Jane Edmondson (36) from Tauranga rode in the Whaka100 in 2017 and 2018 and is returning for a third time next month. After racing whilst being sick in 2017, Jane beat her time by 48 minutes in 2018. We caught up with Jane to find out how she prepares for Emerson’s Whaka100.
What inspired you to enter the 100km for the third time?
I only ever intended on doing the Whaka100 once but I got sick 4 days before the first one; I made it around the full course but felt like I wanted another crack at it. So I did it again last year fully healthy, but having not done the same amount of training as the previous year; I was faster...yippee! So I didn't need to do it again. But....then I started to talk to people about training, nutrition, bike set up etc and thought "hmmm, I wonder if I could do it faster...I did really enjoy it...why not". Then to top it off, a friend who had recently been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes wanted a challenge and entered; I wanted to give her some moral support and enjoy training with her too.
How long have you been riding?
My Dad got me on a mountain bike when I was twenty, sixteen years ago, but I got really into mountain biking when I moved to New Zealand 10 years ago.
How do you fit in training and how far out do you start training?
I ride in the Redwoods on a Friday and Sunday. I try to fit other road cycling in at least once a week, but that doesn't always work out. I'm very diligent with getting to yoga classes and use time in the garden like the gym. I probably started thinking seriously about training around the beginning of July; partly because I don't cope so well with intense training, so I start early to build my fitness up.
How do you mentally prepare for the Whaka100?
We enter these things for fun right? Well some of us do. ;) I know I can do it, so I try not to worry about 'what ifs', and remind myself that I get to ride over a hundred km in the forest, which is my happy place.
What does it feel like to cross the finish line?
Such a relief!!! And elation too!! What an achievement. Happy that I can lie down, or sit on something other than a bike seat.
What would you say to other ladies thinking of entering?
It's an amazing experience. You learn a lot about yourself; how strong mentally, as well as physically, you actually are. It can be really social too, you can chat to other riders and support each other. It's pretty cool riding past cheering spectators too.