This year a friend and I decided to give the Round Taupo Challenge a go, but as neither of us had much time to train (I was out at sea and she was away at a conference) we did it as a relay, each of us doing half of the total 160 km. As you would expect the ride is on the road that goes around the lake, but several sections are fairly hilly. The ride is very popular with around 9000 participants this year. It is quite impressive to see the town of Taupo totally overtaken by bicycles...
This year the weather was perfect - cloudy and warm (not too hot), and no wind. This was ideal conditions for riding, and the course record was broken and many people got their best times. I was riding the second half of the ride, so I had to wait around quite a bit for Kareen to come in to transition - the waiting around was a little frustrating, especially as I had no idea how long she would take and I kept drinking too much and then running to the loo! Having never really ridden 80 km in race conditions I had no idea of how long it would take me, but I guessed around 3 hours - my official time was 2 hours 42 minutes, so I was very happy with that and I felt pretty strong at the end. Next year I will probably try and do the whole thing. The ride is really nice and the hills were no where near as bad as I had been led to believe.
Kareen and I in fancy dress with our support team, Aaron and Dave.
Kathryn and Kareen waiting at the start.