Athlete sets her aims high

Teviot Valley multisport athlete Kath Kelly is all set for a tough introduction to the year....
Teviot Valley multisport athlete Kath Kelly is all set for a tough introduction to the year. PHOTO: YVONNE O’HARA
It is going to be a tough beginning to the year for Teviot Valley multisport athlete Kath Kelly.

Kelly (48) is planning to climb Mt Everest.

Well, not exactly, though it will be gruelling.

Kelly, who has been doing all sorts of multisport over the past decade, intends to ride up and then down the peak of Mt Benger, above the Teviot Valley, nine times tomorrow.

That is the equivalent of Mt Everest’s 8848m height. Each circuit should take about two hours.

Kelly chose Mt Benger as she saw it every day, and at the top was a favourite spot for her.

She would start from Dalmuir Rd.

The ride was a personal challenge for Kelly, and she hoped to raise funds for the Teviot Breast Cancer Fund, which provides support for people in the valley affected by the disease.

Her sister, Andrea, who lives in Australia, was fighting the disease, and that was the spark to do the ride.

She has set up a Givealittle page for the event.

She planned to consume salty roast potatoes, pizza and electrolyte drinks on the
day.

Kelly intended to start at 6pm and ride through the night.

When not training or competing, Kelly was an AI technician for deer and cattle. She had about 13,000 cows on her run in Central and West Otago, one of the biggest in the country.

She has racked up many impressive performances in her multisport career and will not have much of a rest after the ride up Mt
Benger.

She is one of just 50 competitors who has been picked for the inaugural Tour Te Wai Pounamu race in February.

The race will cover the whole of the South Island, beginning at its northernmost point, Cape Farewell, on February 14 and ending at Slope Point, at the bottom.

It will traverse high country and cover 1350km and 22,000m of climbs.

The race is expected to take about a week for the best riders to complete.

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