Sally Dymond

  1. Ride over at least the mountain bike course BEFORE RACE DAY
  2. Take plenty of fluids
  3. Paddle paddle paddle before the race!

The 2012 Rodney Coast Challenge was my first full multi-sport race. In my previous student and non-9-to-5 life I had competed in triathlon for a number of years, but hadn’t really ventured out of the tame and predictable environments triathlons are typically held it. That was until I was talked into doing a leg of an adventure race in the Coromandel for a friend’s team. The race was in absolutely horrid conditions but I was hooked! So with a little convincing, I entered the “Rodney race” and I found myself lining up for my first full race at Rodney a month later

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The race seemed a pretty random sequence of events to me, starting with a run and finishing with the water discipline, and seeing as I’m not ergonomically designed to be an out-standing runner and had only paddled twice before I entered the event, I wasn’t really anticipating any stand-out performances. In fact I should probably note my race prep had been pretty relaxed.

Race note #1: definitely try and drive and ride over the mountain bike course BEFORE RACE DAY. I’m thankful I had done a lot of previous racing on my mountain and road bike, because the hill on the mountain bike leg of the race is a bit of a nasty surprise, especially on the back of two other legs

All up the race was pretty epic. The run was a shock start to the legs with the very first effort being a run up some west coast sand dunes before hurtling through 10km of scenic forestry running. Onto the road bike and things went well. If you manage to get out to some of the Sunday morning bunch rides on the back roads of the west you’ll know these roads well. As the race transitioned into the mountain bike leg it seemed like all the wind suddenly died and the sun was in full force, so it was a hot ride up the hill!

Race note #2: take plenty of fluids with you! And if you can, definitely practice your downhill mountain biking on gravel roads

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The next leg in the kayak was never going to be my fastest leg, but it did kick off with an amusing start. My one man band race support crew-person Jase was ready and waiting as I headed into the kayak section. With a very scratchy entry into the kayak off the slippery river bank, I looked back to see poor Jase had taken one step too many as he pushed me off and found himself floating in the river with a very non-waterproof work phone drowning in his shorts. It didn’t take long for the more experienced kayakers to start hunting me down, and what I had hoped would feel like a quick blat in the kayak seemed to take forever

Which brings me to my final race note #3: paddle paddle paddle before the race! And definitely find your comfy position, it’s a long day in the boat if you get a sore back and things don’t feel rightOverall the Rodney Coast Challenge was a great day out, finishing in the stunning scenic beauty of Wenderholm Park, and every competitor seemed to be a good sort willing to spin a yarn out on the course and offer words of encouragement

If you can, pack some cold ones and a picnic for after the race and chill out in the park and say cheers to all the awesome people who put the race together. Thanks Rodney Coast Challenge team!

Sally Dymond

3rd in Open Female class with final time of 4:02:10, forth fastest female, 31st overall

2012 Open Female placed 3rd with a time of 4:02:10 (split 0:53:23, 0:59:19, 1:15:00, 0:54:28) #106

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