Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 31 January 2013 Contents LOCAL NEWS
31 January, 2013 | Page 3
I’m in the second group, feeling
nervous because I haven’t done
enough training and because I
have a work assignment to get to
The organisers have done a
splendid job. They have thought
of everything – registration,
transport, safety, timekeeping
and field marshalling all worked
like clockwork. The transport for
the competitors and their bikes
to the start line was efficient and
stress-free. Owners of expensive
fancy bikes were praising the care
with which their bikes had been
On the bus to Knobs Flat I was
sitting next to Claire Fogden
from Christchurch, who was new
to cycle racing. Her boyfriend
registered for the Milford Classic
and talked her into entering
the Eglinton Challenge. He was
disappointed that his race start
was moved 20km up from Milford
to well past the Homer Tunnel.
Being one of those people who
enjoy cycling uphill he felt short-
changed without the gruelling
climb from sea level to 940m.
Several other competitors have
pulled out of the race for that
reason, or asked for their entries
to be transferred to next year,
according to the organising
committee chairman, Don
McFarlane. He said that NZTA
made every effort to keep the road
open for the event, but in the end
the rock shelter wasn’t finished
in time and the race had to be
shortened for the sake of safety.
I asked Claire if her boyfriend gave
her some useful tips she could
share with me. “Oh yes, plenty of
tips,” she replied, “but not many
useful ones.” One of his pearls
of wisdom was: “The time to stop
fighting the gorilla is not when you
are tired, but when the gorilla is
tired.” Figure this one out.
Two young girls from Oamaru
sitting across the aisle were saying
how little training they’d done. I
was glad I wasn’t the only one.
Behind me sat Murray Mason,
of Invercargill, who said he
had won gold in cycling at the
1974 Commonwealth Games in
Christchurch. At 63, he returned
to cycling last year after a heart
attack forced him to make some
lifestyle changes. His goal was to
finish the race in 2.5 hours. My
goal was to finish the race.
The bus reached Knob’s Flat
at 4.20pm in plenty of time for
the 5 o’clock starting gun. The
temperature was still in the late
20’s and there was a moderate
northerly wind. The place was
teaming with competitors young
and old and their support crews.
“Fat Bottom Girls” from Lumsden
and Mossburn have returned this
year wearing new raunchy pink
“You’ll fly to Te Anau with this
wind,” the commentator said at
the start of the race, but my hope
that the wind would push me
up the hills blew away when the
breeze changed direction just as
the race began.
I was the last person out of the
blocks, busy taking photos for my
story. But I soon caught up with
those trailing at the end of the
race. It was satisfying to overtake
some competitors much younger
than myself. With the sun still
blazing, the sections of the road
going through the beech forest
were a blessing. As the evening
progressed, the cooling air offered
I was looking for someone to
bunch up with, but everyone was
either too fast or too slow for
me and I ended up cycling
the whole way on my own.
When I reached Te Anau
Downs, two cyclists whizzed
past me in a blur. These were
the winners of the Milford
Classic, Tom Hubbard (1st
place) and Luke Macpherson
(2nd place). A few minutes
later a larger group flew past,
amongst them Karin Aitken
who ended up being the first
woman across the finish
line and King of the Mountain –
Bradley Tuhi (3rd male). Wayne
Miller won the 65km Eglinton
Challenge ahead of Te Anau’s
young cyclists Alistair Green and
Logan Black, and Sam Kopae was
the first woman home.
It was good to see the supporters
and volunteers cheering us on
along the way.
When I was going down the last
hill just before the Upukerora
Bridge at a quarter to eight, I knew
I was home and hosed. I made it!
Not only to the end of the race, but
also to my evening function.
Riding the (heat) wave
1974 Commonwealth Games cycling
gold medallist Murray Mason who,
now 63, returned to the sport just
last year, completed the Eglinton
Challenge in his targeted 2hr 30min.
The “Fat Bottom Girls” from Mossburn and Lumsden cut a striking line in their
new raunchy pink uniforms.
PHOTO: Alina Suchanski
Luke Macpherson, of Drummond, leads eventual winner Tim Hubbard, of Canterbury, into Te Anau for the final
few kilometres of the Distinction Hotels Milford Mountain Classic on Saturday.
PHOTO: Kirsty Macnicol
Beautiful weather, breathtaking scenery and excellent organisation contributed to the
success of the second Milford Mountain Classic cycling race on Saturday (January 26).
Of the 226 competitors (nearly double the last year’s number) who turned up for the race
undeterred by the sweltering heat of the day, 129 entered the 100km Distinction Hotels
Milford Mountain Classic race and 97 lined up for the 65km Meridian Eglinton Challenge.
Among the Eglinton Challenge riders was Alina Suchanski...
OPTOMETRIST - DARYL PARKES
Fiordland Health Centre, 25 Luxmore Drive, Te Anau
In 2006, when Professor Ertman opened tomb KV63 in the Valley of the
Epicanthal folds typical of asian eyes circled in red.
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