Super-fit Akeroyd ready to fire

JAMIE SEARLE
Last updated 05:00 29/03/2014
Brendan Akeroyd
BARRY HARCOURT/ Fairfax NZ
KEEP ON GOING: Brendan Akeroyd has a penchant for riding long distances.

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Mountain biker Brendan Akeroyd will be burning up calories today with participation in the Mt Linton Muster and afterwards when returning home to Invercargill on a road bike.

Akeroyd, who is a builder, took part in two cycling events on the same day last month. He won a 42km mountain bike event at Gore's Moonshine Trail and then jumped on a road bike for the Gore to Waikiwi Classic, finishing in the top 10.

Today he will start with the 40km event at the Muster, near Ohai, before the cycle home.

Cycling has improved Akeroyd's fitness. Ten years ago he played senior club rugby at 110kg, while in 2011 he was 100kg.

''Now I'm 77-78kg,'' Akeroyd said.   

''I've made some really good friends through cycling.''

Young mountain bikers competing today included college students Nikolai Whelan (Northern Southland) and Tomas Cresta (Southland Boys' High School).

Whelan finished 21st of 40 at the North Island secondary schools' mountain biking championships in Auckland last weekend.

Cresta, an Argentinian exchange student, recorded wins at the Whitehill Classic (Mossburn) and Moonshine Trail (Gore) recently.   

The Ohai-Nightcaps Lions Club will hold their seventh annual walk, run and biking day today. They ran the Mt Linton Muster for the first time last year and it followed their Gowan Hill Classic.

Entry fees from the past six years have totalled $32,000 and were given to medical services and community facilities in Ohai and Nightcaps. Money raised this year was earmarked for sport and recreation in the Takitimu District. 

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- The Southland Times

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