Thursday, January 6, 2011

Coming soon to a pool near you

NZ is still on holiday mode; even though there's a lot of major roadworks on bridges, downtown avenues and accessways traffic is great; the radio deejays are only doing half of their shows and everything is still on sale. Many of us are coming back to work, and a more serious version of training. The exception to this mood is the selected few who compete in this weekend's Tauranga Half, New Zealand biggest race on that distance and home of the Long Distance national champs.

The race is held in the beach town of Mt Maunganui, next door to Tauranga, a beautiful surf beach that starts in the mount and goes on an on for a couple of hundred km's to form the Bay of Plenty. 2km swim in a harbour, 90km flat as a pancake ride and a hot 21km with some undulation. I've done parts of the race, but never the whole thing by myself. This year is no exception, I'm just going to do the bike for a team and then cheer a bunch of my mates, but I'll talk about that in the next post.

It's a fast and hard fought race, many times the difference between the top 5 is nothing. This year sees the retur of Cam Brown, NZ's biggest long distance athlete together with the local top guys who include the defending champion of only 19 years old. In the womans field there will be another interesting race with Rebeccah Keat, Caroline Steffen and Jo Lawn among the top contenders. Joanna Lawn has won IMNZ 7 times... and has been a consistent top 10 performer at Kona.

But, as I was saying... we are on holiday mood and I felt like going for a swim this morning. I couldn't wake up on time to go before work, o I went for a midday-ish session and as I jump into the pool I saw Jo and her husband Armando (another top athlete) doing laps. I can't say they were easy laps... if they are gonna bike and run like they were swimming today I know where I'm putting my money. We chatted for a bit and I wished them well before starting my own secret swim set.
incidents like this are not uncommon, many times in the swim, bike or run training sessions we come around our top athletes going about their job before they move to more gentle weathers after Easter. Most of the time they're nice and even ask us about our races and so on. I love that low key attitude. I don't know if this is particular of NZ, or Auckland or you people on the other side have it as well.


  1. sounds ideal

    actually that lap pool setting outdoors looks even more incredible

    suddenly IMNZ just made my bucket list :)


  2. Sounds like you are in a great training space right now! Enjoying the 'holidays' and no doubt getting ready for an awesome season! Cheers!