Taking on the big guns
Youthful cyclist racing in under-17 category
Phoebe Young, 14, is racing in the MTBNZ national cup cross country race at Cardrona on Saturday. putting in the hard yards. She spent at least five hours doing laps around the four-kilometre cross country course when it opened last week and has been up several more times to prepare.
She estimated each lap takes about 15 minutes to complete, but was not sure that having the inside running would necessarily work in her favour.
Although she enjoys the Cardrona course, she prefers the lower altitude of the North Island courses where she won last year’s medals.
A typical training week during term time sees Young completing 10 hours of swimming, biking, running, and core strength exercises.
Over the holidays, she has lifted her weekly training tally to around 12 to 13 hours a week - for example, in the week of Christmas, as well as competing in the Lake Hayes triathlon, she swam 5.7km, biked 82km, ran over 9km and spent 90 minutes doing yoga.
Oliver, a Bike Wanaka committee member, says the local club won the right to hold the national cup on the strength of its age group mountainbikers, many of whom won podium places at last year’s nationals.
Wanaka athletes to watch include Paul Wright, Nick Toepfer, Alex Young, Matthew Prince, Oliver Prince, Julius Staufenburg, Wilfred Spearing (under-17) and Janus Staufenburg (under-15).
The Cardrona event is the first in four leading to the MTBNZ’s national championships at Rotorua, February 14-15. Upper Clutha volunteer fire brigades were suffering from ‘‘split personalities’’ on Monday as they responded to rural grass fires.
For about half an hour on Monday afternoon, fire engines were rushing in all directions through Wanaka.
Fortunately, the callouts were for fires that could be extinguished quickly and therefore could be termed ‘‘minor’’.
But Luggate and Wanaka fire chiefs Rod Anderson and Bruno Galloway are worried.
There is a district-wide total fire ban and Galloway wants people to report any smoke sightings immediately so brigades can deal with them.
Anderson said this includes reporting campfires in river beds. The Luggate brigade put out two campfires at the weekend, much to the disappointment of campers.