ULTRAHUMPS – Achieves Erin Baker Award

Hi Blog followers and welcome to another of my blogs in consultation with Coach Ray’s Website of www.CoachRay.nz where I discuss achieving the Erin Baker Award with the presentation being made at the recent Waikato Sports Awards.

A view to fall in love with.

The Erin Baker Award is made up of four sporting activities in the Taupo region. The first being a Taupo Half Marathon of which Taupo runs three in three consecutive months of July, August and September. I elected the August one which is primarily a road run through the beautiful streets of Lake Taupo alongside the Lake Front. 21.1 Km’s how good could that be.

Photo from the Wairakei Resort Taupo District Sports Awards 2019 held at the Wairakei Resort, Taupo, Waikato, New Zealand. Taken: Friday, 8 November 2019. Photography: Alick Saunders for KeyImagery Photography. Copyright: © Sport Waikato.

UltraHumps with his Erin Baker Award

The second activity is the infamous Around Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge, held at the end of November. This event of approximately a 160 Km Cycle has about 6,000 participants with 8,000 supporters turning up. Being the first time I had competed in it, I wasn’t sure how it would go, even though I have ran around the lake a few times in the past as part of a relay. On the day I woke with a slight headache which I thought would go away, as the event went on after we were started in various waves, to avoid a 6,000 bike pile up, it was clear my headache was just getting stronger. To top it off it poured down with rain 80% of the time. Every ambulance I came across I stopped and asked for Paracetamol. A mate Simon O’Neil was crewing one of the Ambulances whom I knew from the Army, he loved the opportunity to give me some ribbing (fair call). When I made it to the finish line, I normally socialize with other participants, this time I went straight back to the Army Leave Centre, hot shower and bed. Not a good day out, but it is an enjoyable event.

UltraHumps with fellow Erin Baker Award and Cameron Brown Award receivers at the Waikato Sports Awards.

The third event is the Taupo Triathlon held in Kinloch in the early part of February, being a 1.5 Km Swim, 40 Km Cycle and 10 Km Run (Olympic Distance Triathlon) of which they have the Erin Baker Category. This event went better than the Around Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge for me, although for the cycle leg there was a couple of decent hills I hadn’t taken into consideration lol.

UltraHumps Across The Lake Swim Finishers T-Shirt

The fourth and final event for the Erin Baker Award is the Lake Taupo Across The Lake Swim, held at the end of February. This is a 4.2 Km Swim where you start at Acacia Bay and swim across to 3 Mile Bay. The water had come up with a little bit of wind and a light drizzle / mist. I made the rookie mistake of using new equipment at the event which I hadn’t trained with, being new goggles. The damn things fogged up instantly, no problem I though, in the past I am use to fogged goggles self clearing after a few minutes. Not to be, I could hardly see where I was going and could only just make out a safety kayak another participant had thankfully bought their own and I clung to them which they were happy to oblige when they saw me constantly stopping and trying to sort the issue out. You have two hours for the swim, I only just made it with less than ten minutes to spare, but still a great event.

So Four Events, Four Challenges for the Erin Baker Award presented to UltraHumps at the Waikato Sports Awards. Where to from here? Search the Internet, run it by Coach Ray and my other half and let you know. Take care team, 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:


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