Emma Fissenden is no stranger to multi-sports and has completed a number of events from the Spring Challenge to half marathons.
But it was at the Club of Marlborough AvantiPlus women's duathlon in Blenheim recently that she bagged her best result, leading the field of 85 throughout to come home in first place, an impressive two minutes ahead of her closest rival.
The race was held in Blenheim on November 23, at the unusual and not really ideal time of 5.30pm.
Primary school office manager Emma had already done a full day's work before driving to Blenheim, but that did little to affect her performance. Despite a blustery north-west wind making the going tough, and hot, Emma made it round the course in just under 1hr 2min.
"It was my first real big win as an individual so I was quite chuffed, really quite proud of myself," she says.
The course comprised a 1km run, a 5.5km bike, another run for 5km, a 5.5km bike and a 300m sprint to the finish.
Emma says she was well prepared through her normal weekly runs and cycles, plus on the Wednesday before the event she did her own practice duathlon to make sure her changeovers were OK.
"Getting on and off the bike is the hard one.
"You don't want to lose time on that."
She had also been in training for a triathlon which was due to be held the weekend before in Blenheim.
However was cancelled due to a lack of entries.
Emma is one half of the organising duo of the Kaikoura duathlon, which was held for the first time earlier this year.
"I wanted to do this one [in Blenheim] because AvantiPlus sponsored our duathlon.
"They contacted me to see if I would spread the word around clubs down here, and I wanted to show my support for them."
The Kaikoura Duathlon will be held again next year, on April 7, and again Emma and co-organiser Judith Ford will be behind the scenes.
"We are looking at ways of diversifying it next year, with different categories to suit a wider range of participants."
Emma and Judith are also the organisers of the increasingly popular summer series run, which is taking place on Tuesday evenings.
There are just two more weeks to go before the series winds up for Christmas.
It will start up again eight weeks before the Kaikoura Duathlon to give people time for a good training programme.
"We will be using the same course for the run to help with training for the duathlon - and to give people a home advantage"
And if all that organising won't be keeping Emma busy enough for the foreseeable future, she is also planning on training for a number of other events, including the 12km Weedons Stampede in February, the Hanmer Springs Triathlon in March and the Mayoral Challenge bike ride, also in March.
The next big challenge will be to complete her first full marathon.
Inspired by Judith, who recently completed the Auckland marathon, Emma hopes to perhaps manage to notch that up next year sometime.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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