Race Day…..

After a five month build up, Race Day was finally here.  We arrived into Rotorua on Friday afternoon and went down to the Holiday Inn to register and collect our goodies box – there was a fair amount of stuff in there courtesy of the sponsors – T-shirts, caps, water bottles, muesli, protein bars and chocolate.  They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, this rings very true for the Rays of Sunshine too!

We enjoyed a relaxing yoga session with the Yoga Collective from Tauranga before the much anticipated collecting of the race maps and notes.  We were one of the first teams in the queue which was great so we could get back to the motel and start studying.

We decided to do a high level review of everything first so we could picture how the day was going to go in terms of what we were doing when and where our support crew needed to be and what they needed to be doing.  Our support crew then prepared some dinner for us so we could move into a little more detail with the maps.  We were really lucky that we had a more experienced adventure racing team staying next door – we had done some training with them in the lead up to the event and now they were happy to share their knowledge with us regarding reviewing the maps and plotting the most efficient course.

We then wandered back to the Holiday Inn for the medium course briefing where Neil explained things and gave us a few handy hints.  It was then back to the motel for more study and to write up some detailed notes.  Our category – Medium Course Veterans – was starting at 7.15am so we decided to get everything ready that night and came up with a timetable for the morning.  5.30m wake up call, the support crew were to load the cars with each team members gear boxes, the food and water and then the bikes.  We were responsible for getting ourselves dressed and having breakfast!  6.15am and we were in the cars and on our way to Boyes Beach at Lake Okareka.

The order of the day was as follows:

1. A short walk from Boyes Beach around the Lake

2. Paddle Boarding collecting 5 check points

3. A trek from Lake Okareka to Lake Tikitapu (The Blue Lake) collecting 5 check points

4. A mountain bike through the Redwood Forest collecting 10 check points

5. A mystery activity which was the Redwoods Treewalk

6. A Rogaine collecting 15 check points

7. A mountain bike collecting 4 check points

8. Another mystery activity which was a shooting challenge

9. A walk around part of Lake Rotorua collecting 3 check points 


 The short walk first up was pretty straight forward.  We then had to take our packs and our shoes off before donning a life jacket and taking our paddle board down to the lake.  The weather forecast for the day was not flash – showers with some heavy falls.  There was a heavy downpour as we left the motel and it rained during the drive out to the lake.  Remarkably it cleared for the walk and the sun even came out when we got on the paddle boards.  The wind had dropped and the lake conditions were perfect.  We had an electronic transponder that one team member had to wear on their finger and clock it into each checkpoint.  The checkpoints on the paddle board were easy to locate as it was a case of follow the leader.  The designated transponder wearing team member went ashore to clock into the checkpoints while the other team members hovered offshore.  We completed the paddle board section in a dry state : )


 Shoes and packs back on we set off.  In hindsight our team name should have been Katy and The Three Blind Mice.  At 23, Katy’s eyesight is pretty good which can’t be said for the rest of us.  Along with her good eyesight she is pretty good on the navigating side of things too so she took control of the map.  After setting off from the paddle boarding we saw some teams going around the corner but Katy said we had to go straight up and then cut into the bush.  After walking part way up the hill we realised this was probably not right so down we came again.  The road sign which was also on the map should have been a dead giveaway.  We put that faux pas down to nerves and got going in the right direction.

We entered the bush and began our search for the first check point.  Unfortunately all the other teams had moved on so we couldn’t get a gauge from them either – we searched high and low but could not find the it.  After about 20 minutes we decided we had to move on – it was extremely demoralising and we were feeling rather inadequate.  We had another 36 checkpoints to find so off we went.  Our confidence was a little down and we had some hesitation as to whether we were going in the right direction for the next checkpoint too until we found it rather easily.  That was the boost we needed.  We then had a bit of a walk down to the Blue Lake before we veered off to find the next three check points.  We were slowly getting the hang of this map reading.

Next up was the mountain biking section.  We proceeded up Tarawera Road and Ray 2’s gear and brake lever on the left snapped off – it must have been damaged in transporting it to Rotorua.  She was in her small chain ring and the brakes still worked so we decided to carry on – we would do some makeshift repairs along the way.  We had one false entry into the park before finding the correct entrance.  After finding the first check point we actually caught up to some other teams so that made it easy for the second check point.  We found the next check point easily before proceeding to the next one which was by a spring.  Ray 3 ended up calf deep in mud getting to the next check point after some insight from another team – we are pretty sure the way we got that checkpoint was not the way it was meant to be got.

The next checkpoint we had made a note that it would be easier to leave our bikes at a certain point and walk in to get the checkpoint – the clue was ‘bridge over creek’.  We walked in and found the bridge but again searching high and low bore no checkpoint!  Meanwhile about 4 other teams arrived and no one could find the check point.  Some of the teams had ridden in from the start of the track and said this was the was the first bridge – others said there was only the one bridge on this trail.  After about twenty minutes we decided to move on.  The next check point was on the Yellow Brick Road track which we went and rode – we got to the end and hadn’t spotted the check point.  Oh no, we were starting to feel rather hopeless again.  When we got to the end of the track there were quite a number of teams there so information was shared – apparently there was another bridge on the previous track but it was closer to the end where we were.  Katy ran back in to find it and came back triumphant.  We also learnt where the check point on the Yellow Brick Road track was so Renee and I ran back in there to get it.  Running in bike shoes is not the most comfortable way to run!

On the bikes again – four more checkpoints to go which we found with a little help from our fellow competitors but not before making a wrong turn and cycling down a hill that we had to cycle back up again.  Ray 4 was trying to ride and navigate and it was taking it’s toll.  We were very happy to see our support crew at the end of the Exit Trail.  We had spent about four hours on the bikes.  We hadn’t eaten enough on this leg so we were all fairly ravenous.  It is amazing how much better you feel once you eat and re hydrate.


 The next adventure was a tree top walk which was fun for the first five minutes but we all agreed it was a bit monotonous.  We can see how it would be enjoyable for tourists but we were not in tourist mode.  After finishing the walk we located the marshals who had the rogaining maps.   


 Armed with our map we found the first few checkpoints fairly easily.  Ray 4, the sighted one, had eaten and was back on form with the map.  We had trouble locating the checkpoint in the kumara pit and met up with another team having the same problem.  We went on to find another checkpoint and then regrouped to eventually find the kumara pit.



