Local farmer a world champion
It was lucky the 2015 Adelaide ITU Duathlon World Championships ‘‘didn’t clash with cows and calves’’ for dairy farmer Steve Wenzlick.
‘‘I squeezed it in between calving and mating,’’ he said.
The 50-year-old, who farms on Old Te Aroha Rd, won the 50 to 54-year-old age group in the sprint category on October 18.
The New Zealand champion, having won two New Zealand qualifying races to enter the event, ran five kilometres, then biked 20km and then ran 2.5km ‘‘flat out’’ at the event.
He said his goal had been to win a gold medal ‘‘even if I had to keep going until I was 80’’.
Wenzlick was grateful the Matamata Harriers Club, which he is a member of, had sponsored him.
Wenzlick runs or cycles, on average, between one to two-and-a-quarter-hours each day.
‘‘Because my event is only a sprint race my longest training rides are only about two-and-a quarter-hours, but I try to keep the pace up. I try to concentrate on intensity instead of distance.’’
He either runs or cycles on roads and sometimes runs on the trails like the Wairere Falls track.
‘‘I’ve got to say training in Matamata is fantastic. It’s the best environment. You don’t have to worry about traffic lights, vehicles and all the other rubbish that Aucklanders have to worry about.’’
He said racing and training was ‘‘not exactly enjoyable’’ because of the toll it had on the body, but having goals helped.
This was the sixth time Wenzlick had entered the world championship duathlon competition since 1990.
His previous best result was coming sixth in the 25 to 29-year-old age grouping in 1990.
His worst age group performance was 23rd in the men’s 35 to 39-year-old age group at the world champs in Belgium in 2004. He had had to bike 17km from the hotel to the event and ‘‘ate the wrong breakfast’’ so he got the stitch.
He initially competed in triathlons but found his swimming ‘‘wasn’t the greatest’’.