available until the following afternoon, so around 19 hours later I smashed out Lap 10, my fastest lap.   I do regret that I just didn’t get out and do that last lap in the morning without the crew. For me, I feel the Mammoth was 9 laps + 1. I don’t plan on doing it again.

    However, I entered the November Taupo Cycle Classic Maxi Enduro again. So after a short recovery period and I was back into long kilometres. Some of these rides were intervals; Kitchen Sink 5+ hours and Success Builder 3.5+ hours. As usual, time trials were scheduled regularly in order to check training power zones.

    The big discovery of 2014 was Kiwi Randonneurs whose Facebook page I stumbled across. The Winter Solstice was my first event with them. A 200km cycle through the night celebrating the shortest day. It was exciting to meet a group of people who saw 200+ km rides as something normal. At the post-ride recovery breakfast, I was fascinated to hear a little about their adventures. Doing their events was a great way of getting long training rides done. I did enjoy their 300km jaunt from Upper Hutt back to Upper Hutt via the Wairarapa and Manawatu.

    The Spring Challenge Women’s Team Adventure Race was another step into the unknown for not only me but my two (much younger) teammates. They were awesome. The rafting didn’t scare the pants off us as much as we had expected. We were lucky as adverse weather conditions would have created a different scenario. Heavy rain the previous evening resulted in us riding and running/sliding through lots of mud right to the finish line. All three of us are looking to do another adventure race in the future.

    I took a slightly different approach to my second Taupo Cycle Classic Maxi Enduro. I gathered more crew so they could take rest breaks more easily. Regrettably, Coach Ray was unable to be part of the crew this time. I rewrote the crew notes. Took less “gear” and reduced pages of my lists down to one. Riding with Kiwi Randonneurs had given me confidence and realisation that I didn’t need much stuff. After all, it was just four laps of 160km. “Just”.   This is what riding long does to your perspective. A lot of endurance things utilise the words “it’s just…..”.   200km starts to be described as a short distance. To Randonneurs it is exactly that. It’s all relative.

    Training had prepared me well for this event and I had time goals for each lap with finishing faster than the year before my main goal. Endurance events have a way of reminding you that you “cannot control the uncontrollable”. Yes, this event is a whole other story on its own. The first three laps went well and I was feeling really positive. I notice on the “check-in” sheet quite a few riders had pulled out. A short way into my final lap, I had a complete mood reversal. I still don’t know exactly why/what happened. My crew found me a blubbering mess on the side of the road. An event report can be found here. I did finish, but way outside my goal time and that of the year before. Unlike the Mammoth, I feel content with my result.


    Enduro Coaching NZ
    2014 Graperide Mammoth into Picton

    Wellington Vets 2-day cycle tour – Martinborough

  • Mammoth Graperide 1010km (10 laps)
  • Tough Guy Tough Gal, Linton 12km
  • Kiwi Randonneurs Winter Solstice 200km night ride
  • Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge Maxi Enduro 640km
  • Kiwi Randonneurs Apiti Hills 200km DNF
  • Wellington Scorching duathlon standard distance
  • Kiwi Randonneurs 300km Upper Hutt-Masterton-Palmerston North-Upper Hutt
  • Spring Challenge Women’s Team Adventure Race – 3 hours – Hokitika
  • Tour of Martinborough [cycle] 113km
  • Tour of Wairarapa [cycle] 112km
  • Rotorua Half Ironman – team [swim and bike only]
  • Wellington Scorcher Triple Challenge
  • 2015 (Year 10) saw a return to shorter distances with a view to socialising and regaining speed in both running and cycling. However, at the end of this season, I proposed to do Challenge Wanaka – redemption time!   Consequently, long-distance training was still scheduled. With the big endurance rides still relatively fresh in my mind, the scheduled long rides felt quite normal. Perspective.

    Cycling events took precedence and I ticked off new ones for myself: Tour de Beautiful, the Bush Cycle Tour, and Le Race (Christchurch to Akaroa). I returned to Christchurch shortly after Le Race and tackled the National Duathlon Champs. Travelling by air with my bike was another new experience. I now know I can confidently do that again.

    During the Manawatu Tri Club winter duathlon series, my training came to an unexpected grinding halt. I was experiencing left leg troubles mainly with pain at the top of my hamstring and a weak feeling leg. Life was super busy and Supergran wasn’t managing it very well. I took unplanned time out to get my leg and life sorted. When life gets busy, the first thing to topple off my training schedule is stretching. Older athletes need to stretch or they seize up. The message is starting to be ingrained. With a few lifestyle changes, a properly stretched body, my head and heart back in the right place, and with a progressively positive attitude it was time to find the “old Di”.   I was good to go after around six weeks of no training.