 Ray 2 was having trouble with her ankle and planta fasciitis so broke out the voltaren.  Not happy with the speed at which that was taking effect she asked Ray 4 (our resident nurse) whether she could also take some nurofen.  Ray 4 wasn’t sure so decided this was an emergency so broke out the cellphone to call her friend Ollie who is studying to be a Doctor.  The gist of the conversation was ‘he thinks it will be OK but if all else fails dial 111’.  Meanwhile Ray 3 was trying to keep the team moving in the direction of the last checkpoints so Ray 4 was multitasking by seeking medical advice and navigating!  We had trouble with one other checkpoint which cost us a bit of time but after two hours and twenty minutes we had located all the checkpoints.

 We rendezvoused with our support crew again to get back on our bikes.  The weather was closing in and it had got quite dark.  We had one checkpoint to get before the second mystery activity which involved shooting.  Thankfully none of us were at the point of wanting to shoot ourselves or each other – it had been a fabulous day from that perspective : ). After finding that checkpoint we got to an area where there were some buildings, archery boards and sports fields.  We didn’t see anybody else so carried on – the heavens then decided to open up.  It was the first time all day that we actually got really wet so that was pretty good.  We back tracked and spotted a building that had a couple of cars parked outside.  We went over to see if we could find anyone who could point us in the right direction and wallah we were in the right spot – a non descript building with a shooting range inside.  Looking at the map after the event it actually says MA (mystery activity) 2 – Small Building – that might have helped if we read that at the time!

We each had to use the slug guns to hit a designated target twice – we had five shots each.  Ray’s 1, 2 and 4 were dead eyed dicks, Ray 3 got there eventually but incurred a 30 second time penalty for the team.  We had to stand in the kitchen to serve our penalty – it was like being put in the naughty corner.  The guys running the shooting challenge were great – very helpful and friendly with a good sense of humour. 

  The rain had eased slightly as we got back on the bikes to find the next three checkpoints which were on the edge of Lake Rotorua.  It was then time to meet up wth the support crew for the final time to drop the bikes off and set out on foot to get the last three checkpoints.  They didn’t prove too difficult but we still managed to take a slightly different route to the finish line – we came down Eat Street the opposite way to all the other teams that we saw come in after us.  This probably summed up our day – we got there eventually after taking some very scenic routes!

The glass of bubbles at the finish line tasted so good.  We were very proud of ourselves – we came, we participated, we achieved, we had fun, we learnt a lot and all in the name of Spirited Women.  Would we do it again – ABSOLUTELY, in a heartbeat : )

We enjoyed some more drinks and pizzas at the Brew Bar before heading back to the motel to get cleaned up – it took quite a bit if scrubbing to remove all the mud!  A bit of stretching was also in order : )

 We all felt pretty good the next day.  We were up early due to the extra hours sleep we got thanks to daylight saving.  A pre breakfast coffee and scone was in order – we were also hungry and breakfast wasn’t until 10am.  We checked out the results board – we had got first at the wrong end due to missing the first checkpoint on the hike.  Dreams are free…….
The Rays and their awesome Support Crew (SC) – from left to right – Viv (SC), Renee (Ray 2), Rachel (Ray 3), Vicky (Ray 1), Carla (SC), Rachel D (SC) and Katy (Ray 4 and the sighted one)

We would like to say a big THANK YOU to the Alterno Foundation for sponsoring us to do this event and for providing such wonderful support and guidance.  The Alterno Foundation supports projects which have the potential to make our community a better place – better health, better fitness, better educated and more productive!  We all feel very privelleged to know such visionaries who really care about the people and the little piece of paradise that we all get to call home.  Check out http://www.alterno.nz 

We would also like to thank Neil and his team at Dare 2 Sweat Adventures for a well run event – this was the inaugural Spirited Women’s Adventure Race but given it’s success I know there will be many more to come and they will just keep getting bigger and better.

Some individual thoughts from each of the Rays….

Ray 1

It was with trepidation that I arrived in Rotorua to participate in the inaugural Spirited Women’s Adventure Race.  Up until five weeks ago I had no worries about completing the course as my base fitness was good.  Failing to correctly negotiate a bridge on my bike during our second training weekend put paid to that!

A string of injuries had a flow on effect and I wasn’t able to train effectively again until a week out from the event.  I knew I would be the weakest link in the team but that the team would be very supportive – our goal right from the start was to go outside our comfort zones, participate and have fun.  I was proved right – we had a ball.  There was not one cross word, one dirty look or complaint.

I personally loved every aspect of the race including my team, the other amazing teams, each and every discipline including the tree top walking and shooting, the amazing environment, faultless organisation and even the inclement weather.  We didn’t set any records but we had a great day – all eleven hours and forty three minutes of it!  ☀️

Ray 2

It sure was a case of the three blind mice!  Thanks Ray 4 for having young eyes and being able to read that impossible map!  I had a blast and I could not fault the support among the team – there was never a time that any of us thought to throw in the towel.

It was a lot of fun and the scenery was amazing – a big thumbs up to the event organisers – it was a well run inaugural event and I am sure it will be bigger and better in 2017.

Our support crew were outstanding – now I remember how much I love peanut butter sandwhiches.  They had never done or supported an event like this before but they were like seasoned professionals!  They were so positive and encouraging when we came through each transition which really helped to keep us positive and motivated.

I’ll definitley be back next year!☀️☀️

Ray 3

I loved every minute of the day which ended up being fairly long but the time seemed to fly by.  I felt like we all learnt a lot and now that we know what to expect and how to read the maps I think we will fare better next time around.

I found the day more mentally demanding than physically demanding.  I am one of the three blind mice so not being able to read the maps easily while in action was frustrating.  I also don’t have a very good sense of direction so that coupled with not being able to see the maps clearly made me feel like I was not pulling my weight.  We put a lot of pressure on Ray 4 (the sighted one) which in hindsight we would change next time around.  A trip to the Optometrist and a lot more practice reading and understanding the maps is in order.

Next time around I would also do at least two training weekends in the area that the race is being held in – you won’t know the specific locations until the night before the race but I think it would help to have some sense of the area geographically.

I also didn’t fuel regularly enough which didn’t cause any problems but I wouldn’t recommend it – you should really be eating something at least every hour.  Our support crew were fantastic and had prepared adventure race suitable food so we certainly made up for it while we were in transition.  Peanut butter sandwhiches never tasted so good!

It was a brilliant weekend and I would encourage you all to give it a go – the camaraderie between all the participants and being challenged both mentally and physically is extremely rewarding.  I can’t wait to sign up for next year.  ☀️☀️☀️

Ray 4

Race Day rolled around really fast and I was a bit nervous about a supposed six to nine hour race that we had signed up to with a stormy weather forecast on the horizon.

