Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sam Warriner pays it forward

Sam has had an amazing career as an Olympic triathlete and 2008 World Champion, and is now turning her focus on dominating the long course side of the sport.  But that hasn't stopped her working hard to pass on her knowledge and inspire other women (and men) in the sport along the way.  Sam's Sweat 7 team of women all training to achieve a goal are also charged with passing on their knowledge to others - but we'll let Sam tell you about it in her blog from their recent trip to the Contact Tri Series in Kinloch.

Wow – I've just recovered from an absolutely awesome weekend down at Lake Taupo. Kinloch is such an idyllic spot for a race, the place really is ideal for holding a triathlon.

This year Triathlon New Zealand were able to offer ITU points for the National Elite Sprint Championships so the field was even more stacked than normal! But that's not why I was in Kinloch – this summer I've been coaching some girls and we were down in Kinloch for them to meet for the very first time and hone their speed at the same time.

The girls, who I call The Sweat7, have all committed to racing The Triathlon New Zealand Olympic distance National Championships in March. I was lucky enough to be able to talk great people such as Blue Seventy into supporting them this summer. Not only do they receive free race suits and accessories from Blue Seventy, they also get Asics shoes, Thompson's & Red8 Hydration and nutritional products, free entry into the Contact Triathlon Series, and flights to their races!

When I first advertised in NZ Multisport magazine that I intended to give 7 girls free coaching I had over 300 applications – the response blew me away. At that point I realised that the people I picked really had to be special girls, they had to have the same ideals and desire to be the best they could be. But more importantly they had to be willing to pass on the knowledge I taught them – as I really wanted to coach all 300 applicants but it just wasn't possible with the health problems I've had lately!

The girls all blog their journey and they continually crack me up with their antics over on Facebook too, and that's what I'd hoped for with the team. I set them sessions to improve and then it is their 'obligation' to pass on this knowledge to inspire other people in ousr awesome sport.

This past weekend The Sweat7 descended on Kinloch Friday night. We'd rented a massive house between us all – we were just a stones throw from the waters edge which worked out absolutely amazing for training on the course.

Swim practice Saturday afternoon
It's a real balancing act with the girls, I love giving them my time and helping them in EVERY way that I can – but I also need to make sure I'm getting the job done for my own training. At 4.45 am I awoke Saturday morning, quickly got some breakfast and a coffee down me, and then I was on the wind trainer by 5.15am. I had a 6 hour ride ahead of me but because it was still dark so I spent the first hour on the wind trainer in the middle of the street – trying not to wake the girls!

6 hours on and it was the first team meeting, we outlined the plan for the day and then took a quick ride around the course to recce the bike section. 

 After that it was a swim session in the lake where I had them simulate starts, swimming around buoys and all of the other little bits that the girls had been worrying about. Naomi from Blue Seventy joined us for the swim which was great as it gave the girls the opportunity to thank her for all the support. I've got to admit the girls looked FAB in their B70 Wetsuits, they're so lucky Naomi and Dan have been willing so supportive.

After the swim it was time for some lunch and a quick lie down before the girls opportunity came to 'pay it forward' once more.

Transition practice for the 3:9:3 participants
I emailed all the participants in the Contact Energy 3:9:3 event and informed them I'd be running a transition training session for the event. We had about 60 – 80 people turn up and I talked them through all the little tricks I use to transition quickly – all the time the Sweat7 helped me coach the audience and offer advice – it was awesome and EXACTLY what I'd hoped they would do.

The girls are all so outgoing and willing to help others, of ever you see them at an event please say hi to them!

Sunday morning came around and true to form Emma Meyer from Christchurch arose with a huge smile on her face – as I imagine she always does – I've never seen her doing anything other than smile!
Jenny and Brookie were their usual joking selves, Lexie was quiet as always but dead set on going hard in the swim.

I like to refer to Nikki as the 'mature' member of the group – she's 54 and a school teacher so you'd think she'd be well organized. But on this occasion I think she owes Gary, the father of our team mascot Jaimee Leader – a HUGE thank you! Nikki realised just minutes before the start that she'd lost her timing chip and Gary diverted disaster and managed to talk the race officials into letting her have a new one!  And finally Shanel and Emma C, both committed to racing hard and going after their goals.  That's right 8 girls in The Sweat7 – but every team needs a mascot!

Emma Meyer running into 2nd overall
The girls did them selves proud in the swim – we have such a range of abilities from Emma Meyer up front who really did surprise a few people including myself with her 2nd place overall, through to Jen who just wanted to finish her first triathlon.

The girls just looked so awesome out on the run in their Sweat7 race suits and everyone knew who they were.

Emma Meyer from Christchurch was first home, she'd exited the swim in around 15th spot, pushed hard on the bike and entered T2 in 4th, and ran her way into 2nd on the line. Just 30 seconds separated Emma Meyer and 1st place – we were all so proud of her.

Brookie & daughter Cooper
But Team Sweat7 was never really about winning races, the inspiration provided by watching Lexie out sprint another competitor down the finish chute, Nikki run the whole 5km absolutely beaming with happiness, Brookie running down the finish straight with her daughter Cooper, or Jen battling her demons in the swim and never giving up – it was truly amazing!

Jaimee the teams mascot impressed once again, I've watched her finish second in the 3:9:3 quite a few times now and I tell you what – it won't be long until she's moving up a step on the podium! Her little sister Abby won the 1:2:1 yet again – that's two from two Abby keep up the great work.

I was on commentating duty for Triathlon New Zealand throughout the day, so I had the perfect spot on the finish line to see all the girls finish, it was such a feeling sharing in their emotions as they crossed the line.

Jamie Leader - team Mascot
and future Champion!
The team are all now on a well earned break until Wednesday when training resumes in earnest. Our next event is Wellington mid March. This works out really well for me as I can get 3 more weeks good training in my legs for Taupo and Ironman NZ, and at the same time add some more value to the girls training before we go tackle our next big goal together!

I'll update again as we get closer to Wellington, drop by to the girls Facebook page if you get chance and say hi – I know they'd love to hear from you!

All the best,


No comments: