Thursday, October 23, 2008

Athletic Nelson Prize Giving

Last night was the end of year prize giving for the Athletic Nelson Club. They had quite a turn out and it really impressed me how many children there are in the junior grades and just how supportive all the parents were.

It was such a buzz watching these young ones come up and carry off trophies to proudly display at home for a year and to hear how well they have all done. The Tasman Centre has 37 NZ titles spread amongst all the runners. Thats a huge acheivement for the club.

Our walking team went along as we knew that Steve and I had won the Tasman Centre Road us both a trophy. What I didnt know was that I was awarded "The Most Improved Female Athlete of The Year" This has never been won by a walker before nor has a walker been nominated. I was just totally speechless.

So while I nurse a chest infection I sit here proudly looking at my trophy feeling very very chuffed with myself............and to think 10 years ago I thought Race Walking was the most ridiculas sport ever thought of....... WHO KNEW.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Kirsties Wedding Day

Kirsty and Keria - both are looking so stunning.

Here is Shane and I at the party.

Today was my cousin Kirstie's wedding day. Unfortunately for me, I came down with one of my "Migraine's" blasted things and so had spent all Friday night taking as many pain killers as I could with out knocking me over. After little sleep, we got up nice and early to head over but the car was full of dog hair and so due to us picking up my Grandma, we thought we should clean it out.....then out came the car wash....well needless to say we were late heading away...But the car looked beautiful!!!!!! (remember this)

Anyhow....we got to Blenheim and I shot away to see my best mate Rach and her kiddies. I got ready at her place and promptly had two wee twin girls lined up getting full makeup applied also....they are so adorable and even Sam got in on the act with the hair spray.

With the weather setting in we were not sure if it was still to be a beach wedding or a church wedding. Finally the call came was to be the beach. I zipped away and picked up my Grandma and then Shane and away we zipped to Rarangi. The wind was picking up and was fast becoming a southerly (for us Rarangians.....this means a howling gale!!!)

With my had firmly plastered on my head, we made the climb over to Monkey Bay. They had a wonderful spot...just infront of the rock face where it dips in to make a small cave. Two arch's made from drift wood had been set up with lovely purple flowers and flax. A perfect setting. Photo to come.

Kirsty looked a magical sight as she walked down the track to the bay, the wind playing with her flowing dress. Her wee daughter Keira was so beautiful. A precious wee dot that walked down hand in hand with her Auntie.

After a beautiful service they were pronounced man and wife, poppers were popped and bubbles were blown. We all made our way down to the community centre for the first round - much home brew was up for grabs...the Black Sambuca being one of the most popular. I could only watch as my head was just pounding. My auntie was awesome and gave me some pain killers and good advice.

The biggest bummer of the whole night................I crashed Shane's car on the way out of the party. I backed the car out from the car park but didn't allow enough room when I turned to drive out and I hit the passager side skirt on a large rock....I took the paint off the whole side skirt and smashed it underneath......Needless to say I am not the most popular at the moment....I am on punishment - 2 weeks of foot rubs and back rubs with no complaint and must refill all drinks with out question. :0) I dont mind that sort of punishment.

I also had a race the next day. So we went home and I took alot more painkillers and got a good nights sleep. Up at 6am and away to the start I went.

Todays race was a 10 miler from Nelson to Richmond. I had already decided not to push myself too much and my training partner had asked if I would like to walk together..which we did. Still beating her time from last year. We walked 16.1km in 1 hour 47mins .. not bad for a couple of chicks that were not feeling so flash!!! But I have spent the rest of the day laid up. My head ache did ease up while I was walking but came back with avengence later that day.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

My Grand Daughter, Katie-May

Katie-May 11 months old. We adore her staying with us. Shane is loving being called Popz.

Last night I had the pleasure of having my grand daughter come and stay the night with me. I just adore her and love every minute of being around her. But I must admit to it being a slight culture shock as its been 18years since I have had a wee one crawling around.

To go in to her room in the morning and have her squeal with excitement is just the best. Then we get to destroy the lounge with toys. They go from one end to the other and she races between then with me chasing her. Here is a photo of her going hard and playing the pot and above of her chomping on her fav toy.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Nelson Mail

Gold-medal effort more than a walk in the park
By WAYNE MARTIN - Nelson | Wednesday, 06 August 2008

DELIGHTED: Nelson race walker Nyle Sunderland displays the medals she won at the 2008 Oceania Masters Games in Townsville.

