LEISA's multisport career
Multisport started for me after seeing a Coast-to-Coast feature on television. I was already mountain biking for recreation, had cycle toured both in New Zealand and overseas, sea kayaked for fun and on returning from my overseas travels via Nepal where I spent 19 days hiking up and back to 5,500-metres and back from the Jury Road end in Solukumu (Everest Region), I joined the Auckland Tramping Club. I was living in Auckland when I started multisport and the bigger named races. These included: Motu Challenge, Tongariro Classic, Coast-to-Coast twoday, Coromandel Classic two-person team, ARC 12-hour two-person team adventure race and then ARC 24-hour adventure race three-person team.
I had a brain tumour removed in 2002, which put a temporary stop on adventure racing, but as soon as I was declared fit – I started training again.
I moved to the South Island in 2003 and competed in Rollo’s 24-hour adventure race in Nelson four-person mixed team 2004. GoldRush three times [twice in a threeperson team, once in a two-person girls team].
Then there was the Five Passes – Road Cycle Race from Christchurch via Hanmer Springs, Greymouth, Arthurs Pass, Christchurch over four days.
Mountain bike events include – Around Lake Tekapo, Motatapu and Hanmer 12-hour.
I competed in the Spring Challenge Adventure Race in a three-person team in Kaikoura in 2008 where 600 women took part. We finished the full six-hour course, which included a hike up 1,602-metre Mt Fyffe.
I also raced in the 2010 State Ocean Swim series, completing the Corsia Bay, Christchurch swim of 2.6km in 42 minutes.
The racing was all about extending my own personal limits, enjoying the people involved in the sport and enjoying the great outdoors.
On her upcoming cycle journey, Leisa plans to stay in campgrounds,
farmers’ paddocks and maybe schools –
sleeping in a tent with her dog Indy.