Overheated motor no obstacle in challenge

By Jonathan Dine -
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Samuel Gibson cruises along the track during Saturday's Triple Peak Challenge.
Samuel Gibson cruises along the track during Saturday's Triple Peak Challenge.

Samuel Gibson is no stranger to physical challenges, having broken both legs when he was not yet a minute old.

The Havelock North man was born with severe, genetic brittle bone condition but that didn't stop him competing in the Triple Peaks Challenge on Saturday.

Competitors run, walk, bike, or in Mr Gibson's case rolled, across Mt Erin, Mt Kahuranaki and Te Mata Peak.

Mr Gibson competed in the 12km traverse in his wheelchair.

There were a few nervy moments for the 40-year-old as he came precariously close to the cliff's edge.

A slight wrong turn could have spelt disaster for him.

"I have broken practically every bone in my body so many times, I have lost count."

Mr Gibson is only one metre (three feet) tall and wheelchair reliant but said he is anything but disabled.

He proved this fact on Saturday, completing the course in two hours and six minutes.

"I slept pretty well last night, I could definitely feel that I had done something."

He said the surface was pretty steep and uneven.

"There was a fair bit of holding on and hoping. I made it back the right side up though."

He had a close friend go around the course with him to open the gates along the way.

She kept Mr Gibson company after his motor overheated and he was forced to stop for 20 minutes.

"We were about halfway up with nowhere to go, my chair just wasn't coping.

"It was just so much climbing."

His wife Jennifer and two daughters were at the finish line to cheer their hero home.

He said it would not have been possible without the help of event manager David Tait.

Mr Gibson describes himself as a "very lucky guy".

He still breaks bones often, his fingers and ribs break "pretty regularly".

It's not really something you get used to."

Mr Gibson travels the country giving motivational speeches, a career he wasn't very keen on at first.

"I don't like telling people how to live and it was a bit of a nightmare for me to talk in front of a crowd but I enjoy getting my message across."

School Results:

1st School Run team: Hereworth, 7 04:49:18 - Jock Lee, Harry Brento-Rule, Karsen Vesty, Henry Morgan and Joshua Wynne-Lewis.

School Team Trophies - for 3-person team run: Taradale Senior
Mixed, 04:50:54 423 - Abby Macredie, Dylan Sherwood and Luke Lafferty.

1st School Team Female: Woodford House, 05:19:19 404 - Molly Goodisson, Monique Way and Katie Mcneill

1st School Team Male: Lindisfarne Junior, 05:15:42 424 - William Kerr, Ronan Lee and Finn Calder.

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