After a few minor navigation mishaps I was designated as the sole navigator as no one else could see the maps!

The scenery was amazing and the weather held out until later in the afternoon.  I struggled a bit on the biking leg due to biking being my weakest discipline and the added task of trying to read the maps and direct the rest of the team.  I found this a bit much at times and as I got hungrier I could feel a tantrum coming on.  Luckily the girls didn’t seem to mind being lead astray and we knew the next transition was not far off.

We were greeted by our fabulous support crew who had big smiles, hot coffee and a whole lot of peanut buter sandwhiches.  After a little bit of food I was a new women and we had less navigation mishaps.

I loved the whole race and would definitely recommend it to anyone.  It was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster at times getting lost and frustrated but then on the other hand it was super satisfying locating the checkpoints.

All in all it was an awesome day.  Thanks to our sponsors and our amazing support crew Carla, Rachel D and Viv Lim (as in Nadia Lim) – we couldn’t have done it without you.  Well done to my fellow Ray’s – bring on next year but not before you have all booked into your optometrists or had laser eye surgery : 0. ☀️☀️☀️☀️

Some thoughts from our Support Crew


I was very happy to be a support crew member for such an awesome team.  They kept their spirits high, unlike some of the other teams we saw coming through the transition areas.   We saw a few mountain bikes flying around or being kicked, and I am still puzzled as to what those mountain bikes had done wrong!

We learnt a lot and next year we will make sure that we bring the following:
1) A mobile coffee machine to make a nice coffee.

2) A campervan, so that the support crew can shelter from the elements and take a nap in : )

3) More peanut butter sandwiches or perhaps we could mix it up with a bit of almond butter.

4) A book to read.


I loved being part of the support crew to such an inspiring team.  I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend and even found it quite emotional at times.  To see the faces of the girls coming through the transition areas, not only our team but all the teams, was pretty amazing.  We saw smiles, tears, and some angry moments from girls who were over it and usually the bikes wore the brunt if it.  The encouragement from their team mates was pretty special to hear though.  I guess that was what it was all about. Girls supporting each other out of their comfort zones!!

I picked up a few pointers re being a better support team member – more peanut butter sandwiches, chairs for us to sit on and I second the idea of the campervan.

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A Month of Varying Degrees of Sunshine…..

The Rays have experienced varying degrees of sunshine this month.  We have all been flying solo as logistically it wasn’t possible to get together for any form of team training.  Ray 1 took longer than expected to recover from her injury, Ray 2 got married, Ray 3 enjoyed some biking and hiking in the South Island and Ray 4 had an extraordinarily social month.

Probably not an ideal scenario given we only have two weeks to go until Adventure Day.  Never fear the Rays will be there along with their trusty support crew.  Speaking of whom, we thought it would be nice to introduce you to them…


Rachel D 



Rachel D and Viv are part of the wider gym group and although they have no Adventure Racing experience they have all the attributes required of a support crew- they have a can-do attitude, great organisational skills and most importantly a sense of fun.  The role of the support crew is to assist you at transition zones throughout the course, keep you on track and help you stay focused, energised and hydrated.  That’s hydrated with water Rachel D, not wine 🍾🍷

Let’s now touch base with the individual Rays to see what level of sunshine they managed over the last month ☀️😎

Ray of Sunshine 1 – Vicky

This is our last blog before the event in just over two weeks. It’s time to bring you up to date with what’s been happening with me. It’s just over a month now since the mountain biking accident I had during the last team training weekend.  I’ve been unable to train apart from some gentle walking. My right hip and ribs took the major impact of the fall and I’ve learnt that as much as I would like to, I don’t bounce!

I am feeling completely undertrained but after some discussions with my fellow Ray’s have decided that we can do this.  We may not be as prepared and competitive as we could have been but the goal of finishing what we set out to do and having some fun along the way outweighs this.

Over the next two weeks I will work on building up my endurance, core strength (even though I still can’t lie flat) and my confidence.  I guess I should also get back on my mountain bike!  My final thought is how lucky I am to be in a position where I can paddle, walk, cycle and enjoy this event with such a wonderful group of exceptional ladies. Best of luck to you all and I look forward to seeing some of you on Adventure Day.  ☀️

Ray of Sunshine 2 – Renee

The sun was shining and the bride and groom beamed – congratulations Renee and Chris.

Renee and Chris are currently enjoying their honeymoon in Rarotonga.  Here’s hoping she comes back rested and raring to go on Adventure Day.  ☀️☀️

Ray of Sunshine 3 – Rachel

Since our last team training the sun has been shining very brightly in my world.  I have been to the depths of the South Island to do some biking and hiking.

Our annual bike trip this year was in Central Otago.  A group of 12 of us spent four days cycling around Queenstown, Wanaka and then along the Clutha River.  Day 1 saw us cycle from Queenstown to Arrowtown and then from Arrowtown to Chard Farm winery – this was all off-road on Grade 2 trails.  On Day 2 we cycled from the Lake Wanaka outlet into Wanaka and then did the Glendhu Bay ride.  The Glendhu Bay track meanders around the southern end of Lake Wanaka – there are a few steep climbs and downhills along the way and the views are awesome.  The wind had got up which added to the excitement.

On the last two days we did the Roxburgh Gorge Trail Ride (approximately 33km) and the Clutha Gold Trail (approximately 73km).  These two trails run alongside the Clutha River and the scenery is spectacular.  The Roxburgh Gorge Trail involves a 13km jet boat ride to join the two parts of the trail up.  Lawrence, our jet boat driver gave us a commentary about the gold mining history of the area and pointed out the Chinese settlements along the river.  Both these trails are mainly Grade 2 and I would thoroughly recommend them.  We also enjoyed a couple of refreshing swims in the river along the way.

After we finished the bike trip we met up with another group of friends and headed further south to Tuatapere where we did the Humpridge Track.  This track is set in the Fiordland National Park and is approximatley 60km in length.  We completed the track over three days, walking about 20km a day.  The first day is a gradual climb up to 880m above sea level, on the second day you descend back to sea level and the third day starts with an undulating bush walk before reaching the coast again and the end of the track.  Again the scenery was spectacular and we were fortunate to have great weather on the last two days which is when it mattered.

