Rising to the cycle challenge

TESSA JOHNSTONE
Last updated 11:05 02/12/2013
Ollie Seumanufagai
KEVIN STENT/Fairfax NZ
MILESTONE: Tawa man Ollie Seumanufagi, who trained for six months to conquer the 160km Taupo Cycle Challenge.

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More than 3600 people hit the mat before him, but Ollie Seumanufagai is just happy he crossed the finish line at the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge.

The 46-year-old man had been training for the 160km race since April, after deciding that a fast food diet and gout so bad it would leave him bedridden just wouldn't do.

Mr Seumanufagai, from Tawa, lost 17 kilograms with a combination of healthy eating and exercise.

On Saturday he cycled around Lake Taupo with about 9000 other entrants, coming 3668th in his category with a ride time of just under 7.5 hours.

"I feel really happy, really happy to have reached his milestone. I set this goal about six months ago and I'm really happy to have managed it."

He was feeling a bit stiff yesterday but otherwise had an incident-free ride.

"Coming up to the last 20k there was a headwind and riding towards it got really challenging. It was personal drive, attitude and my family [that kept me going]."

He said he would be continuing with training and would be setting some new goals to work towards in the coming days, with talk of events in Samoa and Hawaii.

Mr Seumanufagai told The Dominion Post last week that Pacific Islanders were prone to a range of health problems such as gout, heart disease, stroke and obesity.

"If I can be an example for one person to make some changes, I'll be happy."

He was also working towards good health for his wife and seven children.

"I want to be around for a long time yet. If I have grandchildren, I want to be active with them, not on the sidelines. I want to be on the other side of the seesaw."

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- The Dominion Post

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