Why I decided to get into Triathlons I still don’t know. Why I then got into doing long distance races I really REALLY don’t know.
I moved to Australia 3 years ago having never run more than about 5K in my life. I had cycled a bit for charity events in the past but had never enjoyed it. The only thing I do well, and enjoy, is swimming. I’m not build like a long-distance athlete, weighing in at nearly 100Kg (mostly bones I think). However, with that as the backdrop I have now completed a full Ironman (WA) and recently the Taupo 70.3.
Although I have not grown up doing them I maintain that long distance triathlon is an amazing events that everyone should attempt. Taupo did not disappoint. It is simply stunning.
I like swimming. The swim in lake Taupo was a real highlight for me. The lake is cold (you need a wetsuit!) but general very calm. The water is fresh (It makes a difference when you end up drinking a large mount when tired). The view every time you lift your head is of calm lake and snow capped mountains.
As mentioned I am not a fan of riding. I also am heavy and therefore don’t like hills. I was pleasantly surprised by this ride. The first and last 10K are a bit hilly but the rest is amazingly flat. It is a good course for quick cyclists or those new to the sport. Unfortunately, I have no photos of the ride, it is a straight out and back course which goes 45K out of town, needless to say NZ is a beautiful country and you get to see that while struggling along.
The run course would best be described as ‘a bit of a pain’. There are no real hills but there are many ‘bumps’ which makes it incredibly painful (at least for me). The run again is mostly on a path beside the lake with those amazing views to help you get by. The only bad thing, in my opinion is that it is a two lap course (I hate getting to the finish line on the first lap and having to run away from it again!).
The After Party
One of the best things about completing one of these events is that you run on a HIGH for days after. We rode that high and took advantage of being in a country where there are so many amazing activities to do and things to see.
Still sore for the Ironman on the Saturday we forced ourselves up and out of bed (the soreness may have been added to by a few beers the night before). First stop, Taupo Bungee. The best thing about this was the that you got dunked in the water at the bottom of the jump. The fear missed with the freezing water really tests the heart.
Walk to Huka Falls
Riding the energy from the jump we marched off for some recovery walk and hot spring action. The weather was as mercurial as ever but that didn’t dampen our spirits. The 2 hour walk to the falls is worth the effort. On the way back a dip in hot thermal stream really soothes the aching muscles.
Final day – White Water Rafting
On the last day before heading back up to Auckland and flying home we stopped off at White Water Rafting NZ. 2 hours’ white water down the river, nothing bigger than a level 3 rapid, was the perfect way to round off an action paced weekend.
Its amazing what you can fit into a weekend when you just commit to getting out there and doing it. On any normal weekend, any one of the activates that we completed would be amazing for me. I blame the adrenaline high. I am also now going to sleep this week.