Napier dentist Chris Wong knows all about giving out advice to his patients and occasionally his patients also give him some.
After Saturday's New Zealand Ironman in Taupo he'll probably wish he never took the advice of patient and 2004 Ironman finisher Ingrid Edmondson and entered the gruelling race which involves a 3.8km swim, 180km cycle and a 42km run.
"It all began when Ingrid was sitting in the chair telling me I should enter. Then I read an article about two old guys who had done all 20 and that inspired me," said Wong, who began training back in January.
"One of the old guys actually forgot to train one year. Originally I thought I wouldn't train but then Ingrid told me I had better do some," said the 42-year-old Napier Masters swimmer.
"These legs are made for swimming, not running and cycling," he said after completing some cycling training. "His first triathlon will be the toughest ... he will probably so some smaller ones afterwards, to wind down," Edmondson laughed.
Edmondson finished the Ironman last year in 14hrs 52min - well inside the 17 hours permitted. Wong just wants to finish within 17 hours.
"Because I was a late entry I had to pay an extra $100, so all-up my entry fee was $685 ... I definitely want to finish," he said.
His training programme has included a 50km cycle and 10km run five days a week. Wong has also swum 2km twice a week. Since January he has worked only two days a week, so his training schedules can be accommodated. He is rapt with the assistance from Edmondson, her husband, Graham Edmondson, and cycling partners Herb Maynard and Andrew Spence.
"Ingrid has told me how to pace myself, what to look out for and what food to take," said Wong ,who has lost five kilograms since he began training for the Ironman.
Unlike some of the Bay's regular entrants, he hasn't trained on any of the race legs in Taupo. He has opted to "take it as I see it".
Wong has cycled regularly over the Apley Road and Seapoint Road circuits. His introduction to cycle racing came when he entered Central Hawke's Bay's 100km Tour De Beautiful in January. He completed the race in four hours, while winner Dan Warren of the Ramblers Cycling Club recorded 2hrs 37min 28sec.
"I was happy just to finish and that's all I want on Saturday," Wong said.
He will be one of 16 Hawke's Bay starters on Saturday. Havelock North husband and wife Geoff and Maree Martin are among them.
Maree is a first-time entrant and Geoff has done it before. Fellow Hawke's Bay Multisport Club members, Napier nanny Simonne Morris, Napier teacher Brent Jones, Napier pharmacist James Dever, Havelock North builder Jim Taylor, Havelock North accountant James Bell and Hastings assistant brewer Jeremy Rimene are all first-timers.
Their clubmate, Napier engineer Owen Cleverton, is the oldest Hawke's Bay starter at 55. He has completed five ironmans in the past.
Havelock North policeman Glen Yule, Napier land agent Tony Lambdon and Hamilton-based Steve McSweeney are other club members with previous experience fronting up again.
Other Bay starters are first-timers Napier engineer and former student of Jones, Andy McKenzie, and Taradale analyst Carol Shellard. Haumoana teacher Alan Birnie and Napier policeman Glenn Restieaux are also returning for more punishment.
Wednesday, March 2, 2005 12:30