Think of this picture:
After the gym, about this time last year the Iron Maori event popped up on Rachael’s facebook feed. She and her daughter and were sitting in the car together. The conversation went a bit like this:
‘Go on Mum, just press the button and register’
‘But I don’t even know how to swim!’
‘You can learn, just do it!’.
‘But I don’t even have a bike!’.
‘Just buy one, go on sign up!’
And that’s how Rachael entered the Iron Maori Toa event.
Just to be clear and for those that don’t know, the Iron Maori Toa event is a full Iron Man event. The distance is 3.8km Swim, 180km Cycle, that finishes with a 42km run.
Rachael hadn’t swum since swimming lessons as a child and didn’t like putting her face under the water. So her training started literally with 1 length and then 1 more, adding 1 length at a time until she taught herself to relax and head for longer distances.
She has had help and support from several supporters over the last 12 months. Ross the owner from My Ride not only set her up with everything she’d need for road cycling but asks her every single time she is in the shop how her training is going.
She joined the Iron Maori training group run by a great guy Norm, to teach her how to ride in a group and entering different events for ‘training’. These events consisted of a full marathon in Rotorua (42kms), two 21km trail events and recently going along to the MS Steps challenge.
Winter was tricky but she managed to keep up her training by going to indoor cycling classes both at Bay City Gym and over at the Iron Maori training gym in Hastings, running on the treadmill and swimming in the pool. She did her first ocean swim ever on 25th September, and the water was still very cold!
Mitchel Lang (local Iron Man Champ) has been coaching and helping her to push herself to do longer distance. Her cycling has evolved from 60km to 90km to 105km and she is now up to 143km!
She has had to contend with terrible sinus infections and the usual winter illnesses along the way but what we love is every time you see Rachael she has a smile for you. In her past life she spent 5 years in the Navy and she believes that this has helped her with a strong mental capacity to set her goal, stick to it and push herself in her training.
It has been awesome following her journey so far and we wish her all the best for the big event in December.