After some discussions with the Lodge Manager at Port Craig at the end of Day 2, we discovered that this walk is one of the more challenging in NZ at 20km per day.  It was no wonder when we all got up on Day 3 that we had the sorest calf muscles we have ever experienced!  It took us all a few days for the calves to feel normal again – although I was wondering if that was possible.

My marathon training is also still on track although my legs have not felt as fresh as before the biking and hiking.  Although I haven’t managed any paddle boarding over the last month I am happy that my other adventures have contributed nicely to the build up to the race.

I am really looking forward to Adventure Day – I am excited about the new challenge we are about to undertake and I am sure we will have a lot of fun on the day.  We all signed up for this race as we wanted to go outside our comfort zones, to challenge ourselves and to enjoy the team aspect of the race.  I can’t wait.  ☀️☀️☀️          

Ray of Sunshine 4 – Katy

With summer coming to a close the silly season has not slowed down for me.  Since the last team training weekend I have done plenty of socialising and not a lot of training.  I’ve been to Dunedin and Queenstown for a wedding and did a few big walks to balance out all the things that come with a wedding.  In saying that I did manage a trip out to Woodhill Forest to work on my mountain biking skills and confidence.  This is still the aspect of the race that I am most worried about.

I am starting to appreciate the importance of fuelling your body with the correct food regularly while you are out exercising for a couple of hours.  I have found that when my blood sugar drops I tend to fall off my bike more often compared to post fuelling : 0. Having something to eat helps me focus a lot better and I become more tolerant of my friends terrible jokes!

I have kept up my general fitness thanks to Ray 1 pushing me along – even with injured ribs!  The count down is on and my goal over the next two weeks is to get out on my bike as much as possible.  I am really excited about spending the weekend with my fellow Ray’s and our awesome support crew.  Bring it on.  ☀️☀️☀️☀️ 


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Team Training – Take Two

This past weekend saw the Rays of Sunshine convene in Auckland for their second team training.  Again we were lucky enough to have two more experienced adventure racers training with us for the weekend – Susan & Natalie.

On Saturday morning we all went into Fergs Kayaks in Okahu Bay.  Ray 4 was to meet us there as she had been out socialising in Auckland City the night before and had stayed in town – say no more : ). We got there a bit early and had to wait for the Fergs staff to get set up – it was a lovely morning so a bit of relaxing in the sun didn’t go astray.  We got a phone call from Ray 4 to say she was in Mission Bay and where were we?  At Fergs in Okahu Bay of course – come on round.

Ray 1 had made the booking and had to explain that there were only 6 of us instead of 7 due to an injury to a member of Susan and Natalie’s team.  This didn’t seem to be a problem with the very good looking guy with the foreign accent and 12 pack behind the counter : ). He took our money and helped us with the boards, paddles and life jackets – it appeared some of the girls were in slow motion – anxious about getting on the paddle boards or admiring the view?

Across the Bay they were setting up for a paddle boarding event – Paddle for Hope – so we were able to enjoy a bit of music as we set off around the Bay.  The conditions were perfect but we were moderately tested with the wake from the Fullers Ferry and other boats going out to the Islands in the Harbour as we got further out.  There are quite a few boats moored in Okahu Bay so that was fun navigating between them.  We all lasted the hour with no thrills and spills.  It was hot enough though so a spill probably would have gone down nicely. 

 We were on a ‘no coffee until after the day’s training’ ban – Ray 1 had put this rule in place but was the first one to try and break it.  We all resisted though and made our way back to South Auckland for a spot of mountain biking in Totara Park.  Totara Park is a beautiful mix of bush trails and exposed multi use trails.  We had all spent plenty of time in Totara Park over the years running and walking.  After biking through the park to where the actual mountain bike trails are we decided to warm into it by doing the kids loop a couple of times.  We then tried out the pump track where the objective is to build up some momentum and then keep this going by pulling and pushing the bike away from you – no pedalling.   Lots of fun and lots of noise!

We then went to try out a track called DIC – this track is great for practising your skills in respect of winding your way up to the top via some tight corners – you have to maintain your balance while guiding your bike up and around.  The downhill was also good with some twists and turns to test your skills – there were also some jumps which you could go around if you choose to.  The rule of ‘always look where you want your bike to go’ was ringing true – don’t look at that tree stump or the edge of that bridge or you will find yourself coming up close and personal with said items.   We did this track twice – it was very enjoyable.  We then headed back for another whip around the kids track and the pump track before embarking on the Pony Express.  This track climbs up to the edge of Totara Park and there are a few twists, turns and bridges on the way down.

Not far from the end of the trail Ray 1 had an unfotunate incident with the edge of a bridge and managed to catapult herself off the side with the bike landing on top of her.  We all dropped our bikes and ran back to see if she was OK.  She was very sore and shaken but it didn’t appear that anything was broken so she hobbled with her bike back out of the park.  The rest of us had headed off in front of her and decided to stop to wait for her along the way – no sign, so Ray 4 (the youngest) ran back to find her.  No success so we worked out she must have taken the road.  We got back to the carpark and there she was – all’s well that end’s well but probably a note for future team training and the event – we need to stick together no matter what.

After regrouping and deciding that the best place for Ray 1 was the couch, we refuelled and headed for Duders Regional Park for some orienteering.  We are all working through our own fuelling – some like gels while others are preferring solid food like muesli bars, bliss balls, fruit and peanut butter on fruit bread.  We did break the ‘no coffee until after the day’s training’ ban as we stopped in for a takeaway coffee on our way out to Duders!  

Ray 1 had designated herself the Cheif Orienterrer and had set the course for us.  With Ray 1 now residing on the couch, Ray 4 took control of the map.  Ray 4 had done Outward Bound and has the youngest eyes in order to see what all the symbols on the map represented without donning glasses!  The first four markers were easy to find which lulled us into a false sense of security. The next two proved difficult and we admitted defeat and moved on.  This was not before going up dale and down dale in some very long grass! 

We made some new friends along the way although they were looking at us strangely : ). It was a lovely afternoon and the views were great – we had found 14 out of the 18 posts – 2 of these we didn’t bother with as time was marching on. 

 That evening we had a potluck dinner with our partners and our support crew.  Ray 1 was still pretty sore and fairly immobile – oops : 0.  She did have a confession of sorts to make to us – she noticed that she had 6 missed calls on her phone from this one number so decided to call it back.  It was a Paddle Boarding company in Mission Bay who were wondering why we hadn’t turned up for the 7 boards we had booked that morning.  But we did turn up said Ray 1 – it appears that when she had googled Fergs Kayaks a competitors details had popped up and she had just clicked on the call button.  Perhaps natural justice for website hijacking or maybe just fat fingers!  It turned out that Ray 4 was listening when Ray 1 told her to go to Mission Bay – this other company was located in Mission Bay and not Okahu Bay where we ended up.

