Triathlete competes in world championship
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.”