    Half Marathon Coaching NZ
    2015 Molesworth relay

    After putting it off due to clashing with the Taupo Cycle Classic enduro events, I finally got to run in the Molesworth Relay in November. For Team Scrambled Legs and Achin’, it was a new experience in the amazing territory. Yes, I’m keen to do it again now I’ve seen the course and sussed it out.


    • Tour de Beautiful [cycle] 100km
    • Wellington Scorcher duathlon standard distance
    • NZ Masters Games, Whanganui – age group [55-59] Duathlon 2nd, Road Cycling Time Trial 2nd, Road Cycle Race unplaced
    • Hawkes Bay Tri Club – standard distance triathlon
    • Wellington Scorcher triathlon standard distance
    • Bush Cycle Tour 117km
    • Le Race 100km
    • Graperide 100km
    • National Duathlon Championships Christchurch standard distance
    • Wellington Scorcher Teams Challenge
    • Manawatu Tri Club winter duathlon series
    • Mount Lowry Challenge, Wellington [run 12km]
    • K2 cycle DNF
    • Molesworth Relay [21km]

    My fitness going into 2016 (Year 11) was building nicely and I felt great. I certainly wasn’t expecting to be faced with another mini-challenge early in January which halted training for 2.5 weeks. I was running fast one minute, and the next I’m sliding down a suburban footpath. I wasn’t too worried about the blood that trickled down into my sports socks. On a closer look at my knee, I saw there was a “messy hole” (down to the fascia). The home first aid kit wouldn’t be enough to fix this up. Ten hours after I started my run with five external and three internal stitches I returned home. I knew in my heart I would still make the start line of Challenge Wanaka. I had a good base, felt a strong belief in myself, and trusted Coach Ray. There is no way he would let me onto a start line knowing I would not finish.

    Read more of Di’s Wanaka experience here.

    Ironman Training NZ
    2016 Feb Challenge Wanaka

    Challenge Wanaka 2016 was meant to be redemption. Although my fitness level didn’t quite rebuild to the level it was before I ripped my knee, I still felt in better shape on the start line than I did in January 2012. I ran a lot faster in similar weather conditions.   I also finished in better shape. Good enough to do the medium Scorching tri the following weekend.


    • Challenge Wanaka iron distance
    • Wellington Scorcher tri medium distance

    Always planning ahead, I have a line-up of events I am going to do in the next twelve months.   This keeps me motivated to train with a start line to focus on every few weeks and an opportunity to mingle with like-minded people again.

    Qwik Kiwi Endurance Sports Consultants will get me to many more start lines yet. I want to keep on learning by doing, as well as helping others if needed. I am quite passionate about the sports I do, especially triathlon. Seeing and reading about others experiencing triathlon for the first time is such a buzz.

    Training sessions

    I aim to do 100%. Occasionally I need to sort out other things to help me keep on track. That is life. Quote from a missed training session leading to the Mammoth:

    Four-hour cycle ride not done. Woke up with a headache feeling a bit overwhelmed with the things I need to do before the end of the month. So I made a quick list & start working through them with the idea of ticking them all off today. 4 weeks of housecleaning to start with. Working full-time leaves weekends to catch up, but weekends have been fairly busy with other things. Once done, the things I see that need doing won’t be meddling with my mind every time I see them. Like cleaning the stove, washing the kitchen floor, giving the bathrooms a thorough clean, ironing …. all done. Clear mind. Now can focus on my goal again.

    Who am I really?

    • A 60-year-old mother (to three children aged 31 – 36 years), grandmother to 6 (aged 2 – 16 years), daughter, sister, sister-in-law
    • That person who “always seems to be at events” and is “always training”
    • That person still has a whole lot of other aspects to her life. The one who enjoys socialising, family get-togethers, playing cards and games, watching movies, listening to the latest tunes, gardening, photography

    Big thanks to

    • my husband who (mostly) endures all my crazy event ideas
    • other family members who kind of understand my hobby
    • my tri/enduro friends who get it
    • my close non-tri friends (whom I endeavor to avoid talking about this hobby with)
    • the Race Directors who provide us with awesome opportunities with awesome experiences
    • Scorching Events as it was an advert on their website back in the day which lead to:

    Ray Boardman and Qwik Kiwi Endurance Sports Consultants

    It is with Ray’s continued support and his training programmes personalised towards my main goal(s) each year, that I have achieved what I have. In 2006 I could not have envisioned my sporting future to be what it’s been. I love doing things that make me feel good. Training is one of these things. Being on a start line even more so.

    la fleure floriste

    – Di Chesmar

    If like Di you have got a big goal you need assistance to complete, apply to join Team Qwik Kiwi.

    Click here for more information:

    One Reply to “Di Chesmar – 10 Years With Team Qwik Kiwi”

    1. And I thought I was a little bit crazy but Di you’re in a league of your own. Loved reading your story and in awe of your achievements. Will be an honour to run with the wall with you in 8 weeks (if I can keep up)

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