Plenty of nerves but Smyth still had ‘amazing’ time

And they are off . . . Kayakers begin the 20km race as part of the Twizel Hard Labour Weekend event. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

A handful of North Otago athletes spent their Labour Weekend pushing their bodies to the limit in Twizel.

Four Oamaru competitors took part in the Twizel Hard Labour Weekend, which consisted of three disciplines — kayaking, mountain biking and running.

Competitors had the option to compete in one, two, or all three events.

Each discipline was split into different distances to cater for all ages and abilities.

There was a 20km kayak race; 40km, 16km and 10km mountain bike races; and a half marathon, 10km, or 5km run or walk.

Anna Smyth competed in the event for the first time, finishing the kayak race in 2hr 46min.

Despite being ‘‘extremely nervous’’ about competing, she loved being a part of the event.

‘‘[It was] just amazing.

‘‘The whole event was based around getting people out there and doing it.’’

Smyth had always enjoyed kayaking and decided this was the year she wanted to compete.

‘‘I borrowed a kayak and then borrowed a paddle off someone else and a lifejacket off somebody else and got myself down to the Kakanui River to do some training.’’

Her nerves about competing nearly got the better of her, she said.

‘‘I was very, very close to not attempting, because, just that fear of doing it in front of other people, and you have to portage your kayak a couple of times, which means getting it in and out, and that was quite scary, but actually it all went really well.’’

The Oamaru teacher would look to obtain a grade 2 kayaking certification before she competed again next year.

Other competitors from Oamaru were Phil McAuley, who finished the half marathon in 1hr 42min 12sec, Ella Brown, who ran the half marathon in 1hr 51min 02sec, and Paul Gow who completed the kayak in 1hr 43min 49sec and the 40km mountain bike in 1hr 42min 04sec.