Seizing The Moment

In 2012 I had to turn around the disappointment of being a reserve for the New Zealand Olympic Team and not going to the London Olympics.

Missing out on the Olympics was tough.  To help move on I decided to try some non drafting racing. I had to learn the skill of racing a time trial bike which was very different to the pack racing and what I was used to in draft legal ITU racing.

I simply turned a negative into a positive thanks to the backing of my sponsors. Chris Fraine our national coach at the time helped me put a time trial bike together and I learnt the skill of time trialing for 40km.

Before the days of online platforms like Zwift we simply rode key sets of 4-5 x 10 min time trial controlled efforts at 300 watts with 5mins rest after each.

Michelle Dillon, a former elite athlete and coach showed me the focus needed to stop my heart rate jumping up and down. In ITU racing there are always attacks on the bike which causes your heart rate to spike frequently.

Once I mastered this new skill I was able ride 40k at 55mins unassisted which often put me in contention to win races.

I really enjoyed attacking the 5150 race series of 2012 with results of Colombia 5th, Klagenfurt 3rd and then winning the European champs all in the same month.

I then achieved a top 10 result at the Hyvee non-drafting world champs in Des Moines, Iowa, USA against the World's best athletes.

2012 was a decisive year where I consistently ran between 30 minutes 50 second and 31 minute 10km run splits off the bike which confirmed I was no longer getting any faster for ITU racing.

Learning to diversify takes courage and the results of 2012 helped me to secure my future and be in my first home here in Hilltop Taupo.

Always be willing to diversify, learn all methods of training in triathlon and mix things up.

As you get older your priorities change. I do daily strength training now in addition to training and racing for fun. My life as a builder here in Taupo is a World away from the bright lights of professional racing overseas.

I'm still loving this sport and smiling daily that God has blessed me with a body that can keep moving after all these years of punishing it to date.

Triathlons have given me so so much and I'm now learning how to give back this passion as a coach.

I commend the New Zealand professional triathletes who have endured and encountered probably one of the hardest seasons you could ever encounter as a pro triathlete in this country with covid19, lack of funding, and overseas racing.

However when one door closes, another 1000 will open if your mindset is open to all the amazing possibilities your skills can serve in this World.

About Clark

Clark raced as a professional triathlete for 10 years during which time he held 4 national elite titles, was the New Zealand Olympic team reserve in 2012, European 5150 champion and at his best was ranked 8th in the ITU World rankings. Clark is now the head coach of the Taupo squad and loves coaching all levels of triathletes to work with them to achieve their goals.

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