A triathlon veteran at 12
Young athlete has been at it for a decadeFAYE LOUGHER
Adam Martin has been cycling and taking part in triathlons for 10 years. When you find out he's just 12, that seems hard to believe but his father, Andy, confirms he started at the age of 2.
"They adapted the distances from the Olympics so the older kids do about 10 per cent and for the little kids it's about 1 per cent. For the kids' triathlon they do a 400-metre cycle ride, a 100m run and a 10m swim in a little pool. For Adam's age they do a 1.5-kilometre run, a 3km bike ride and a 100m swim," says Mr Martin.
Adam says he loves all sports and that is one of the reasons he particularly enjoys triathlons.
"I do lots of other sports but cycling and triathlons are my main sports. Then hockey and soccer, but also volleyball, orienteering and mountainbiking. I like triathlons because I get to do three different events and not just one, and you have to be good at all of them. I enjoy being able to make new friends and meet new people, too."
Mr Martin enters triathlons himself and also organises triathlons for children. His three sons participate and while his wife doesn't take part herself, she is a big supporter.
Adam's aim is to be a professional triathlete, like Kris Gemmell.
"I always wanted to be competitive. I admire Kris, he has been to two Olympic Games and he's also from Palmerston North."
"Our philosophy is to give the boys as many opportunities as we can," Mr Martin says.
"It's them who have driven it, not us. We encourage them to do and be the best they can be in whatever they want to do, whether it's academic or sporting," he says.
Adam won three of the four under-13 rounds and came third in the other round of the National Triathlon Coastal and Summer Series 2012/2013, and was awarded the ‘Future Star' Trophy for winning the series. He finished fifth in the year 8 National Schools Triathlon in Christchurch in March and 14th in the year 8 National Open Water Swim Championships a day later. In the same month he won the year 8 division of the Manawatu Intermediate Triathlon and teamed up with fellow student Sam Phillips to win a bronze medal at the National Triathlon Team Event.
The Palmerston North Intermediate Normal School pupil says he enjoys cycling, having to work hard physically and mentally.
"It's not just strength, it's also the thinking about when you are going to start your sprint or getting a breakaway. I mostly have my tactics worked out before I go to race. I do road cycling and sometimes mountainbiking and I train about twice a week. Mostly I do hill sessions, about one to one-and-a-half hours, up by Summerhill and around that area."
Adam swims three times a week at West End Aquatics, practising his different stokes, and he runs a couple of times a week, too.
"I love hockey and football and I might run on the track once a week. Mostly I run after a bike ride so I will get on the bike and then go for a run. For my rides I go up Pork Chop Hill, then I do a 1.5km run with a bit of sprint work."
Adam is a member of the school's first XI hockey team and the Manawatu rep team, and plays football for Ruahine.
"I'm the goalie. I used to be in the rep team last year but had to pull out because I had so much hockey."
Mr Martin played a number of sports before becoming involved with triathlons. He coaches Adam's football team and says he has been around sport all his life.
At the New Zealand National Schools Road Cycling Championships this year, Adam came fourth in the under-13 boys' road race and and fourth in the points race. He was also a member of the team that came second in the team time trial.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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