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Meet the (Kiwi) Athlete: Ali

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This edition of Meet the Athlete features Britt’s good kiwi chum, Ali Hollington.  Britt and Ali first met in Summer 2010 while Ali was in Southern California preparing for the Kona Ironman World Champs.  Britt was just about to head to New Zealand to teach swimming lessons for a season, and Ali was a great help getting Britt set up with her soon-to-be flatty (flatmate) friend, Mary.  Ali and Britt have kept up, shared home-cooked meals, gone tramping, and enjoyed multiple cups of tea throughout the years (in both NZ and CA) and hope to continue this pattern for many more to come.  Enjoy learning a wee bit more about the very lovely, lively, and kindhearted kiwi- Ali.

Current place of residence:  Napier, New Zealand

Hometown/place of birth: Mums bedroom, Essex, England

Day job: PE teacher/ expedition leader/ tri coach/ part time 80 year old disabled mum carer

Favorite sports or hobbies (besides triathlon): Multisport with kayaking and mountain biking, tramping, yoga and veggie gardening.

Current (2015/2016) race goal: Motu challenge and iconic NZ Coast to Coast World Champs.

Best triathlon race leg (swim, bike, run, T1, T2, beer garden): Don’t drink beer but pretty average over swim, bike, run, T1 and 2.

Dream race: Great weather, great atmosphere and great post race activities in great location – Wildflower (2013) was pretty awesome!

Race mantra: Keep moving forward.

When/how/why did you begin endurance sports? High School runner, Pony Club tetrathlon (swim, run, ride horse, shoot), modern pentathlon (swim, fence,run, ride and shoot) and then track scholarship to University of Wyoming. I had chronic shin splints so transferred to biking and swimming to keep fit and shifted into triathlon as more of a lifestyle. Been doing tri’s now since 1989, over 26 years.

Hardest race and/or workout you’ve ever completed:  Maybe not the hardest as I felt good and that makes it seem easier, but probably most proud of my 9.41 at Challenge Roth in 2013 when I was 48 years young.

Most memorable training and/or race moment(s): Too many to mention, but crossing the finish line after a long race is always great, and then eating lots of lovely food!

If you had to remove one leg of the triathlon and swap in a new sport, what would you subtract, and what would you add, and why? As i get older and the joints (particularly knees and ankles) complain and I can no longer run, I would sub the run for a kayak or something on wheels!

Words of wisdom to someone considering training for their first triathlon/endurance event: Plan and prepare well and then just enjoy the event. Join a tri club or chat to other triathletes to get advice and motivation.

Something you’ve learned about yourself through triathlon/endurance sport: I love exercising, keeping fit and being outside.

Pre-race ritual? Porridge for breakfast
Racing tips? Keep focusing the whole race and pace well.
Racing pet peeve? Drafting
Why do you keep Tri-ing/running? Cas I love it.

What does “Fuel” mean to you? Lots of lovely home grown or homemade healthy food.

What does being “Fit” mean to you? Being healthy and enjoying exercise, and finding that elusive work/exercise/ recovery balance.

Pick one:

Long swim, long ride or long run? I like the variety of all of them at different times.
Open water or pool? Open water with the sun rising on a calm day.
Trail or track? Trail every time!
Solo or group training? A bit of both is great.
Chocolate or cheese? A bit of both is great too but choc has to be the dark 70% cocoa stuff and cheese has to be mild.
Watch on your left wrist or right? Right
Morning or evening workout? Morning every time–not great in the evenings.
Hat or visor? Visor except when I am tramping and need my ears covered.
Swim cap or no cap? Swim cap to keep hair out of my eyes.
Cheerios or Wheaties? Neither-both have too much sugar!
Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate? I only have the coffee when I visit Brittany (she makes the real McCoy), other wise its green tea first thing and herbal teas for rest of day.