UltraHumps: The Coach – Qwik Kiwi’s Ray Boardman
Hi Blog Followers and welcome to another week
This week is in closing of training and heading to the events of game on!
Well this is it. As you read this blog we are at the start line of 3+2+1=Charity. Where the 3 equals 3 Half Ironman events over 3 consecutive weekends, being the Iron Maori Half Ironman this Saturday (3 Dec 2016), followed by the Taupo 70.3 (Half) Ironman next Saturday on 10 Dec 2016, and a week later the Rotorua Half Ironman on Saturday 17 Dec 2016. Then there is a break in traffic (well a break in events to focus on continuous training with Coach Ray). I hit the 2 Ironman distance events over a two week period with Challenge Wanaka on 18 Feb 2017 and Ironman New Zealand on 4 Mar 2017. Then there is another break in traffic (well another break in events to focus on more continuous training with Coach Ray) for the 1 being Ultraman Australia during the period 13-15 May 17. Thus the 3+2+1=Charity!
As such, without his knowledge I have dedicated this weeks blog to Qwik Kiwi’s Coach Ray (I can see him rolling his eyes back reading this with a quiet smile). I made no secret in previous blogs as to why I chose Coach Ray to be my coach after I self-trained my first few Ironman events. The bottom line was his commitment and desire to help his clients achieve the finish line at any event, regardless of how great or small. I already knew Coach Ray through the Army where he was a Physical Training Instructor (PTI). What impressed me was when I struggled with the Ironman in 2014 he was on the course in a coaching role supporting his clients. He saw me and stayed with me along with a fellow PTI Kelly Carter and her partner Tim to make sure I got there. Coach Ray didn’t have to do this as his clients were his focus, however they had finished for the day and he stayed with me. I knew then that I needed a coach and who I wanted.
The results have seen Coach Ray take a couple of hours off my Ironman time, an hour of my Half Ironman time, and he has travelled with me to Australia to get me to the finish line of an Ultraman. Without Ray and the team of Derrick McMillan, Scott Cordwell and young safety paddler Lily, it may have been a different result at Ultraman. Coach Ray is always committed to his athletes and sees and feels their highs and lows. He has certainly stuck by me during my lows of cursing an injury and my highs of personal achievements. When I don’t get the training right he is supportive to lift my spirits and help me refocus. A senior PTI and colleague of Ray’s caught up with me in Trentham Camp this week and said I should write a book. He said it’s amazing where you have come from as a non-swimmer, not having ridden a bike in years, let alone not know where the gears were, or what the hell were clip-in shoes to doing Ironman and Ultraman events. I told him I might have the desire and commitment, but it is Ray Boardman who got me there.
So as I start the 3+2+1=Charity this weekend, this blog is for you Ray. With a couple of photos of you in action with me as my Coach / Support Crew Team Leader at Ultraman Australia and the finishers medal around my neck, which I wear for you.
Photo’s courtesy of Barry Alsop of Eyes Wide Open Images, Official Photographer for Ultraman Australia 2016.
Take care team and I’ll keep you posted how the journey with the 3+2+1=Charity progresses, with a couple of injury niggles to keep it interesting (they keep Coach Ray busy)!
Regards UltraHumps (aka Humps, John Humphries).