Go with the flow in harbour swim

PETER GIBBS
Last updated 13:00 25/01/2013

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The Fitness Zone

Stu's run open to all comers Trust helps keep talent on target Trust helps athletes to live dream It's autumn, but stay off the sofa Stay active: Move it or lose it Haulashore race last of sea swims Healthy fun in sea swim series Summer's gone, now for the autumn events Benefits on all levels for keen swimmers Athletes primed for ironman challenge

We're in the middle of summer, and events have started to dominate. For me, that means regular races to compete in and events to organise in a steady flow.

It's hard work training over the long months of winter and spring, but the paybacks are vast. There's the long-term benefit of health and fitness, but the big one is the pleasure and exhilaration of racing.

Three weeks ago, I went to Tauranga for the national championship over the half-ironman distance. It's hard to attach the term ‘'enjoyment" to such events, but completing them is very satisfying.

A week later, it was a sprint race in the national series, held at the village of Pegasus, north of Christchurch. That was pure excitement, racing flat out over a short course, and it was one of those rare races where everything clicks and it all seems worthwhile.

Since then, it's been back on the organising front. Tomorrow, it's race 2 in the Nelson Triathlon Club's summer sprint series.

That'll be fun, especially if Rabbit Island turns on one of those calm mornings, where the water is clear and flat. For those who want to give triathlon a try, there's a short event over distances of 250m swim, 10km bike and 2.5km run. Details at nelsontriclub.co.nz.

On Sunday, I get to enjoy an event I haven't had to organise - a great pleasure. Even better, it's not a race, just a chance to enjoy a new experience.

Michele Surcouf, of the Sports Nelson Tasman Trust, is an adventurous woman, always looking for a new challenge. After frequent swims around Haulashore Island, she realised how much fun it could be to ride the tide.

Michele came up with the idea of diving into the water at the northern end of Nelson Haven at the top of the tide and letting it sweep her all the way to the Cut - about 5km.

She tried it a few weeks ago and had a great time, so she's hired a yacht, roped in some support boats and organised a fundraising event for the trust.

For a donation, swimmers will get a ride up the harbour on the catamaran Jamarh. Once the tide has turned, we'll all jump in and swim back to the beach just north of the Cut, before reboarding the yacht and having a leisurely lunch. What better way can you think of to spend a Sunday morning?

There are still a couple of spots left on the Jamarh. If you think you'd like to be part of this adventure, email Michele at info@sports nelsontasmantrust.co.nz.

The trust is accepting applications for funding in the next of its six-monthly rounds. Applications close on March 1 for the round to be announced on April 1. More details at sportsnelsontasmantrust.co.nz.

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Another event that's on the boil is the Nelson Mail Team Triathlon on March 2. I've been following Team Evolve, winners of the training package to help them prepare for the race.

They're having a holiday break in Totaranui, where they promise they'll be training their hearts out, so not much to report on their progress this week.

In the meantime, I've been working on the event's prize pool, which is looking good. All entrants will receive a race pack, and it's worth knowing in advance that this will include a free ticket to Taste Nelson, to be held later in the day, so you can plan a bit of physical exertion, followed by a good time eating and drinking the best that Nelson has to offer.

There'll be the prizes of recent years - advertising packages from the Nelson Mail, shoes and equipment from Shoe Clinic, bike gear from Stewarts Cycles.

Each race pack will also contain a bag of Proper Crisps. Company owners Ned and Mina Smith are the best sort of sponsors. Both active triathletes who won selection for last year's world triathlon championships in Auckland, they're dedicated backers of the sport.

Lately, they've been giving a helping hand to Harrison Dean, a young Nelson competitor who is New Zealand's aquathlon (swim/run) champion and who won the silver medal at the world championships in the under-23 elite division.

When Harrison needed some new race gear, Proper Crisps was quick to pick up a large part of the tab. Three sets of Harrison's race gear will be a team prize in the Team Tri on March 2.

Harrison will be looking to defend his national aquathlon title on March 30. You can find out more about that race at aquathlon.co.nz.

You can find out more about the team triathlon and lodge your entry at teamtri.co.nz.

- The Nelson Mail

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