It's taken Nelson's Nyle Sunderland only 18 months to get in step with her new sporting career path.
That's how long she's been involved in competitive race walking but despite the relatively short time frame, last week she walked away from the Oceania Masters Games in Townsville with three gold medals.
Sunderland, 41, won gold in the women's 40-44 10km road walk and 5000m and 3000m track events, recording personal best times in both her track successes. She won the 5000m title in 29min 34sec and the 3000m in 17min 31sec, having earlier recorded 62min 36sec for the 10km event.
She was delighted with her personal best performances in the balmy 26degC temperatures.
"That was the highlight of the whole thing," she said. "You're always aiming to beat the clock and first time on the track to come away with speeds that I haven't done before was just great."
However, the 10km proved much tougher than expected.
"The 10km walk was probably the biggest disappointment, really, because that was the one I was expecting to do the best at.
"The track that we did it on was in a public garden and it was a curved walkway. So there weren't any straights, it was all snake bends with rises and dips. It had potholes in it that they'd filled with sand just before we started competing. There were huge potholes with tree roots coming out. Everyone was complaining and no one wanted to walk on it."
The tricky surface ultimately took its toll.
"Unfortunately, I injured my leg halfway through by standing in one of the sink holes. My heel went into the sand and over-extended so I pulled my knee but still managed to finish.
"The first 5km, I did 30 minutes, which was almost my time for the track so I was on track to do a really good time - then I hurt my knee."
While the injury didn't affect her track events, the judging was stringent, with six judges situated around the 400m track. However, Sunderland's sound technique meant she completed all her events without mishap.
Formerly a competitive triathlete, Sunderland switched to walking less than two years ago.
"At one triathlon I saw a race walker and thought, `I want to do that, they can go fast'."
She credited technical advice from experienced Nelson team-mate Sharon McDonald and coach Stephen Farquhar, and the support of her husband, Shane, for her successful transition - and plenty of hard work, involving training six days a week for seven weeks prior to Townsville. It left her in the best possible physical condition.
"I was very confident. I'm fitter now than I've ever been in my entire life and I've just turned 41 so who knew?"
Besides her three gold medals, Sunderland ended the competition on an unusual note when she was invited to compete in the 4x100m sprint relay, ultimately helping her team to the silver medal. She also ran the final 200m leg in the team medley, resulting in a bronze medal.
It was a refreshing release from all the previously intense scrutiny.
"As a walker and having all that constraint, to be able to stretch out and run like the wind was awesome."
She's competing in the 10km Swann Trophy walking race up the Maitai Valley on Saturday but her focus is already shifting to the national championships in March and the World Masters Games in Sydney in October 2009.
And after Townsville, she feels like the best is yet to come.
"Watch this space," she quipped.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Off To Townsville.

Off to Aussie on Friday at 6am…..Yawn…..its going to be one long day.

We land in Brisbane at 8am and don’t fly out to Townsville until 6pm later that day. We are hoping we can stash our luggage in a locker somewhere and head off to the huge shopping complex up the road.

I thought that my first posting should be the times that I am racing. Just so you know to send me lots of encouragement to help me out … :0)

First race is Tuesday at 7.30am – 10km road race through Anderson Park
Second race is Thursday at 4pm – 5000m track walk
Third race is Saturday at 10.30am – 3000m track walk

Hope to update here soon

Hugs to all.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Harry Kerr 50km Track Relay

As said below in our press went to Auckland and raced in the NZ National Track Relay which was also to commemorate the first ever Olympic medal won by a NZer ... which happened to be a bronze won by Harry Kerr... A Race Walker.

We were picked to win bronze .. but have to admit to having some doubts once we got there and you saw how fast these people were on the track. But we pulled our selves together and proved to them and ourselves that we are a force to be reckoned with by winning 3rd.

So here are our medals - A NZ bronze medal and the replica Olympic medal. I am just soooo proud of what we achieved.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

NZ 50km Team Track Relay Champs

The Athletics Nelson race walking team confirmed their current national ranking when they comfortably won the bronze medal in the New Zealand 50km Team Track Relay Championships held at Sovereign Stadium in Auckland last Sunday. This follows their third placing in the NZ Team Road Relay Championship held in Wellington in May.

The event coincided with the 100th anniversary of New Zealand’s first Olympic medal. Harry Kerr, from Taranaki, won the bronze medal in the 3,500m track walk at the 1908 Olympic Games held in London. The other kiwi competitor in the race, Arthur Rowland, finished 5th.

Auckland A won the race from Taranaki A with a winning margin of 22 minutes setting a new race record of 4 hours 24 minutes. The Nelson team recorded a time of 5 hours 7 minutes with the Wellington team placed fourth with a time of 5.17.16. A total of seven teams completed the event which was held in warm and humid conditions on Auckland’s North Shore.

