Push the limits

JULIAN RAETHEL
Last updated 05:00 04/02/2014
Sam Manson
NO LIMITS: Sam Manson is ready to tackle the Speights Coast to Coast.

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There will be no more coffee, ice cream or chocolate for Sam Manson.

Not until he's completed the 243 kilometre Speights Coast to Coast journey on February 14 and 15.

The Hobsonville resident entered for the first time last year and impressed with a ninth-placed finish.

But here's a guy who really knows how to push the limits.

The aircraft technician also won the 25km Waiheke Wharf2Wharf road race on January 18 - but he decided to do it the hard way.

Mr Manson, 22, kayaked 15km out to Waiheke Island from St Heliers but missed the ferry to the start line on the other side of the island.

"I just totally got my timing wrong," he says.

"So I knew I wouldn't have a chance to warm up."

He hid his kayak in a bush and hitched two car rides to the start with only two nervous minutes to spare.

But there was no need for panic.

He won the 25km race in 1:36:48, picked up his medal and paddled back to St Heliers.

"Running's my strength but you don't know who's going to show up on the day.

"I'm glad I stuck around for the prizegiving but was pretty tired on the paddle back."

Mr Manson grew up in Wairoa, Hawke's Bay and moved to Hobsonville two years ago to work at the Whenuapai Airbase.

Now he calls West Auckland his playground.

"It took me a while to get used to things in Auckland, particularly coming from a lifestyle block with a few sheep.

"But I love it here, it's the perfect training ground for me with the Waitakere Ranges and beaches."

No training day is the same for Mr Manson but it wouldn't be out of the ordinary for him to bike ride 20km out to Riverhead, complete 90 minutes of hill interval running, bike back to Hobsonville and hit the Hauraki Gulf on his kayak - all before work of course.

"The weekends are better, that way I can get eight hours in," he says.

The Speights Coast to Coast runs 243km from Kumara Beach on the west coast of the South Island, through the Southern Alps and finishes at Sumner Beach in Christchurch. Competitors run, cycle and kayak over two days.

See coasttocoast.co.nz.

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- Western Leader

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