A ‘Can Do’ StoryBy Graham Priest 2nd February 2010
After years of being a spectator at the Kapiti Women’s Triathlon /Duathlon 59-year-old Ruth Bly is this year going to be a participant.
Nothing unusual about this you may say, but as a very overweight non-swimmer recovering from a serious illness Ruth has overcome huge obstacles.
When I asked her if I should write ‘chubby’ to describe her weight, Ruth’s said: “No, obese is more accurate – I have lost 49kgs and no stomach stapling”.
Wanting to go dragon boating as a way to improve health problems as a result of breast cancer, Ruth was unable to join a crew because she was a non swimmer.
This was soon fixed under the tutelage of Val Payne, of the Swim Magic School at Raumati Pools.
“Val was excellent” says Ruth, “so encouraging because when I started I couldn’t even put my face in the water let alone blow bubbles.”
Ruth now does 60 lengths most days followed by a good walk.
She says she will be at the sea swim practices at 6.15 pm on the 10th and 17th of February.
“Those sessions plus the question and answer sessions at the fitness club are a real bonus” says Ruth.
She still can’t ride a bike, but the addition to the programme of a swim/run event means people like Ruth can still participate.
Jan Nisbet Regional Services Adviser Sport Wellington Kapiti, who was the originator of the idea and remains a Trustee of the group that runs the Triathlon, says: “These variations on a theme are really great as it allows maximum participation”
Another change for this year is having one transition zone with the event being based in Marine Gardens rather than Weka Park.
“We have worked with the traffic management people and they assure us that the crossing of Alexander Rd can be managed safely — Marine Gardens is such an attractive park for a finishing zone and has lots of shady trees which are rather scarce in Weka Park” says Evelyn Williamson, who is again coordinating the event. (www.kwt.org.nz)
Kids Fun Triathlon
Another group that is known for events with multiple categories is the Kapiti Harriers Club.
They are running another Fun Kids Triathlon at Waikanae Pool on February 14 with age categories of 5 – 7; 8 – 10; and 11 plus — with different groups for boys and girls.
Following the very successful pre Xmas Off Road Duathlon is another one for all comers on Wed 17.
Starting from the Paekakariki end of Queen Elizabeth Park there are long courses short courses, kids courses and team events.
Ross Twyford, organiser of the first one was really pleased with the response and with a few tweaks to the course says that this is a great event in a great setting and encourages people to come and have a go. (www.kapitiharriers.org.nz)
The Heart Awareness Week walk will start at Otaihanga Domain Sunday 14th February at 10.20 & will be a reasonably gentle 1 hour walk around the Waikanae lagoons.
This is suitable for elderly, children in pushchairs and others and the organisers have no objection to well behaved dogs on leashes.
A gold coin donation would go direct to our Heart Foundation collection but it is not mandatory