Weight loss behind new winter race

Nigel Lines
Nigel Lines
Losing about 30kg of weight was the inspiration Bannockburn man Nigel Lines needed to organise a winter mountain bike race to be held near the town.

Mr Lines had put on weight after he had ''a couple'' of blood clots (or portal vein thrombosis), lost motivation, and became inactive, when he realised a change had to be made.

''I was pretty crook ... I was weighing about 120kg and one day I woke up and saw a photo of myself and thought I had to do something about it.''

Since beginning his activity regime about eight months ago, he also gave up cigarettes and alcohol.

''It's a massive difference. It's absolutely a whole shift in thinking.''

He took up mountain biking, built his own home gym, got active, and got his weight down to about 89kg.

''The next thing, I'm saying to Terry [Davis, of Highland Events] that there is nothing on at this time of year [winter].

''Mountain biking is about getting out there and getting involved in the wind and the rain and snow.''

Holding the event, named the Winter Quest, in winter would fill a space in the mountain bike race calendar. Most events were held in spring, summer and autumn.

Another reason was getting people participating in exercise.

''The event is about helping get other people active. Just because it is called a race it does not mean people have to come out and race,'' Mr Lines said.

The trail was not too challenging, so that people of any fitness level or body shape could get out and give it a go, he said.

Locating the race on Quest Farm, 2km north of the Pisa Mooring, worked out well because of the beauty of the location and terrain available for the 40km race, he said.

The event on Saturday, July 19 would include solo and team categories, with options for youth as well.

Mr Davis, whose help had been highly valued by Mr Lines, said local groups would provide support for requirements such as marshalling, timing and feeding people.

Having willing landowners and community groups made putting on events in the Cromwell area, which brought money to the region, possible, he said.

''These events have the potential to bring really useful amounts of money into the community. An event like this, we would expect the average out-of-towner to spend about $100.

''We have done research on the Northburn 100 event and the average spend was $400 per person. That's because they have to arrive the day before and leave a day later.''

Mr Lines said he hoped about 200 people would enter this year, and wanted to expand to 700-1000 entrants in the ''next couple of years''.

Proceeds would go towards a donation to the Otago Rescue Helicopter Trust, although it was not known how large it would be yet, he said.

On site during the race there would be hot food, a DJ, coffee, wine tasting, masseurs and a medical team.

For further details, people could access the event's Facebook page by searching ''Winter Quest''.

Entry fees for the race, beginning at 10am, were $50 for solo competitors, $80 for teams, and about $10 for youths.

leith.huffadine@odt.co.nz

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