In the South
Mum and reporter JO McKENZIE-McLEAN is taking on one of the biggest challenges of her life training for the Northburn Station 50km mountain run in March next year. She reports on her progress.
I was warned . . . next time I'll listen.
It has been about two months since I first put on my running shoes and started training with Terry Davis for the Northburn Station 50km mountain run.
As the weeks progress, I am completing training sessions with a bit more ease. With this bit of new-found confidence, I took it upon myself to enter in the Winter Quest mountainbike race. After doing the 10km rustic run last month, I thought a 10km loop around a winery would be relatively easy.
When I told Terry of my plans about a week and a half out from the event, he warned me to do some mountainbike training because I might find it a bit hard. Well, time sort of got away on me, and though I had been out doing running and hill climbs with my little support crew (Debbie and Glen), mountainbike training got forgotten about.
When I turned up to Quest Farm for the event on Saturday there was a good-sized crowd, a couple of food tents, a DJ and to my delight a massage tent.
Out of a team of four, it was decided I would go first - which in hindsight was probably for the best because if I had heard how hard it was before I set off I would have probably hid in the massage tent with a warm cup of mulled wine.
The fast ones were told to get up the front, so I pushed my bike right to the back and watched on as competitors took off.
With a good frost on the ground, and plenty of ice for my wheels to skid on - I took off with gusto. Shortly into it, I started to seriously question my judgement. I don't know how to use gears properly, I'm not sure how brakes work (ie - if I should be using front or back) and it became obvious early on that I probably needed to know these things. It was slippery, it was rocky, it was steep, it was horrendous.
It felt like 100km not 10km and just when I thought I had hit a straight run home to the finish line, a marker would sent me around a corner up another hill.
While the uphills were gruelling, the downhills were absolutely terrifying. I screamed down several hills wobbling so badly it is a miracle I never came off my bike.
It took me 60 minutes to do the loop and I have never been so relieved to get off my bike. Without a moment's hesitation, I bolted to the Harmony Skin and Beauty tent for a free massage, going straight from hell to heaven.
- The Southland Times