Kiaora blog followers and welcome to my weekly blog under Coach Ray’s Website of www.CoachRay.nz Well my time overseas of six months which turned into seven months has come to an end, I have now escaped the heat which was routinely in the 40’s Celsius and frequently in the 50’s, and now at home in front of a fire with a jacket on in the Spring month of October, where the outside temperature is at a high today of 9 Celsius. Everyone is giving me strange looks for looking like I’m dressed like an Eskimo, yet it is spring. So what unimaginable events did I achieve over the time away, fitting in around a busy work schedule, when the heat of the sun was not only the battle but would prove to be the boss…
So once I arrived in location, I quickly familiarized myself with what gym equipment was available and other resources I could get my hands on, like bikes, running routes, swimming options (yup none), etc, then found out if there were any Events on-line for in the region or Challenges in the Gym.
Host Nation Cycle Event – The first event I entered was the 115 Km Cycle, which I received my first ever DQ which means “disqualified”. A protest I lodged went unanswered, when I advised the course was changed by the Race Officials during the race, due to a camel race in the area, and I was following the direction of the Race Officials, so how can you disqualify me. If I went against their direction I would get it…argh! I’ve never had a DNF (Did Not Finish), let alone a DQ. Oh well, they still had given me the Finishers T-Shirt and Medal, so left happy but curious.
Base Gymnasium Challenges – Next was a couple of challenges in the Gym which the Physical Training Instructor (PTI) was running over ones six month deployment (Coach Ray was a PTI in his military career). There were a couple of free T-Shirts up for grabs so that was me. The first one was the 7 Peaks Challenge of climbing 194,914 ft on a Jacobs Ladder to represent the 7 Highest Mountain Peaks in the Desert, so I rounded it up to 200,000 ft, I mean why wouldn’t you! The other challenge with the Gym PTI was to run 1,000Km’s over the six month deployment. Most people do one or the other, I did both to get both free T-Shirts, crazy eh!
United Kingdom – Another challenge was a six hour Exercycle Ride to raise funds for the United Kingdom Royal Air Force (UK RAF) Association Fund. My boss and I were to do three hours each. Unfortunately he got sick, but give him his dues (or stubbornness) he managed two hours leaving me to cover four hours (I continued on and did six hours, whose the stubborn one now eh!). I was awarded a RAF Cycling Top and T-Shirt, along with a Finishers Medal, much to the pleasure of my Kiwi Air Force boss on deployment over there, who loves to give this Army guy some stick to wear it.
Australian – The Aussies held a One Hour Relay, where you went hell for leather on a 400 metre track, tagging the next runner, giving yourself multiple sprints for the hour. This was great fun and had a Competitors T-Shirt, I was in! The Aussies also later in my deployment held a one-hour Tour de Cycle (Spin-Cycle) where you had to enter with a team of 10 cyclists of which 5 had to cycle at one time, but all had to compete, so rotate through your cyclists how your team wished. We weren’t aware of the rule and turned up with 6 cyclists, so to help out we grabbed a couple of Americans who turned up.
USA – Just prior to coming home, the Americans had a Shadow 10-Miler Run (16 Kilometres). It was Shadow in the sense that a number of countries where the Americans had Forces based, were also running a 10-Miler Run Event. This was great fun, and a free T-Shirt was on offer. Game on early in the morning to beat the sun!
New Zealand – This was the event I was proud of, our small Kiwi Contingent ran a Triathlon to raise funds for Elijah (Wonderboy) North, a child with at least 14 medical issues born to NZ Army parents. Our Triathlon was a 5 Km Row, 15 Km Cycle and a 5 Km Run. All were conducted indoors because the heat was in the late 40’s early in the morning. We raised NZD $5K plus, and some UK friends of us Kiwis were so moved they added by conducting a 24 hour barber shop, donating about another NZD $1500 for their haircuts. A total of NZD $6.5K plus was donated to the North family to help the little guy with his medical needs.
Just to make sure I am completely nuts (or stubborn), all of the above was conducted with a foot injury I picked up in the early stages of my deployment, which only came right at the end of the deployment…Over-Pronation in my Left Foot.
Stay tuned team as I continue my journey back into major events. Regards John Humphries (Aka Humps, Aka UltraHumps)!
UltraHumps will be writing weekly blogs as he continues his journey and raising funds for Charitable causes.
Read Humps article from last week here:
All his previous articles are stored here: