She’s no quitter

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Queenstown’s Charlie Wright reckons her days of being a “binge athlete” are over.

The 28-year-old is no stranger to long distance events but in the past has only entered them sporadically and with short-term goals each time.

Like the London Marathon in 2003, the Motatapu in 2005 and again in 2007 – each time Wright entered to get fit and healthy but stopped exercise soon afterwards.

Then last year she took up the Pulse Fitness 12 Week Challenge after becoming engaged, and instead of slowing afterwards she decided to power on instead.This weekend Wright takes on her toughest race yet – the Challenge Wanaka half ironman.

“This is the new, healthier, fitter version of me,” she says.

“In the past, I have seen race day as the finish line and not set new goals. This time I’ve decided the Wanaka half is just the beginning and I already have plans to participate in other events throughout 2010 – the Motatapu, Lake Hayes Triathlon and the Peak to Peak – and then of course there’s our wedding in September.”

The NZSki sales coordinator is tackling the 1.9km swim, 90km bike and 21.1km run by herself and has been training six days a week for the past few months.

“Anyone can do an event – as long as you’re sensible about how long you have got to do it.”

She credits her fiancé Richard Trevena and a group of friends and supporters for helping her “make it to the start line”.

“I’m quite terrified … but hopefully by Saturday I’ll be in a positive frame of mind.”

Wright, along with several other Queenstown athletes, joins a record 1000 people from 24 countries taking part in either Challenge Wanaka’s full 226km iron distance race or the 113km half.