This was all good learning re clear instructions and listening skills.  Speaking of which, our support crew, Viv & Rachel D, were discussing the event weekend in Taupo.  Given that the event is in Rotorua that could have been interesting.  We think we are all on the right page now but there will be some double and triple checking going on before the event.

The plan was to back Day 1 up with some endurance work on the bike and the legs.  Rays 2, 3 and 4 drove out to the Hunuas up Ness Valley Road where we met Susan, Natalie and Richard – they had cycled there – we had driven – they are doing the long course (minus Richard of course as he is of the male variety) – we are doing the intermediate course – enough justification?  Anyway, another listening skills incident was about to unfold.  The plan was to cycle to the start of the Kohokohunui Track and about a kilometre along the track where we would then park the bikes and hike to the top.  ‘Hike’ says Ray 2 as she stands there in her cycling shoes – ‘I didn’t bring any other shoes’.  Oops, we were again questioning our communication skills when Ray 2 says all she heard was 3 hours – so she had been there when said conversation had taken place – 3 hours broken down into 1.5 hours cycling and 1.5 hours hiking. – she had just zoned out when the details were discussed!  Luckily Natalie had some spare shoes, not quite the right size but a bit of juggling between Ray 2, Natalie and Susan solved the issue.

We cycled up the forestry roads which were very good for our endurance.  We passed some current logging sites and then reached the start of the track where it narrowed and was covered in bush on both sides – a good test of the skills practised the day before.  There was a pit just before the start of the stairs where we could lock up the bikes. 

The top of this walk is actually the highest point in the Auckland region at 688 metres above sea level.  It is a great bush covered walk with lots of stairs – the views at the top were well worth it.

After reaching the top and refuelling the plan was to do what we had just done in reverse.  Natalie and Richard had gone on ahead.  As the rest of us approached the current logging site a woman got out of the digger and started yelling at us that the road was closed.  She was a learner driver and was practising her skills – OK we didn’t need to be told twice.  Meanwhile, Richard and Natalie had gone past her at such a pace she didn’t get a chance to apprehend them!  Back up the road we went where we then turned right and proceeded down St Pauls Road.  Well actually we didn’t go down, we went up, up and further up – there was a bit of a climb going this way but hey the order of the day was endurance after all.  

 Apart from poor Ray 1’s demise it had been a very productive weekend with lots of learning and laughs.  Ray 1 is still not particularly mobile but is on the improve – she is tough though so we have no doubt she will bounce back with a vengeance : )

Lessons learnt from the weekend:

  • Don’t ride off the sides of bridges
  • Clarify you are talking to who you think you are talking to on the phone
  • Ensure all instructions are repeated back to you to ensure the ears were actually engaged
  • Stick together at all times
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Team Training – Take One

On the weekend of the 16th and 17th of January the Rays had their first team training weekend in Taupo.  We were very lucky to have a couple of experienced and enthusiastic adventure racers, Susan and Louise, with us for the weekend.  They were only too happy to impart some pearls of wisdom and provide general guidance on the training and fuelling.

We were up bright and early on Saturday morning and after a nutritious breakfast, which consisted of some variation of oats and fruit for each of us, we set off on a walk down to the Lake.  We did approximately 8km before returning to base to get changed for paddle boarding.  What to wear was the question?  Everyone resigned themselves to the fact that there was a very high chance that they would fall in at some stage so swimwear or quick dry clothing was deemed appropriate. 

The guy looking after the paddle boards down by the Lake was in the Lake when we arrived – he had a paddle board but appeared to have spent a bit of time in the water as he was all wet – we didn’t think that boded well for our chances of staying dry.  The Lake was quite choppy and there was a bit of a breeze.  Only two out of the six had done paddle boarding before and that was in flat, calm conditions.

Paddle Boarding Guy gave us some pointers and advised us to start off on our knees before progressing to our feet.  This was good advice in the conditions.  Ray 3 who had paddle boarded before was the first to come off – she learnt that talking, looking around and paddle boarding don’t mix – there was to be no multi tasking with this discipline – not yet anyway.  The rest of the group did really well, eventually progressing from their knees to their feet.  They also all launched themselves into the water at some stage much to everyone else’s delight – Renee’s running off the front of the paddle board was probably the most impressive.  Louise managed to last 55 minutes before introducing herself to the Lake – the rest of us were of course delighted : )

Paddle Boarding Guy had told us to take care of the fins on the paddle board when getting close to shore – luckily he was too busy getting a tan when Ray 3 was washing up on the rocks.  The Rays then decided to try two to a Paddle Board – one standing up paddling while the other sat on the front and used their arms to paddle.  Apparently Paddle Boarding Guy glanced up from his sunbathing position but quickly resumed it so we gather there was no harm in loading up the boards : 0. There was a bit of falling off and nearly falling off but we found that the boards were actually a lot more stable with two people on them.

All in all it was a great introduction to Paddle Boarding but more time on the boards prior to the race will definitely be beneficial. 

Back to base to re fuel and change into our bike gear.  Susan had planned a bike ride out to the Craters of the Moon Mountain Bike Park so we could practice some mountain bike basics on the Grade 2 and 3 trails. Rays 1 and 4 were very new to mountain biking and Ray 2 had an unfortunate experience during a mountain bike skills course so they were all a bit tentative.  One of the key things with mountain biking is to find your centre of gravity, relax and let the bike do it’s thing all the while looking and steering the bike where you want it to go – so much easier said than done.  The death grip on the handle bars is very common in the beginning : )

Everyone did very well and there were no disgraceful dismounts.  It was then time to head back to town and have some lunch.  Just before we got back to Taupo there is a little side track called Acid Drop which Susan thought we should take – the sign said something along the lines of “concrete is boring, take the Acid Drop instead”.  Acid Drop turned out to be a short, sharp, fun downhill track which sure did wake the Rays back up again. It was then a steep uphill back into Taupo to the Storehouse for lunch.  The Storehouse is a hidden gem in Runanga Street – highly recommend this place if you’re in Taupo – great food and great coffee.  What more could a group of hungry girls want : ) 

It was a stunning Taupo day so after lunch we cycled down to the Lake for a swim in our cycle gear – it was absolutely stunning and beneficial for the muscles.  It was then back to base for showers and some rest and relaxation which is also very important when preparing for these type of events. 

