Tokoroa barista is all set for Challenge Roth
Five days to adjust to Germany’s scorching summer temperatures was welcomed by Tokoroa’s Sjaan Sikking as she headed off to take part in the gruelling Challenge Roth triathlon.
The 23-year-old barista flew to Germany on Monday to take part in the world’s largest long distance triathlon after months of training and fundraising efforts.
Sikking said she felt ready for the race which takes place on July 9 but anticipated her body would be a little shocked going from the frosty conditions at home to 30 degree temperatures.
‘‘My last six hour bike ride was in Taupo on Broadlands Rd and it was pissing down with rain the whole time so we were biking in that and have been training in frosts but now we are going to be biking in 30 degrees, literally melting,’’ she laughed.
She said while the buildup has been challenging she has enjoyed it.
‘‘Training and finalising everything has been really intense. It has been a challenge really but it is a journey and I have enjoyed the journey so far and the people I have met,’’ she said.
‘‘I’ve also met my fundraising target which is cool and I have just been blown away by everyone’s support and everyone coming in and buying raffle tickets at Sweet Rose. The encouragement from everyone has just been insane and that’s helped me get through it all.’’
She is aiming for a podium finish and to beat her 2016 Ironman New Zealand time of 13 hours 45 minutes, where she finished fourth.
‘‘I am feeling really good and strong. Apart from having a blocked nose my mindset is sweet,’’ she said.
‘‘I am like a chemist and have never eaten so healthy before but I am over the core of it,’’ she laughed.
She said she was looking forward to arriving and checking out where she will be racing.
Sikking, who will travel with a group of New Zealand competitors, said they have also been asked to perform a haka at the event’s welcoming party.
‘‘Because we are the biggest international group going.’’
Those interested in tracking Sikking during the race can do so by entering her last name in the tracker on the Challenge Roth Facebook page.
Tokoroa barista Sjaan Sikking competes in the Challenge Roth triathlon in Germany on July 9.