Spot prize winner gives back bike

KAT DUGGAN
Last updated 06:55 24/12/2013
 Sue van Velzen
Emma Allen
Lynne Haines from Advanti Plus and Sue van Velzen.

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A Waikawa woman has developed such a passion for running that she has decided not to accept a prize of a new bike at the Marlborough Women's Triathlon.

Sue van Velzen won the Avanti Aria as a spot prize and said, after giving it a lot of thought, that it could be put to better use by someone who wanted to pursue cycling.

"There will be someone out there that's really deserving of it and will appreciate it and use it and go further with what they want to do," she said.

When she received her prize, Mrs van Velzen said she had been riding a "clunker" in the triathlon.

Mrs van Velzen told the Express that she knew she was crazy to give up such a big prize.

"I know one day I'm gonna end up on a bike when my body craps out, but not yet . . . I found running this year and I don't want to give that up," she said.

Having trained for about 18 months, with an initial focus on losing weight, next on her list was to complete the Buller Gorge Half-Marathon in February.

"It's been my goal for quite a long time, I'm slowly working into it - sometimes I feel a bit sick thinking about what I've done," said Mrs van Velzen, who has lost 35 kilograms since she started training.

"There are so many women out there that are put off going in big events, [the Women's Triathlon] is very encouraging, it's not too big a challenge but it's enough to get you off your backside," she said.

Event organiser Mark Grammer said the triathlon was unique in its lack of pretence around equipment.

"You can have a go on whatever you can get your hands on," he said. "Other competitors admire that rather than judge you for not riding the latest bit of kit. That said, a prize like this would make riding much nicer for most people."

It was uncommon for someone to give a prize back but it was a nice gesture, Mr Grammer said.

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- The Marlborough Express

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