Briar McMorran (35) from Hamilton makes you realise anything is possible if you want it enough… with husband James, three kids Kypher (16), Zoe (9) and Cooper (7), a career and Whaka100 training to fit in, you may wonder how she does it all. Here’s some insight for you:
Why have you entered the Whaka100 for the second time?
With the Whaka100 I love how you can cover so much of the forest in one day - I end up riding trails that I would probably otherwise never get to ride. I like all Nduro events, including this one and my husband and son entered themselves so I just figured if they were doing it, I would too. My goal for the Whaka100 is to complete it and beat my time to bring it into the eight hour mark. I absolutely love these events and they motivate me to train.
How do you fit in training?
I fit my training in most mornings at 5am. We have some stationary bikes set up in our lounge that me and hubby train on together, otherwise in the evening after the kids have gone to bed. We have a second lounge that has pretty much been converted into a gym. We have the TV on the wall and we use Apple TV to search for a training session that varies in time and focus on either strength or endurance, otherwise we’ll watch UCI racing as motivation. Generally training is done when the kids are in bed as it’s the best time to do it uninterrupted. I would recommend an indoor training especially during winter time when daylight is limited and it’s so cold. It’s about prioritising if you really want to do it.
If I can get outside and do a forest ride once a week then I’m doing well. I entered the Nduro Winter Series in the long course division to have some good longer Whaka forest rides leading into the event.
How far out do you start training and do you have a programme?
I definitely need to be starting with my training at least four months prior with really regular riding through that time. I don’t have a coach or follow much of a program, although the free Team CP Training Programme on the Whaka100 website this year is good and I will be using it as a guide. My training just ends up being what I can fit in to my week most of the time.
What bike do you ride and who do you ride with?
I ride a full suspension bike and I mainly ride with my husband and son, but also with family members and other people from the club when we have organised club rides.
How long have you been riding?
I have been riding for about five years now. I used to ride horses so transitioning onto a bike was pretty similar. My sister and her husband (SJ and Beau) were the ones that got us into it. I love mountain biking because it’s a social sport and you can do it with your family and I love it because it’s exercise in disguise, you can go out have a great time and be absolutely smashed by the end of the day, but you don’t actually feel like you’ve done exercise because it’s so beautiful in the forest.
How do you mentally prepare?
Mentally I try not to overthink it too much, I try to stay as relaxed as possible, take each section as it come and obviously I try to prepare for what it will take to cover that distance.
What does it feel like to cross the finish line?
It’s a surreal feeling when you cross the finish line, that sense of achievement is amazing, I don’t think you can compare it to anything, knowing you’ve been out in the forest literally all day.
What do you say to other ladies thinking of entering?
I’d say to ladies thinking about entering, don’t be put off by the other riders. It can be daunting if you haven’t done an event before, but stick with it, don’t be put off - it’s a great sport to get into and ladies should get into it.