Tim Rush from Oamaru, won the Whaka100 with a course record time of 05:10:56 which was 11 minutes faster than the previous record held by Edwin Crossling.
Rush has been riding for 8 years, and heard about the Whaka100 through his boss who mentioned it would be a good race to take on.
We caught up with Tim Rush to find out more about his win.
Talk us through the race on Sunday?
My race on Sunday started out with a fairly big effort to make my way through the field to catch the front group. Frustratingly my shootout time from the previous day hadn’t been recorded so I started a fair way back in the race along with my brother. (I should have been seeded 5th). Once I was with the front group I could tell the guys knew the course well and were much faster going down the tricky trails than I was, so my advantage was on the uphills. It was on the second KOM that I managed to get a gap on the others by keeping a solid pace and trying to limit the amount of mistakes in the single track.
What inspired you to enter the Whaka100?
My boss Blair Selfe, has talked about the amazing trails up there and mentioned to me that it would be a good race to do. So I roped my little brother into joining me.
How did it feel to win?
I was really stoked with the win and also a bit relieved after thinking I was going to be caught in the last 20km. This last part of the race is predominantly single track and I was on my own and I had no idea where I was going or what the time gaps were.
How did you prepare for the Whaka100?
To prepare for the Whaka100 I did a lot of tempo climbing in the weekends when I can get longer rides in and during the week I did shorter sharp efforts. Unfortunately we don’t have the single tracks like Rotorua so most of my riding is down on Alps 2 ocean or gravel roads.
What did you eat/drink throughout the Whaka100?
I had 4 gels and one 750ml bottle and one 500ml small bottle with drink mix. Unfortunately I didn’t have anyone feeding me so I ran out of water with 30k to go and was in trouble. Luckily when I was passing one of the 50k riders I asked a guy for his bottle and he gave me it and I said I would get him a beer after race but unfortunately I never got to catch up with him after!
What would you say to those thinking of taking on the Whaka100 next year?
I’d say make sure you have done the training and know your in for at least 5-6hrs of saddle time and pace it well!
Do you have any plans to return to the Whaka100 next year?
I would love to race it again next year and if I did, I would bring a bigger group of riders from Oamaru. But with myself getting older and other commitments coming along all the time, I’m unsure of what next year will bring.