Elite triathlete happy getting others over the line

By Genevieve Helliwell


Watching others achieve their triathlon goals is a treat for elite triathlete Lyndy Wickham.

Fifteen years after completing her first triathlon, the Tauranga woman has achieved success at a national level and now gives up her time to pass her expertise on to aspiring athletes.

"I like passing on what I know and teaching others tips that will make triathlons easier for them.

"I get a real kick out of watching people reach their goals and I want people to get as much fun out of it as I have," she said.

At the Eves Triathlon Series at Pilot Bay yesterday, Mrs Wickham competed in the event then watched happily as the people she coached crossed the finish line at Coronation Park.

Mrs Wickham fell into coaching about three years ago after people kept asking her advice. As a successful triathlete she knew the basic principles of how to succeed but enrolled in a course to gain the credentials.

"I did Level 2 through Tri New Zealand coaching and I did a paper through Otago University. I thought that would give people confidence that I knew what I was talking about.

"Then I started coaching for the Tri club [Triathlon Tauranga] and I teach junior, novice and adult groups."

Her youngest athlete was six years old, while her eldest was over 50.

"Triathlon is a sport for everyone and I would encourage everyone to give it a go.

"The first one I did was a super sprint and it nearly killed me. It was just hard but then I decided to really give the sport a go and now I've done five Ironmans and Coast to Coast. I love the sport and it's easy to fit in, it's a really lifestyle sport."

During her sporting career, she has won age-group titles in the Tauranga Half Ironman (which she has completed nine times), won her age group at the Taupo Ironman in 2009 and won the veteran woman Coast to Coast in 2011, with a time of 15 hours, nine minutes and 55 seconds. She is the current run record-holder for her age-group in an ironman.

In two weeks, the mother-of-two is set to take part in the Coast to Coast run and on March 16 she will compete in the Auckland Half Ironman.

Her brother Brian Cullen is also competing in the event and she aims to beat him.

"He's a very good runner and he can do the distance so it will be a pretty good challenge," she said.

Mrs Wickham coaches novice and group training on Wednesday nights at The Lakes or Pilot Bay. For more information visit www.triathlontauranga.org.nz

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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