Toko­roa barista is all set for Chal­lenge Roth

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - LUKE KIRKEBY

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.

LUKE KIRKEBY

Toko­roa barista Sjaan Sikking com­petes in the Chal­lenge Roth triathlon in Ger­many on July 9.

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