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 ☀️☀️☀️☀️




This blog was originally set up to share our 9 month adventure around Europe and the USA with friends and family in 2014. On returning to NZ in January 2015 I decided to carry it on so I could continue to share any future travel adventures - it has become my electronic travel diary. I hope you enjoy and get inspired to visit some of the wonderful places we have visited.
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