We wandered down to the Mole & Chicken for dinner – another of Taupo’s hidden gems.  The sun was still shining making it the perfect evening to sit outside.  Over a glass of wine and as we waited for our dinner, Louise inspired us all wth her story about riding a tandem bike around the world for which her and her husband still hold the Guinness Book of World Records for.  

Susan and Louise also shared some stories about their various sporting endeavours and we discussed fuelling and the role of the support crew.  A discussion also developed regarding the ‘soft, delicate, girly bits’ that can be held to ransom after a bit of time on the bike.  To avoid this area ‘being closed for maintenance’ it is wise to wear bike pants and possibly invest in some chamois cream.  You may also want to make sure that your bike and bike seat are a good fit for you and that you are sitting properly on the seat.  Don’t be shy about discussing such matters with more experienced female riders as it has happened to the best of them at one stage or another.

The neighbours had partied hard on the Friday night and kept some of us awake so we were hoping for a quieter night on Saturday night.  When we went to bed all was quiet on the neighbours front, however, they did have a little flare up about midnight but it didn’t last long which was a blessing for the lighter sleepers amongst us.

6.30am Sunday morning we were up and raring to go again – well OK, maybe not raring but we were up.  This morning’s plan was to do the Huka Falls and Aratiatia Dam loop on our bikes and perhaps a spot of paddle boarding if conditions allowed. It was another lovely morning so minimal layers were required.  After a good oat and fruit breakfast we were off.

The majority of the riding was grade 2 with the odd spot of grade 3 – it was exhilarating weaving through the bush and practising the skills we had learnt the day before.  The vistas were fantastic – we got to see how the other half holiday at Huka Lodge and then Huka Falls from both sides.  The bush was beautiful and we especially enjoyed cycling through the Redwoods.  We stopped off at a jeep wreck and did a bit of crash scene reenactment – these weekends are supposed to be fun after all : )  

 We then headed down to the Lake for coffee and to contemplate our next move – we had ridden approximately 31km in two and a half hours.  The wind had gotten up and the Lake was fairly choppy again so we decided showers and lunch would be the perfect end to a great weekend.  Backing up the first days training with a solid session on Sunday was good for our endurance – we felt a bit jaded but in a good way – nothing beats that feeling of being physically tired after some rewarding exercise in the beautiful sunshine.

The key things we all took away from the weekend were:

  • Hydrating & fuelling appropriately
  • Ensuring your bike is the right size for you and the seat you are using is the best fit for you
  • Don’t underestimate the power of talking with more experienced adventure racers or sports people 

However, the most crucial element in preparing and doing these events is to have fun with like minded women – there is nothing more therapeutic than laughter – laughing at yourself and with others. 


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Times flies and then reality bites….

As the saying goes ‘time flies when you’re having fun’ – WOW we must be having a blast because this last month has flown by.  Two of the Rays competed in the Rotorua Quarter Ironman on the 19th December so the lead up to that coupled with Christmas certainly added to the fun.

This blog is serving two purposes – firstly, we are sharing our journey with anyone that would like to follow us and secondly, it is providing some checks and balances on the team as we re visit what we wrote and planned on doing in last month’s blog : )

Let’s see how the Rays of Sunshine fared in the last month….

Ray of Sunshine 1 – Vicky

Another month has flown by and it’s becoming more real that some specific training needs to be undertaken. Rachel and I have just competed in and I’m happy to say, completed the Rotorua Quarter Ironman. Our fitness is certainly where it needs to be BUT some paddle boarding, orienteering and mountain bike techniques wouldn’t go astray now.

I’m off to Waihi Beach for Christmas so have decided to use my down time getting more familiar with compass reading and basic orienteering information.  I’m also taking my brand spanking new mountain bike with me – thanks Jamie at Avanti Plus, Hastings for all your help selecting the ideal bike.  It’s been hanging in the gym for well over a month now so is raring to go on a few outings.

I am also fortunate enough to have a wonderful daughter-in-law who owns a paddle board which is also Waihi bound over the break.  My goal is to come back from holiday with some confidence in all disciplines, or at least with the knowledge of what needs to be worked on.

The Rays of Sunshine are all meeting up in the middle of January in Taupo to spend the weekend practicing together.  In the meantime we will all be staying fit and healthy, trying very hard not too consume too many Christmas mince pies and bottles of bubbles.  No Promises though!  Merry Christmas to everyone.  Ray 1 ☀️


Ray of Sunshine 2 – Renee

After last month’s good intentions and then my mishap at the mountain bike skills clinic I am happy to report that my right wrist was not fractured although I spent 11 days in a cast : 0.  Going into the 4 week bootcamp with a cast was not in the plan, but I managed to attend every session giving it my all.  

I am looking forward to the scheduled training weekends with my fellow Ray’s – I am picking the paddle boarding WILL be fun the mountain biking MAY be fun and the orienteering downright HILARIOUS!  

With Christmas literally just around the corner I am looking forward to a well deserved break with loved ones followed by plenty of training.  However, my fellow Ray’s will be very pleased to know that my main goal over the break will be to stay injury free – I pretty much reckon I’ve done my dash for 2015!!

Merry Christmas everyone – be safe!  Ray 2 ☀️☀️

Ray of Sunshine 3 – Rachel

A lot seems to have happened since I wrote my last blog update.  My right calf came right and then I discovered I had an issue with my left calf and Achilles so no more self diagnosis and rehab, it was off to the physio!  My new physio Marie is fantastic and a realist – if I wanted to come right there was to be no mountain biking, hill walking or running.  Fortunately I was still allowed to walk and bike on the flat as well as swim.  Two weekly physio sessions, stretching and strengthening exercises saw me back to 1 minute on, 1 minute off running for a maximum of ten minutes.  Over the month this has been increased to ten minutes solid running with a 10% increase during each run going forward.    

In early December I did the Timber Trail with a group of friends – this is mainly Grade 2 with a little bit of Grade 3 riding so Marie was pretty relaxed about me doing this.  We did just under 100km over the two days – it is such a fantastic trail and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants a challenge and enjoys native bush and exploring NZ’s history.  The trail is well maintained and the information boards along the way regarding our forestry pioneers are really informative and interesting.  It was also a good opportunity to practice my mountain biking skills and endurance.

