Hannah Greenhough’s first Coast to Coast couldn’t have gone much better.
Not only did the Nelson endurance racer win her section in one of the country’s most arduous races, she also managed to beat a Kiwi legend to the finish.
Hannah and her teammate and workmate Andy Selwood won the mixed tandem section in a time of 14 hours 21 minutes at the weekend.
This placed them second overall for tandem teams over the 243km run, kayak and cycle.
“We were pretty happy with that result.”
She says the thought of crossing the finishline, and the custard square and pie waiting for her, kept her going.
“It was a huge buildup and the feeling of satisfaction was an awesome feeling, we made it.”
Though she is no stranger to endurance events, this was one of the toughest tasks she has undertaken.
Over two days of racing, Hannah says rough terrain, river crossings and strong winds made for a gruelling grind.
“The river was low so we were hitting the bottom a lot in the kayak but it was a good challenge, we pushed through.”
As an added bonus, Hannah managed to pip former All Black captain Richie McCaw to the finish.
“Richie wasn’t feeling too good on the run so that’s where we made up most of the time, I think we were maybe 20 minutes ahead of them, it’s pretty cool to say you beat Richie McCaw at anything.”
Hannah says the body has held up well after being pushed to its limits.
“I’m a bit stiff today but surprisingly OK.”
She says there was plenty of potential for injuries but luckily they both came away unscathed.
Their first placed finish was the culmination of months of a regimented training regime.
“We were doing at least 15 hours of training a week and getting up to 60-plus in our biggest weeks.”
She says, without the support of her employers at the Cawthron Institute who donated half of the race fee, the result would not have been possible.
She also says they couldn’t have done it without their highly efficient support crew of Jenelle Strickland and Matt Davies.
With little time to recover, Hannah’s focus now shifts the ‘Spirited Woman’ event in Gisborne next month.
“It’s a nine-hour event, we came second last year so will hope to go one better.”
Overall winners of the longest day were Simone Maier in the women’s section and Dougal Allan in the men’s section.