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Coast to Coast competitor 30 kilos lighter and rearing to go

Coast to Coast competitor 30 kilos lighter and rearing to go

28 January 2015

Steve Garrett is 30 kilograms lighter and rearing to take on next month’s Speight’s Coast to Coast after crashing out of last year’s event.

Steve, who crashed out on final bike leg last year, says he is especially keen to see what the finish line looks like in February.

“I lost 30 kilograms five years ago over a 12 month period through calorie restriction and exercise,” the dairy farmer from the Tasman District near Nelson, says.

“I started walking then slowly adding running until I was able to run for 30 minutes nonstop. Then I focused on doing a half marathon then a full marathon then it was what’s next.”?

What next was the Heaphy Five-0 a 80 kilometre trail run on the Heaphy Track which is only 25 kilometres away from his home in Golden Bay.

“Then I felt I needed more balance in my exercise so I got into road cycling doing events like the Source to Sea and Grape Ride and the Lake Taupo Challenge. To keep motivated with my exercise I like to have a goal ahead of me so again it was what’s next.”?

That’s when the Coast to Coast became his next goal. With no kayaking experience he enrolled in a four day white water course to get started and then did a couple of courses with Sam Milne from Canterbury Kayaking and some guided trips through the Waimakariri Gorge which Steve says was ‘a huge benefit and highly recommended.’

“Last year I weighed 98 kilograms and did the individual two day event. I had a fall in the run that added an hour to my time and during the kayak I had all these faster kayaks passing me so I was busy on the river planning 2015 to come back stronger and faster.”

But it was on the last bike leg after about five kilometres that saw him wake up in an ambulance with a broken collar bone, two broken ribs, a dislocated finger and eight stitches in his ear.

“I don’t remember the crash but an eye witness following in a car said the person I was riding with went to pass a slower cyclist at the same time they swerved in front of me - I must have clipped a wheel and the rest is history.”

Steve says he owes a real dept of gratitude to the women in the vehicle who looked after him, picked up his bike and found his wife Jenny waiting at the finish line, unaware of the accident and that he was in hospital.

After losing all the weight Steve was very keen to avoid putting it back on while being laid up recovering after the crash but says he was lucky to meet leading nutritionist Ben Warren and with his help, advice and support he was lighter at the end of the nine weeks of recovery than when he had crashed.

“With Ben’s BePure programme of eating to my body type I have dropped from twenty two percent body fat last year to fifteen percent this year and gained muscle strength that will be beneficial in an event like the Coast to Coast – all without calorie restrictions or being hungry which makes so much sense to not deprive the body of what it needs to perform.”

Steve turns 50 a week before this year’s event so assumes he will be one of the youngest in his age group so is aiming to be the fastest in that group.

“My son Danny is also doing the Coast to Coast this year along with a three girl team from Golden Bay motivated by my PT Renee Riley from Bay Fitness in Rockville. It has been great having these other people to train with and get encouragement from.”

He’s quick to add that without the support of his wife Jenny he couldn’t commit to the hours required to train and rest, which he says is almost as important as the training.

Steve says even though he crashed last year he really enjoyed the journey he went through in training and the race day excitement he experienced and this year is really looking forward to experiencing that with his son Danny and is also keen to see what the finish line looks like rather than a hospital bed.

“I’m really looking forward to making it to New Brighton this year. All going well 2016 will see me take on the longest day.”


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