Triathlon: Aaron Gascoigne Takapuna Tri training diary

By Aaron Gascoigne

Photo / Stephanie Creagh
Photo / Stephanie Creagh

A trio of "Stupidness".

Now when I use that old English word that I learned in 2nd year school C English, "Stupidness" I refer to my actual ability to compete in my very first Triathlon, it is completely stupid and insane for me to think that I could complete an event consisting of three different, difficult disciplines all in the one single day, all in a row, back-to-back - wait, what?

But alas, over a cold brew one Saturday afternoon, I did indeed agree to take part in the Takapuna Triathlon on the February 28 at, well, Takapuna.

To be fair and transparent - I can ride a bicycle, never at the pointy end, rather somewhere near the back, whipping into local dairies on race day, scoffing pies and downing a coke mid race - so that part of this discipline I figure I am OK with.

It's the swimming and the running I will and am struggling with - I haven't swum without a BCD and scuba tank looking for crayfish since I was 11 and since my rugby days as captain of the Hamilton Marist Senior G side, I have lost all the cartilage in the old leg hinges.

But a promise is a promise.

Tri NZ have come to my rescue; they have arranged for me to have swimming/drowning lessons with Geoff, who maybe part fish I am not sure. 2XU have come to the party as well and provided me with what can only be described as the Mona Lisa of wetsuits, a wetsuit that makes you feel like Tony Stark as Iron Man when you wear it - I haven't managed to wear it in the ocean yet as it's been a wee bit choppy (I have decided I am a fair weather swimmer, but my kids love the Iron Man renditions off the deck into the swimming pool!

Geoff, what a legend - we have had three sessions at Newmarket Olympic pools and the man has the patience of a saint, thank you Geoff - I have with his help, in three hours only managing 25 meters before taking in two litres of pool water and stopping, to actually having the ability to go back and forth (without my water wings) several times, all the while feeling great. Gotta remember, touch the hands, rotate the arms and bloomin well breath man, breath, and kick and twist the hips.

Tomorrow we actually are hitting the salt water - I can't wait. I have reliable accounts from many friends who are crazy enough to do these triathlons that the wetsuit (AKA the Tony Stark get up) helps enormously and I am so looking forward to wearing it and watching it actually propel me at breakneck speed through the water all the while I can sit back and watch this suit do all the hard work. After which I will go for a run, well when I say run its more a shuffle with the occasional skip due to a hammy twinge.

A trio of Stupidness it might be, it is taking me out of my comfort zone, it is a challenge, I love challenges and honestly - thank you Tri NZ and Sovereign for allowing me to push my own boundaries - will I be ready come the 28th? I really hope so!! But either way as a good 'ol mate has always said to me "finishing is winning" that will be going through my head constantly.

I'll let you know how I get on with the ocean swim next time!! Wish me luck!

Gazza

Note: Aaron Gascoigne is a well-known New Zealand chef having starred on the television show My Kitchen Rules NZ.

- NZ Herald

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