Half ironman not about the speed, says TVNZ newsman

By Michele Hunter

Peter Williams describes himself as an "absolute plodder".
The TVNZ newsreader will be among the athletes competing in the Port of Tauranga half ironman on January 8 - but his goal isn't speed.
Mr Williams, who said he was "comfortably the last male to finish" in the Tinman triathlon in December, will be happy to see the finish line at the January event.
It's quite an achievement for the 56-year-old - the event includes a 2km swim, 90km bike ride and a 21.1km run.
But one advantage Mr Williams has is his familiarity with the course.
Mount Maunganui is his home away from home, and he has been spending three days a week in the Bay since March.
His partner, Port of Tauranga corporate services manager Sara Lunam, is based in Mount Maunganui since she started the job. "I come down here most weeks for three days," he said.
"I have quite a good roster - because I work weekends I finish at lunchtime on Wednesday, and am here from Wednesday afternoon to Saturday lunchtime."
The keen golfer had been enjoying time on the green at Mount Maunganui Golf Club, but golf has been on hold since he began training in earnest for the half ironman.
He knows every rise and bump in the base track around Mauao, and has been practising his swimming on the Pilot Bay course.
Mr Williams said he became inspired to do a half-ironman after watching the Taupo ironman last year.
"I thought gee that's cool, I was inspired by the guys finishing. Not so much the winners who are fantastic but the guys that are real plodders - the ones that take 14-15 hours to finish.

"I don't think I could ever spend 14 hours in an endurance event. This one's going to take me about seven - that's probably going to be my limit."
Mr Williams started training seriously in September, though his training schedule went out the window when he was called to report on the Pike River Mine tragedy.
Mr Williams had intended to swim the Harbour Crossing swim across the Waitemata Harbour on November 21, but instead found himself in Greymouth.
"I can't really say it was disappointing to miss the event when you consider what happened down there.
"It was a pretty important type of job we had to do there," he said.
"In terms of training for this event and athletic endurance it didn't help matters much."
He stepped up his training to make up for lost time.
The week before Christmas a typical training day was a four hour bike ride and a two-hour run - which Mr Williams admitted left him "pretty stuffed".
The training has been good for his waist-line - at his heaviest he weighed 94kg but is now 82kg, and his trouser sizes has dropped from 36 to 32.
"I eat as much as possible. I don't feel guilty about eating sweets or fatty things at all," he said.
But he follows the advice of a sports nutritionist on what to eat before and during a race.
Mr Williams' hard work is not just for personal satisfaction - he is raising money for the cancer charity Look Good Feel Better.
His late wife Cecile, who died of ovarian cancer in 1996, had been supported by the organisation.
Mr Williams has raised more than $5600 for the cause through his website www.petedoesthehalfironman.com.
When he crosses the finish line on January 8, it's unlikely Mr Williams' next goal will be a full ironman.
"That's pretty much it. Maybe I will just keep going in terms of doing basic training to keep fit and keep in shape."
To donate, go to www.petedoesthehalfironman.com

- Bay of Plenty Times

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