Gruelling race big goal
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.