Originally from Wairoa, Hawke’s Bay, NZ, I spent 6 years with the RNZAF as an Aircraft Technician, moving around NZ. I now live in Christchurch, NZ.
Training most days, I earn a living off Kayak Instructing/Guiding, Coaching Multisport athletes, and dabbling occasionally back in Aviation work.
If I’m lucky some prize money goes a long way too.
Since 2011 I have been progressively developing my body into a competent and competitive athlete within Multisport racing (Mountain Biking, Running, Kayaking, and Road Cycling all in one event!).
I started with no specific coach. I learnt much just from the experience of trial and error during training and races. My coach was the 100’s of friendly people I’ve met over the years with like minded passions, each with different advice and tips that they too uncovered from their years of experience (Thanks!). But there is always more for me to learn. In April 2013 I came in contact with Nic Gill – A professional strength and conditioning coach, he volunteered his time to me, his advice and knowledge changed the way I approached and structured my training. Since October 2014 professional coach Cameron Durno has been coaching me. His style was new to me again and together we are making cool advances in my racing ability.
This Blog is here to record my progress on this rocky road to becoming the best I can be (and hopefully elite victories) for the races I train for.
The spark that lit the fire:
I had a basic level of fitness through my teenage years – running 5kms every couple of days. Involved in Orienteering and pursuing my passion for Whitewater Kayaking.
The Coast to Coast interested me as it has many, I suggested to a mate that I could train hard from this very point and time (2008) until the next race and win it. Surely all I have to do is train harder than everyone else – Simple I thought, I didn’t mind putting the effort in. (The mate just laughed at the crazy proposition). Of course the idea was on hold for that time because I had no money to buy bikes and a racing kayak + passing high school was a priority.
2008 – The inaugural Lake to Lighthouse Challenge event began. And it went right past my Wairoa home. Watching the competitors kayak from our dining room table, I left my studies only to cheer on Richard Ussher – Little did he know what I was thinking. I examined his technique and was more motivated than ever to pursue this new ambition to become the best multisport athlete.
In Feb 2009 I competed in my first real trail run race- The Kaweka Challenge. The particular run was 28km with 2270 meters of climb, with only 1 month of training from minimal previous fitness, I was pretty happy with how it turned out – I came 5th place.
Still kept busy with school and then a career start I maintained a healthy fitness until January 2011 where my focused training all began. I was now receiving an income so had started to gather together the sport equipment required to race in Multisport.
March 2010 – Genius Apache XC Mountain bike.
January 2011 – 2nd hand Giant TCR C1 Road Bike.
June 2011 – 2nd hand JKK UFO (Racing Kayak)
I now had all the basic equipment needed to race (With exception to a proper winged racing paddle but my whitewater one seemed sufficient at the time). So then with small convincing I was talked into doing the Coromandel Classic Multisport Event. I came 4th in the Individual Open Men. By far the hardest I had ever pushed my body.
In 2012 I came 1st in the The Dual trail marathon. Claimed the record for the 76km Hillary Trail, won the Xterra trail run series overall for the super long open men division, and was 1st in the Coromandel Classic Multisport Event in a two man relay team.
2013 I completed my first Coast to Coast (1-day) finishing 9th Overall. In August, 1st overall individual athlete at the Coromandel Classic with a new course record and competed with a team in my first Stage Adventure Race in China a week later.
By following this blog there will not only be race updates, adventure stories, and a look into my training schedule – but I plan to also write articles on how I choose to live and train, my choices and particulars, so far these ways have worked. Hopefully others can learn from me and my trial and error as much as I have.
Perhaps from reading this blog you can gain the experience to jump in the deep end of racing and hopefully I’ll see you out there on the playing field! But don’t forget there is no better way than to test something for yourself.
Ask me any questions – I have nothing to hide.
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
BELOW IS A VIDEO OF ME GIVING A SPEECH ABOUT 2015 COAST TO COAST AND AN INTRODUCTION INTO MYSELF, IT IS 25MINS LONG, BUT I THINK YOU’LL ENJOY THE WHOLE THING.
6 thoughts on “Bio”
Sam, you are obviously doing something (or a lot of things) right with your training, nutrition etc because your performance on the weekend for a guy your age was truly phenomenal. You’re a legend already! Keep it up! Rod Poulgrain, runner for Crash Bandicoot
Hey Sam. Have been trying to find out how things went up at the lake on the weekend. Weather can’t have been to bad. No results I can find. Hope alls good with you. Bernie
Good to see you on worlds bunchie this morning! Might be in touch re preview material for CTC
Good luck for Coast to Coast, we will be tracking you.
Anne Hurley and Mark Munro
You’re great, come on! Don’t give up, go on! Our hearts will meet in heaven! Alan