While pros hog the limelight at this weekend’s Coast to Coast epic, two Queenstowners will be just happy to finish.
First-timer Seamus Costello, 27, is bravely tackling Saturday’s Longest Day – running, cycling and kayaking 243km from the West Coast to Christchurch on the east coast.
Another first-timer, Jason Law, 33, competes in the two-day individual race, starting tomorrow.
Having grown up on the West Coast, Costello says he’d always had the event in mind.
“I’ve done quite a few triathlons but nothing quite this big.
The electrician, who’s been training up to 25 hours a week, says the 67km kayak leg will be his biggest challenge because he’s new to the sport.
His local kayaking instructor Steve Norton says: “I’m always a bit worried about first-timers who are biting the entire thing in one hit but Seamus will do well – he’s certainly got tenacity.
“He’s an excellent runner and cyclist and he’s been working very hard on his kayaking.”
Law, a landscape photographer, says he’s dreamt of entering ever since buying Coast to Coast-branded thermals when he was about 19.
“After moving here and getting established in my photography I thought if I’m ever going to do it, now’s the time.”
Law, who hasn’t even done a triathlon, has been training 15 to 20 hours a week during the past month.
“If I run down Frankton Track I’ll be running in the gutter, up the banks and on the rocks rather than on the track.”
Norton says Law, whom he’s also taught kayaking, has put in a lot of work and will do well.
“He’s a big fellow so he’s just going to have to watch himself running over the rocks, I think.”