A local man who was hit off his bike while training for Ironman New Zealand in Taupō this year is making plans to do it all again next year.
Nathan Daly was left with bruises and minor abrasions after being hit from his bike while out on a training ride in May 2018.
When the bruises and cuts healed, he got back into the saddle and into his training regime. He can now reflect on what was a massive personal achievement in completing Ironman New Zealand which consisted of a 3.8k swim, 180km bike and a 42.2km run.
Daly trained six days a week, pounding the back roads, in the pool and on the bike for more than a year to prepare himself physically and mentally for the challenge of an Ironman event.
He had completed several half ironman races, enduro races and Ironmaori events over several years in preparation leading up to Ironman. It was only after talking with an old friend who encouraged him to "have a crack", that the Ironman seed was sown.
Daly said Ironman was a humbling experience and wanted to acknowledge the encouragement he received from family, friends and work colleagues.
He said it meant a lot to him, especially in the final stages when fatigue kicked in, but the months of hard training told as he looked comfortable in his run to the finish line.
The swim in Lake Taupō is recognised as one of the best in the world. The bike leg is renowned for head winds, cross winds and heart break hill as you make you way back from Reporoa to Taupō. The run was also very scenic "although I wasn't looking at the scenery", he said.
Time was irrelevant. "Getting over the finish line was my goal," he said.
A massive blood blister in his foot burst at the 25km mark on the run which allowed him to stride more freely.
Daly said he would pack a towel next time as he lacked one while changing from his bike gear into his running kit. He said he did his best to maintain "a bit of privacy and decency" when changing.
He was very modest about his achievement and it took two weeks for him to agree to a story. He offered words of encouragement to anyone thinking of doing Ironman.
"If you commit to the training and have supportive partner and whānau, anyone can do it," he said.
"I would just like to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who texted, telephoned and messaged me good luck," he said.
"I feel very humbled and honoured … your words inspired and helped me through those tough times on the course during the day."
He wanted to thank staff at the Levin Aquatic Centre, Lisa, Brendon and the team at Southend Cycles, Tri Taitoko Whanau and in particular the Ironmaori Toa whānau who shared their knowledge and wisdom of Ironman so freely.
"Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi. He toa takitini ke no tua whakarere," he said.
"My success should not be bestowed upon me, as it was not an individual success, but a success of a collective unit."