Bei­jing beck­ons bat­tling Bondy

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Ann Bondy is not let­ting a back in­jury slow her down.

The 61-year-old Ti­tahi Bay mul­ti­sport ath­lete, ranked in the top ech­e­lon of her age group in the world, has her sights set on the Triathlon World Cham­pi­onships in Bei­jing in Septem­ber.

But fol­low­ing an ac­ci­dent ear­lier this year when she came off her bike, she has been di­ag­nosed with a pinched nerve and a de­gen­er­a­tive ver­te­brae – ‘‘Geez it makes me sound old’’ – that has cur­tailed much of her win­ter train­ing sched­ule.

‘‘I can’t run like I used to. I’ll kick a twig or jump off a curb and just get this shoot­ing pain. ‘‘Of­ten I’ll be hob­bling home. ‘‘But I’ve been do­ing plenty of bik­ing [in­clud­ing from her home to work in Welling­ton at least twice a week] and swim­ming, so that’s all good,’’ she says.

‘‘I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to the world [cham­pi­onships] and the long-dis­tance worlds too.’’

The lat­ter event takes place in Hen­der­son, Ne­vada, not far from Las Ve­gas, in Novem­ber.

The com­mit­ment it takes to reg­u­larly at­tend these events can­not be un­der­stated – it costs a lot and means time away from work.

More of­ten than not, Bondy flies in, com­petes, then flies out, with lit­tle or no time for hol­i­days or sight­see­ing.

With her in­jury and the cost, trav­el­ling to Bei­jing was in jeop­ardy. But with as­sis­tance from Mana Com­mu­nity Grants to­wards air­fares, the first time she has ap­plied for money, along with con­tin­ued sup­port from Tri New Zealand and, lo­cally, Avanti Plus and Porirua City Coun­cil, has spurred her on to make the start line.

‘‘It was look­ing like it was go­ing to be too hard and the mo­ti­va­tion has been dif­fi­cult, but I’ll get there,’’ she says.

‘‘Fundrais­ing for ath­letes is get­ting harder and harder so I’m re­ally grate­ful for the help I get, I’ve been lucky.’’

Bondy is a reg­u­lar at­tendee of the Taupo and Kona Iron­man events, the lat­ter con­sid­ered one of the world’s tough­est.

She also takes part in a num­ber of other com­pe­ti­tions around New Zealand, in­clud­ing the Xterra se­ries, Porirua Grand Tra­verse – al­though not this year – and the newly formed Ironmaori se­ries.

Bondy takes spin and pump classes at Arena Fit­ness to help keep her in shape, and says the classes are of­ten taken by peo­ple ‘‘more than half my age’’.

She says she hopes she in­spir­ing oth­ers to stay fit.

Al­though there are only likely to be a hand­ful in her 60 to 65 age group in Bei­jing, many of these will have the edge in terms of

is prepa­ra­tion and fi­nan­cial back­ing.

The course is the same as the one which Olympians raced around in 2008, and Bondy is look­ing for­ward to get­ting up close to the Great Wall of China. A podium fin­ish is her aim. ‘‘I think I should do OK, it’s a hilly course, which suits me,’’ she says, point­ing out her win­dow to the hills near her home in Ti­tahi Bay.

‘‘It will be very sat­is­fy­ing to go, know­ing it hasn’t been easy.

‘‘I just need to get out run­ning more.’’

Wheel ready: Ann Bondy has spent plenty of time ped­alling around the lo­cal roads in her stop-start prepa­ra­tion for the Triathlon World Cham­pi­onships in two months.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.