I was in a team for the Rotorua Quarter Ironman – I did the 1km swim leg and the 10km run leg.  Unfortunately I could only run for ten minutes so walked the majority of it – of course I saved one of the ten minutes to run across the finish line – it’s all about the image right?  Of all the events that I have done this would have to be the most picturesque – I actually didn’t mind the walk as it allowed me to take in all the stunning vistas.

On reading one of the Spirted newsletters I deduced that the intermediate distance only involves paddle boarding so I will now focus on this discipline rather than splitting my time between paddle boarding and kayaking.  Consequently I ventured out into Pandora’s Pond to do my first paddle board session – it is so much fun – I really enjoyed it.  I spotted a stingray which was a bit concerning as I also do some of my swim training in the pond!

After Christmas I will be starting my marathon training so that will take care of the fitness side of things.  I will be dropping one of my weekly swim sessions and replacing that with a cycle session.  I will also be scheduling in a weekly mountain bike and paddle board session – we have lots of visitors coming to stay over the next month so lots of training buddies – even if they don’t know it yet : )

Merry Christmas everyone – have fun and stay safe.  Ray 3 ☀️☀️☀️


Ray of Sunshine 4 – Katy

December has been a seriously busy month with Christmas looming on the horizon and the silly season getting into full swing.  It was good having Vicky and the Group Personal Training (GPT) girls around to keep me in check : 0

On the 12th of December I ran the 21km Trailblazer on Waiheke Island – leading up to the event I was very focused on getting some kilometres on the clock.  It was a great event with a lot of different terrain.  I struggled up some of the hills in the first 10km and although I was surrounded by some amazing vistas I wasn’t really in the right zone to fully appreciate them. The second half of the run was in the bush and the shade was a welcome relief.  There was a bit of root dodging going on and I tried particularly hard not to get lost – I thought the other Ray’s would be pretty relieved about that achievement!

It was a great event and I would recommend it to others wanting to do a half marathon with an added challenge.  The event organisers surely meant it when they said “be fit for your distance”.  I did 2 hours 40 minutes – not quite the 2 hours I was aiming for but I was very pleased afterwards considering the terrain.

I was then lucky enough to spend a weekend in the sunny Hawkes Bay where I embarked on my first paddle board adventure.  The balance aspect certainly needs some work but despite this it was a blast.

Over the Christmas break I intend to put some focus into the mountain biking side of things.  Wishing everyone a Christmas filled with fun and laughter, safe travels and a Happy New Year.  Much love Ray 4 ☀️☀️☀️☀️


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Let the Training Begin….

It has been one month since our first blog introducing the Rays of Sunshine to the world of Adventure Racing.  Selecting the team, coming up with a name and posting our first blog really was the easy part!  From the updates below it appears there have been a few “holy, moly what have I got myself into” moments.

In amongst freaking out the Rays have been busy training for earlier events they have entered and making plans to tackle the other disciplines required for the Adventure Race.  Here are their individual updates….

Ray of Sunshine 1 – Vicky

After all the enthusiasm to enter the Adventure Race, select a team and decide on our team name the reality of what we’ve committed to has hit home.  So many questions…

How will we meet up (Rachel lives five hours away), when will we meet (Renee gets married in March), what training do we need to do, how will we obtain all the equipment we need to train with?  After a flying visit to the Hawkes Bay over Labour Weekend where the odd wine was consumed in the line of duty, a master plan was hatched.  We have set aside two weekends to do some team training – one in mid January in Taupo and one in mid February in Auckland.  We’ve all trained together before but not for something quite as time intensive or exciting as this.  We all enjoy pushing ourselves physically but this is certainly going to be a step up.

I’m personally training for the Rotorua Quarter Ironman on the 19th December so my training programme includes two swims, four cycles, four walks (these knees don’t run any longer) and two to three weight training or core sessions per week topped off with two yoga sessions – no one said it would be easy!  This very busy schedule probably sounds a lot to some and downright crazy to others but I’m lucky enough to do this as part of my job.

My main concern at this stage is holding my team up during any run sections but I figure if I can pull my weight during the other disciplines they might go easy on me.  I will try and be the brains of the team – ha ha!  If all else fails I will bring great food and promise undying loyalty.  Until next month….  

Ray of Sunshine 2 – Renee

After accepting the Adventure Race challenge it has now hit home that the training must begin – not next month, not after Xmas, not in a couple of weeks, but now!!

I am starting a four week bootcamp in the week beginning the 23rd of November, which is made up of four 6am starts – two involve running and the other two are weight sessions.  I’m very fortunate to have our team leader and mastermind, Vicky, as my trainer – it’s a win, win!!

I’m also a member at my local Les Mills Gym where I have an obsession with the GRIT classes.   My weekly training will consist of GRIT, running, cycling, weights and boxing so along with work and home life it’s pretty much go-go-go…it’s no wonder I look tired all the time, but definitely worth it!!

I participated in a women’s Mountain Biking Skills Clinic at Woodhill Forest on Saturday the 21st November.  Signing up for this clinic was a no brainer given mountain biking is part of the Adventure Race.  I learnt some basic skills – I have been on a mountain bike before but spent a bit too much time hitting the dirt so I thought some sound advice and skills were in order : )  While I thought I learnt a lot I still managed to hit the dirt in spectacular fashion.  I was riding down a very steep hill trying to remember all the things I had just learnt when I came to a sharp turn.  Somebody had placed a tree stump there and yep, over the handle bars I went landing face down in the dirt!  My wrist felt a bit sore but it wasn’t until about 4pm that day that I noticed the swelling and thought I better get it checked out.

The good news is there are no broken bones just a shadow in the scaphoid area.  I have a cast on for a week and hopefully the next X-ray will give me a clean bill of health.  But don’t worry fellow Rays, I intend to be at the first run session of the four week bootcamp on Tuesday morning!


Ray of Sunshine 3 – Rachel

There has been a lot of thinking, googling and planning going on since I agreed to be part of the team.  I have a few events and adventures coming up over the next six months so have needed to prioritise my training plans.  On top of that I suffered a small tear in my right calf muscle which put paid to my running schedule for a month.  Fortunately that has come right so on with the plan.

I am also participating in the Rotorua Quarter Ironman doing the swim and run legs.  My current weekly training schedule involves three runs (walks), two swims, a weights session and some cycling.  I will admit that the cycling has involved friends and lunches at wineries though – oops!

However, yesterday I was fortunate enough to spend some time in Eskdale Mountain Bike Park with Jamie, a friend and master mountain biker.  Jamie showed me the lay of the land in terms of how the park is laid out and which tracks would be suitable for me to train on.  We spent some time studying the maps and using various landmarks to get our bearings – I felt confident with Jamie there but can see some ‘where am I’ moments coming up when I venture in there on my own.  I’m sure it will aid our team cause when we are in the thick of the orienteering side of things.

