Triath­lete com­petes in world cham­pi­onship

Horowhenua Chronicle - - NEWS - By SADIE BECK­MAN

Narf Taru is a man of de­ter­mi­na­tion.

The lo­cal teacher is a ded­i­cated triath­lete who spends up to 20 hours a week train­ing for the sport he loves, and which pro­vides him with both a men­tal and phys­i­cal chal­lenge.

Taru re­cently re­turned from the In­ter­na­tional Triathlon Union’s World Cham­pi­onship on the Gold Coast, where he com­peted in a 1500-me­tre ocean swim, a 40 kilo­me­tre cy­cle and a 10 kilo­me­tre run.

While he says it wasn’t his best fin­ish­ing time ever, thanks to the sea swim prov­ing tricky, he was pleased with the ex­pe­ri­ence and mak­ing it to the top-level event, fin­ish­ing 29th in his group.

Taru was se­lected for the event through the New Zealand cham­pi­onships, held in Christchurch. He com­petes reg­u­larly in­clud­ing in Iron­man triathlons, where the swim is 3.8km, the bike leg 180km and the run 42km.

Taru says he got into the sport through his stu­dents, who would gain cred­its for their par­tic­i­pa­tion in triathlon ac­tiv­i­ties held as part of the school’s cur­ricu­lum.

“I didn’t want to be the type of teacher to ex­pect my stu­dents to do some­thing with­out hav­ing a go at it my­self,” he said.

While he spends many hours train­ing in Horowhenua be­tween events, Taru says it would be great if the re­gion had more re­sources for triath­letes.

It would be ben­e­fi­cial to be able to use the area’s nat­u­ral fea­tures, par­tic­u­larly in swim­ming train­ing, he said.

“We’ve got that beau­ti­ful lake but we need to clean it.”

Taru says he is lucky to have good sup­port around him, in­clud­ing his coach Shane Na­tion, and his fam­ily, who put up with the many hours he ded­i­cates to his sport.

It helps that his part­ner also trains and com­petes in triathlons, and that his chil­dren, aged 5 and 8, also en­joy join­ing in.

“It’s a fam­ily af­fair,” he said.

He says his achieve­ments re­late not just to his phys­i­cal train­ing, but to the at­ten­tion he pays to look­ing af­ter his men­tal fo­cus.

“I’d say it’s my big­gest strength [in com­pet­ing],” he said.

“I do lots of pro­cess­ing in my head while I’m train­ing.”

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