The first 10km leg was completed by Sharon McDonald in a time of 1.04.46 with Peter Hague finishing the second leg in 1.06.07. Yvonne Shaw finished her 10km leg in a personal best time of 1.02.30. Nyle Sunderland also recorded a personal best time of 1.00.54 in the fourth leg of the race. The final 10km was completed by Stephen Farquhar in a time of 52.53, only just short of his best time recorded in 1992.

“We were a little short of our target time of 5 hours but overall we are all very happy with our performance” says team coach and competitor Stephen Farquhar. “It was great for us to be invited to compete in this race and we certainly didn’t disgrace ourselves.

“A third placing is significant when put in context of our training facilities” says Farquhar. We all met at Trafalgar Park every night for the last 6 weeks and either headed off down the walkway towards Richmond or did 1km reps on the grass track in the dark complete with our head lights.”

“We regularly shared the park with the Makos. They were very accommodating and supportive”

The first three teams received an exact replica of Harry Kerr’s Olympic medal in addition to their respective NZ Championship medal. The first six teams to complete the 50km event also received a replica of Kerr’s original Olympic scroll recording details of the event and the team’s placing and time.

Wellington Relay

We decided that we would try to put together a team and head across to the Wellington Relay. It is raced over a marathon distance which means that we needed a team of 6. At the last minute one of our team members pulled out - leaving us with no chance to race for medals or any form of prize. We asked the officials if we could form a composite team and they let us ask another walker from another team to join us.

Even with this upsetting our night (which we drowned our sorrows....with way too much wine) we all marched up first thing in the morning for the race.

With 2 of us being total unknowns - we were watched with great interest from other teams.

Much to the surprize of most of the teams-we blitzed our way to third place.......just sadly the medals were given to 4th place.

Subway Nelson Half Marathon

I knew that my competition would be tough for this event.

Having finally beaten Sharon at the 10km race a month ago and also getting a personal best time of 62mins the pressure was on. I had been training with Yvonne and knew that we were neck and neck for speed and stamina. It would come down to race day tactics.

The day before the race I develop a migraine…….I get these for 3 days and they blind me. After taking enough drugs to drop a horse, I drag myself out into the cold and bright light to line up with everyone for the start. I didn’t give my self very good odds that morning due to feeling so nauseous as well.

My plan was to stick behind Sharon and try to keep Yvonne behind me and also not go out too fast at the start (a half marathon is not won in the first 5 km) but at the 3 km mark I felt great – adrenaline had taken care of my head ache and I passed Sharon on the over pass bridge with Yvonne hot on my heels.

The first 10km just breezed by and when I rounded the half way mark and doubled back I finally saw how close Yvonne was behind me…..she had gained. She was now 100mtr behind me. So I picked up the pace and set off determined to keep her at bay. By the 18km mark my hips and legs were hurting and I was having trouble keeping them moving. But some great encouragement from Shane on the side line spurred me on.

I crossed the finish line at 2 hours and 15 mins…………….5 mins faster than I had hoped for and giving me 1st place.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

2008 Buller Marathon

Feb 9th 2008, I joined the line up for the Buller Half Marathon. I was a "Buller Virgin" and felt so over whelmed by the enormity of the event. As far as I could see behind me - was a sea of faces. Eager and nervous eyes steering ahead waiting for the gun to go off. I was lucky and nabbed a great spot on the front line of the start. The weather was high cloud and everyone was praying it would remain that way for the whole event - prayers were answered!!!

As the gun goes off you round a corner over a bridge and start climbing the first of many rises. I cant call it a hill or steep but it was still a grind to push up at pace to try and gain some distance from the other walkers. The runners had started 5 mins ahead of us and it was not long before I was passing weary runners that had dropped off the back of the pack and were either jogging or walking slowly.

I kept a steady pace for the first 5 km, picking up a couple of other walkers that came up behind me. Once I had warmed up and caught my second breath I really didnt feel like having company so I plugged in my Ipod and off I went. Half way came and went in such a blur. The drink stations were so well placed that you just paced your self from one to the other. My friend Yvonne was walking in the rec group not Race Walking like me. She is a little quicker than me and my goal was to catch her. At the 13km mark I came within 20 feet of her till she looked over her shoulder and saw me...........then I couldnt gain on her. But remained close behind.

Walking over the final hill to the sound of a pipe band was just inspiring....fantastic stuff. I think from memory the hardest part of the whole race was walking up the main street in just felt like it went on for ever. I did however manage to case down and catch the 2nd recreational walker and passed her on the finish line to finish in 2 hours 25min. A personal best. Gained me the official result of 3rd overall and 2nd female race walker. My coach was 1st female....(but was only 3mins a head of me)

This was the best organised event I have entered to date. I cant wait till next year.