Gru­elling race big goal

Central Otago Mirror - - WANAKA FEATURES - By JO McKEN­ZIE-McLEAN

Two years ago 24-year-old Luke Fraser could not run one kilo­me­tre. In two days he will be com­pet­ing in the Coast to Coast Mul­ti­sport race. Up to 800 com­peti­tors will vie for places in the event on Fri­day and Satur­day. It be­gins in Ku­mara on the West Coast with a 3km run fol­lowed by a 55km road cy­cle. The next seg­ment of the race is a 33km moun­tain run over Goat Pass. A 15km bike sec­tion brings the com­peti­tors to the Waimakariri River for a 67km kayak. The fi­nal seg­ment of the race is a gru­elling 70km bike to­wards the fin­ish line in Sum­ner Beach. Mr Fraser, a per­sonal trainer at NRG Health and Fit­ness in Cromwell, said he was en­cour­aged to com­pete in the event by his em­ployer Chantel Knox – her­self a for­mer win­ner of the Coast to Coast. ‘‘When Luke first started work­ing here he had no con­fi­dence,’’ she says. ‘‘He had all the qual­i­fi­ca­tions to be a per­sonal trainer but didn’t have that sparkle. ‘‘Then I said to him I would spon­sor him to do the Coast to Coast to feel good about him­self. ‘‘He was up for the chal­lenge. It just em­pow­ers you to be the best you can be.’’ Mr Fraser said train­ing had been hard – two years ago he wasn’t ‘‘run fit’’ would strug­gle to run 1km. ‘‘It was post-uni and so that made me un­fit... This will be an ex­tra chal­lenge. The run will be ex­cit­ing but I am most fear­ful of the kayak­ing stage. I only learned to kayak in March – that’s usu­ally the stage that peo­ple worry about.’’ He was com­pet­ing in the two­day in­di­vid­ual race and hoped to come in the top half. Prepa­ra­tion has in­cluded par­tic­i­pat­ing in most of the Cromwell Sum­mer se­ries races in­clud­ing the Round the Lake race, the Ban­nock­burn Gut­buster, the Dunstan Triathlon and the Clutha Clas­sic race. Also com­pet­ing in the Coast to Coast is Cromwell mul­ti­sporter Craig El­stob who is in a two-day team event with El­ton Hyde. They hope for a top 10 fin­ish.

All ready: First-timer Luke Fraser, 24, of Cromwell, in train­ing for the Speights Coast to Coast.

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