How to go the distance

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If you ever wanted to try a triathlon, help is at hand. 

Queenstown physios Louise Sheppard and Jodi Currie start a series of six free seminars this Sunday, providing expert advice on tackling triathlons. 

Sheppard, who owns The Body Mechanics, says she was motivated to train for her first Half Ironman – at Challenge Wanaka next January – after employing Currie, a top Ironman competitor. 

“The seminar series came about as we realised there were probably plenty of people out there who had as many questions about training for an Ironman as I did. 

“It’s a pretty overwhelming thing to take on by yourself – to know what bike to buy, how to train, how to keep yourself well.” 

Sunday’s first seminar at the Events Centre at 4.30pm concentrates on building up for an Ironman. 

Speakers are local personal trainer Richie Lambert, Giulio Champman-Olla, who did his first Ironman in Wanaka this year, recent Peak to Peak winner Dougal Allan, of Wanaka, US triathlon coach and physio Wendy Benwell, who’s visiting Wanaka, and Currie herself. 

Currie has completed four ironman-distance triathlons – finishing second in the women’s 25-30 age group in the Challenge Roth Ironman in Germany last year – and a Half Ironman. 

Sheppard says later seminars – on September 18, October 9 and 30, November 13 and December 4 – will also be aimed at beginners aspiring to do much shorter triathlons or duathlons. 

“We are hoping to develop a bit of a Queenstown triathlon community so people can find training buddies and then on the day of [Challenge Wanaka] there’ll be lots of Queenstowners cheering for Queenstowners,” Sheppard says. 

Currie has noticed increasing interest in the sport since Challenge Wanaka and other events started up. 

“People are realising it’s quite a fun way to exercise because it’s cross-training – it doesn’t get boring,” she says.