Paul Kane, Partner at Grant Thornton NZ and Men’s Health Trustee, is competing in the Track Cycling event at the World Masters Games 2017. He talked to us about what’s involved and what inspired him to enter.
“This is the first Masters Games I’ve entered. It’s the single biggest multi-sport event held every four years for masters. In Auckland 2017 there is expected to be 25,000 participants from 100 countries catering for all abilities. There are 28 sports and 45 disciplines. There are no qualification criteria, except age. For cycling the minimum age is 30. I’ll be competing in the 55-60 age group.
I first got into cycling about twenty odd years ago when a group of us decided we needed to get fit and running wasn’t an option. We initially would just ride Tamaki Drive and then have a coffee. We expanded our horizons and competed (rode as we weren’t very competitive) in events such as Round Taupo and the Rotorua Flyer. I’ve since migrated to K2 prefer K1 and the Tour of Northland. Cycling is my main sport now, both track and road. Cycling’s a good recreational pursuit, I enjoy riding, it keeps me relatively fit, and I like the coffee and banter at the end of a ride with fellow cyclists.
It’s a sport I share with others in my family. My son rode for Auckland Grammar when at school and I now help out with my daughters cycling squad at Epsom Girls twice a week.
I ride with a couple of MAMIL groups the “Woodducks” – basically a drinking team that rides and the “FOG’s” (Friendly Old Guys, or Gals, or a number of other variations depending on who you’re talking to).
In the lead up to the Masters Games I’ve trained at the Manukau Velodrome built for the 1990 Commonwealth Games, a nice concrete track. The wet weather has hampered that lately, so most of my training is road riding, building fitness and stamina.
The Masters is my next big race. There are some very good athletes right through the age groups so as long as I finish, hopefully a little bit competitive, then I’ll be happy. Even if I’m last it won’t worry me, I’m there for the experience and to have some fun.
I’d encourage people to get out there and do it themselves. It sounds a bit cliché but there are just so many benefits.”
Race Day for Paul is 26 – 28 April at the Avantidrome in Cambridge. Good luck Paul!
If you’re interested in getting along to a Masters Games event, check out what’s on offer on their website: http://www.worldmastersgames2017.co.nz/
Return to the MEN’S HEALTH WEBSITE