South Waikato's Edwina Wooderson is a very special breed.
The 23-year-old Tokoroa rider decided to tackle the big annual Acerbis Four-Hour Endurance Race near Taupo at the weekend on her own, entered in the ironman section - or should that be ironwoman section - of the gruelling off-road motorcycle marathon.
She lined up her slightly modified Yamaha YZ85 - bored out to 105cc - alongside more than 200 of the country's elite off-road racing specialists, nearly all of them on 125cc, 250cc, 300cc and 450cc bikes, much bigger and faster bikes than hers.
And she defied the odds, finishing 157th overall and winning the ironman women's crown in the process.
"I've had the bike about three years now and I love it. I don't want to give it up," said the South Waikato veterinary nurse.
"It's a 2003 model YZ85 and I've had the engine bored out. I just think a 125 is a bit big for me.
"I usually do quite well at these sorts of events but I've never won before. I raced this event two years ago and finished second in my class."
As it turned out, she won her class this year by only six seconds, an unscheduled toilet stop nearly costing her victory.
"I was halfway around the track when I decided I needed a toilet stop. I found some bushes and was quickly back on the bike but I probably lost five minutes in the process. It was a bit nerve-racking.
"The race all went to plan for me and that was a bit of a surprise actually because I had been up until 3 the morning of the race. I had to be a sober driver for a mate and so I didn't get much sleep.
"I was pretty sore and tired at the end of the race."
Wooderson said she would be a definite starter at the event next year, probably without doing sober driver duty the night before and perhaps also avoiding the mid-race toilet stop as well.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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