an extensive Polar blast!

5 09 2011

On the 14th of August a once in a generation storm hit Wellington. It was pretty chilly.


touring Taiwan

28 08 2011

In February this year I had the pleasure of doing a bit of a cycle tour around the South East of Taiwan.

I’ll let the photos tell the story and click on the Garmin links for a map of the route we took:

Day ONE: Taitung to Chihsang

Our destination for the day - the rice paddies of Chihsang

Day TWO: Chihsang to Yan Leiou

Sweet Bike Paths


Totally exhausted after a long day's riding!

Day THREE: Yan Leiou to Wushibi

Where to go??

Shiouguluan River

Day FOUR: Wushibi to Taitung


Almost Home

It was a trip that I will never forget. Great company, great scenery, great adventure. I always felt safe on the roads as well. New Zealand has a bit of a culture where cyclists are hated and often on the receiving end of foul language and rude gestures – but in Taiwan somehow it is the opposite. Cycling through every little town we’d be offered shouts of encouragement and applause. Truly touching stuff. So why does it have to be so different over here in little old New Zealand? We’ve got a reputation for being a pretty friendly place so why doesn’t that extend to the recreational cyclist? I can’t quite put my finger on it.

my first Half Marathon

21 02 2011

Wellington put on a stunner of day yesterday for the Round the Bays Half Marathon! Its weather is its best kept secret! It was a cloudless, windless day in the capital, with temperatures reaching 23 degrees. I had never entered a fun run of any description before. In fact the last organised run i went on would have been way back in 4th form, that was aroundabout 13 years ago now, so it was all rather new for me. I’ve never run anything close to the half marathon distance of 21.1km, actually i’d never run over 10km before so it was going to be interested to see what would happen!

The course for the half marathon is great. My only wee concern about it beforehand was that if it was windy it could be pretty tricky because we were running around the harbour. But as I said it was a windless day so conditions couldn’t have been more perfect.

Course Map

I started off pretty slowly. A piece of advice I was given before the run was to pace myself so that I ran the second half faster than the first. Good advice but because I hadn’t run that sort of distance before I didn’t know what state I’d be in for the second half! So with me I had my iPod, my new Timex Ironman Triathlon watch I bought at Hong Kong airport and two muesli bars (so I could stop for a picnic along the way if I got tired). Everything went really well to start with. I got to the 10km mark and was feeling really good. There were water and sports drink stations every 3km and I fueled up at them all. I got to the turn around point at Point Gordon and was still feeling ok. I decided to up the pace a little bit and it all became psychological from then on. My legs started to feel really heavy and everything was screaming at me just to stop and walk a little bit. At the last drinks station with about 3km to go I let myself walk for 10 seconds, probably a bad move because it was so hard to start running again! It was all I could do to keep going without walking. My run turned into more of a shuffle. But i made it across the finish line with a time of 1 HOUR 54 MINUTES 1 SECOND!!!

I was totally stoked with my time. I’m totally sore all over today though…… Bring on the next one!

touch your heart

12 02 2011

Hey guys, I’m having a great time here in Taiwan! I’ll be back soon (on Tuesday to be exact) so when I get my life sorted I’ll fill you in on what’s been happening.


leaving on a Jet plane

29 01 2011

I’m off to Taiwan for a two week holiday! Bye!

the Run

17 01 2011

For some reason the run is the one discipline that I feel the most confident about. I guess its the one discipline that doesn’t scare me. Swimming you have cramp and exhaustion to worry about, biking you have bonking and mechanical issues to deal with but in running its just you and the trail in front of you.

I’m pretty stoked with my running progress so far. One of the group runs I did back in November was a 5km time trial. There were six of us running, almost every one of them having completed some sort of half marathon or other such running event. Then there was me, not having done any running at all of any note in the past – in fact it was probably my second or third run in as many years. My time was 23 minutes 12 seconds and I was stoked. I started off trying to keep up with everyone but then soon realised I couldn’t sustain the pace. I backed off, then at the halfway mark once I realised that I could up it a bit I sped up and ended up overtaking a couple of people. It was a good feeling finishing strong.

The run section of the Taupo Half Ironman is a two lap course right alongside the lake. I’m looking forward to it. I even fancy my chances in the run against my uncle and cousin who are also taking part.

One piece of advice a triathlon coach told me when I told him I was contemplating the Taupo Half Ironman was to train first of all for a half marathon and then for a full marathon. So the plan is to run the AMI Around the Bays half marathon in February and then the Armstrong Motor Group Marathon in June. Wish me luck!!

its Freaking me out!

11 01 2011

Sharks. Sharks. Sharks. Great whites. Hammerheads. The 8th most deadly shark to man lurking around Wellington Harbour.

There have been several articles recently in the local rag raising the issue of sharks infiltrating our peaceful waters.

The first article was to do with warmer sea temperatures being the reason for earlier than usual shark sightings. Apparently each summer in New Zealand there are about “two bites” occurring that usually only result in minor injuries to hands and feet. The experts reckon that most of the shark species swimming around New Zealand bays and harbours don’t want to go after humans as ‘food’ but just take a wee nip to satisfy their curiosity have a taste to find out what we are.

The articles that have concerned me more are the ones to do with specific sharks that have been sighted in and around Wellington Harbour. The first one I have touched on in a previous post. That was the 2.6m long Great White shark two fisherman found trapped in their nets. The next article was about a shark that was spotted at Lyall Bay forcing the beach to be closed as a precaution. The most recent article was in today’s paper and talked about a 2.5m long hammerhead shark that was found 1km away from Scorching Bay. Scorching Bay is where the triathlons I was planning to take part in are held!! Hammerhead sharks are the 8th most deadly sharks to man!! A city council spokesman said “They don’t appear to be that interested in coming in to shore to eat people.” That made feel so much more at ease.

Hammerhead Sharks - Eerie

According to NIWA the sharks lurking around New Zealand waters are in more danger than the swimmers they scare. Apparently a type of shark called the Rig Shark is super common here, but also super common on fish and chip shop menus!

Yum! Just needs some T Sauce.

And in other news I went for a 5km run this evening after work. It was a beautiful evening, the sun was out, not much wind, perfect day for a swim in the harbour with the sharks. But more importantly I smashed 50 seconds off my best time! Pretty stoked. I did it in 22 minutes 24 seconds.