Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
By the time thousands of Challenge Wanaka competitors begin
their exercise in extreme endurance this morning, Wanaka GP
Andrew McLeod (53, pictured above) will have already swum the
equivalent of 152 lengths of Moana Pool and biked the
equivalent distance in kilometres from Dunedin to
That's if all is going to plan, anyway.
Mr McLeod is tackling a double Challenge Wanaka long-distance
triathlon, and following a pit stop for apple crumble and ice
cream for breakfast this morning after cycling through the
night, he will spend most of today running two marathons.
Dr McLeod described his nerves as being ''on high alert''
yesterday, as he limbered up and donned his wetsuit at a
camper van on the lakefront. The camper is doubling as his
own personal transition area so as to not disrupt the other
athletes in last night's Contact Tri Series races and today's
main Challenge event.
''I'm locked in now,'' he joked to a throng of supporters who
gathered outside the camper to wish him well shortly before
his departure at 2.30pm under clear, calm skies. He completed
the swim leg within three hours.
He was relieved the weather had stayed favourable for the
swim leg of the race and took an optimistic view of the rain
forecast for this morning, which he hoped would ''keep me
awake at least''.
After an attempted sleep-in that ''didn't really work'', Dr
McLeod spent yesterday morning going through the race
logistics one last time and fuelling up on his final pre-race
meal - rice and a tin of tuna.
He told the Otago Daily Times he was particularly
looking forward to a scheduled break after the first 180km
loop of the bike course, when he would dine on his wife
Karen's specialty dish, a chicken casserole.
''I'll manage to sneak that in for the middle of the night
for a bit of different food. You come up with some very
unpleasant terms for the [nutrition] gels. They're full of
energy, but they're not that pleasant to eat, so having some
real food will be good.''