Talking of orienteering and map reading, Vicky has agreed to take the lead on this but I have bookmarked a few pages off the internet to read so I at least have some idea of what we are looking at when presented with the maps.  I am not guaranteeing the theory will translate successfully to practice but we’ll see.

I don’t own a kayak or stand up paddle board but have sussed out where I can hire them and use them to hone my skills.  Going forward I plan to put half a day aside a week to do some kayaking and then go on to the mountain bike park for a ride.  Once the water warms up a bit I will attempt paddle boarding – it needs to be warm enough as I envisage spending a bit of time in the water!

After participating in the Rotorua Quarter Ironman which is on the 19th of December I will swap one of the weekly swim sessions for a bike session as I have some multi day trail rides coming up at the end of January and at the end of February.  I have also entered the inaugural Hawkes Bay Marathon on the 14th May 2016 so will begin the 18 week training program at the beginning of January.

It will certainly be a busy summer but what better way to spend it, getting out there in the warm sunshine and doing all the things I enjoy while working towards my goals and feeling fit and fab : )

PS – I also had my first hole in one playing golf yesterday.  Perhaps golf could be the mystery activity – here’s hoping.


Ray of Sunshine 4 – Katy

I’m getting very excited about this adventure race business!  I signed up with full enthusiasm as I do with most things in my life and then the apprehension kicks in as I realise I don’t really know what I just signed up for.  The thought that I had just been tricked by Vicky also entered my mind – great team leadership!

I’m currently training for a half marathon on Waiheke Island which is on the 12th of December so am not too worried about the run or walking parts of the race.  I also love orienteering and went to Outward Bound back in my prime (at age 16 : )) so can work my way around a compass.

My current training program involves two weights sessions per week, three runs a week, a weekly yoga session and another long run as I prepare for the half marathon.  I also play summer hockey once a week and will often go for a swim or walk to round off the week on Sunday’s.

I’ve never been into cycling which is causing a bit of anxiety as I know all the other Sunny Rays are right into it and I don’t want to drag the chain! So my goal this coming month is to get out there on a couple of bike rides to test the waters and give these old legs a new challenge!  Peace out, Ray number 4!


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Introducing the Rays of Sunshine

Entering an individual race is usually done based on personal desire or goals.  Entering a team race brings a new dynamic – bringing a team together with similar aspirations that want to try something new, work together as a team and have some fun.

Vicky got some good insight into selecting a team to do an adventure race from Sue, an enthusiatic amateur adventure racer (although she did allude to the fact that her teams have normally got hopelessly lost doing these types of races).  Sue’s insights:

  • Don’t include family members as it is quite normal during an adventure race to ‘hit the wall’ and it is not always recommended to do that with a family member – the ‘unconditional love’ factor can lead to varying outbursts : )
  • It is important to balance the personalities within the team – a team full of ‘bossy’ people may not end well just as a team full of very relaxed personalties may result in the team still wandering the course into the wee hours!
  • Choose people with good attitudes and a sense of humour – the old addage ‘if you don’t laugh you’ll cry’

Vicky selected the team with the above insights in mind – she had also trained and raced with them in the past so knew what they were like in a team situation and were not prone to ‘throwing their toys out of the cot’.  The individuals also get on well together – there are guaranteed to be plenty of laughs along the way.  Vicky had entered the ‘older age group’ so the team’s combined ages also had to exceed 160 – the Rays of Sunshine have a combined age of 166 – positively young!

Ray of Sunshine 1 – Vicky Wilks-Jasmat

Vicky is 56 years young and has been a Personal Trainer in Auckland for over twenty years.  Vicky has run many half marathons, participated in many cycle races, competed in the Rarotonga Triathlon and finished the Paris Marathon, however, the Spirited Women’s Adventure Race will be a first for her.  Vicky maintains a good level of fitness, likes to compete and do the best that she can – the primary goal being to finish and have fun doing so : )

Vicky’s motivation for signing up to the Spirited Women’s Adventure Race is two fold:

  1. To bring together a team of woman that she has much respect and admiration for with the goal of working with them at a level that none of them have experienced before.
  2. To take herself outside her comfort zone.  To stop thinking of limits and consequently opening up her mind and body to fresh possibilities.  To stop playing it safe! 

Ray of Sunshine 2 – Renee Perriton

Renee is 44 years young and an Executive Assistant at Air New Zealand.  She has no adventure racing experience but has run many half marathons and four full marathons.  Her first full marathon was in Melbourne and her race time there is still her personal best.  Renee has also cycled around Lake Taupo twice and competed in the Rarotonga Triathlon twice.  Renee loves all things fitness so when the opportunity to participate in the Spirited Women’s Adventure Race presented itself she couldn’t see how she could say no : )

Renee’s reasons for signing up to the Spirited Women’s Adventure race:

  1. She’s a sucker for a new adventure
  2. She’s a fighter – she will push herself to the limits and beyond – whatever it takes
  3. She loves any excuse for a fun weekend away with the ladies  

Ray of Sunshine 3 – Rachel Lamb

Rachel is 44 years young and a Chartered Accountant currently living in the Hawkes Bay.  Rachel has trained with Vicky for many years and has made lifelong friends along the way. The camraderie created via Vicky is outstanding and is a privilege to be part of.  Having completed a few half marathons and some triathlons, Rachel is excited to be part of the team to take on the Spirited Women’s Adventure Race.

Rachel loves to explore the natural beauty of what NZ has to offer and this race gives her that opportunity.  She is also nervously excited to advance her mountain biking and kayaking skills – two things she loves but tends not to do, favouring standard exercise options instead.  The race will provide the impetus to get out there and ‘just do it’.

Ray of Sunshine 4 – Katy Loudon

Katy really is young at 22 years young!  Katy has just started as a graduate nurse in Auckland.  Again Katy has no adventure racing experience but is an ex rower, a current social hockey player and she has run two half marathons.  She is excited about doing this race as it will give her the motivation to improve her overall fitness after a long break from regular exercise while studying at Otago University in Dunedin.

Katy’s reasons for becoming even more of a Ray of Sunshine:

  1. She loves trying new things, participating in team sports and outdoor activities
  2. She has the inability to say no, especially to food and Vicky
  3. She thinks someone has to drag the old Rays of Sunshine over the finish line! 
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