Barracuda Kayaks is very proud to support Alex Martin from Queenstown, who has been paddling up a storm this season in her build up to Kathamandu Coast To Coast 2018.
Alex Martin - storming home into 4th place at 2017 Kathmandu Coast to Coast
Barracuda Kayaks recently caught up with Alex to discover some of the juicy secrets of her racing past, and to find out about her aspirations for the Two Day Event at this years coast to Coast.
Alex's passion for multisport, love of paddling and dedication to her training is a true inspiration. Barracuda Kayaks is very excited to see how this coming weekend unfolds for Alex.
Tell us a Bit about your sporting background:
" 10 years ago I only dreamed of being fit enough to run a 10km race. When I moved to Queenstown I met two great running buddies Bridget and JB and together we (including my energetic poochies) jogged and chatted our way up to half marathon distance. That first half marathon hurt like hell but I absolutely loved all the training and got such a buzz off the race so knew I was hooked. I had missed that feeling having been a competitive horse rider when I was young and to top it off I found the running community so helpful and encouraging.
Soon after, my husband and I discovered trail running which I really loved. I found a deep connection to nature and a feeling of calm and understanding as to why I was on this planet when I ran trails, not to mention seeing some mind blowing scenery that I never would have if I didn’t run (woah...deep)!!
After a fair few trail races I thought a half ironman would be great for some more variety in my training. I did two of them and met a load more inspiring and enthusiastic athletes but realised that speed, roads and Lycra weren’t giving me the same nature buzz. That’s when I decided that Coast to Coast was my next goal. I joined the local kayak club, learned to paddle and got introduced to the wonderful world of multi sport!
Coached by Steve Norton in the kayak and Dougal Allan for everything else, I finished 4th open woman in 2017. Kayaking has become my true love and 10 months later my 2017 New Years Goal came true. I came first in the Vet Category in the Waimak Classic and only 12 minutes behind winner Sophie Hart. In front of me were just 5 other open women who are all amazing paddlers. Proud and stoked."
Alex Discovered her love affair with adventure sport through running
How has your training gone in the build up for Kathmandu Coast to Coast 2018:
I am so lucky to have an incredible coach in Dougal Allan. We have been a team for 2 years now and he is super supportive, very scientific (I am a data nerd), has a great sense of humour and is genuinely invested in my training and racing. And a bloody nice guy.
I’m extra lucky to have Steve Norton keeping my paddling on form. He’s tough, but super supportive and generous in his time and advice. Training has gone really well this year apart from a couple of injury set backs stopping me from paddling. My shoulder and very recently tennis elbow (and I can’t even hit a damn ball)!!!"
What part of Coast to Coast are you most looking forward to? What will be the most challenging?
"The whole thing! I’m always feeling anxious about the paddle as rivers still scare me but it’s also my favourite discipline so I’d have to say paddling for both!"
What are you most looking forward to eating once you have stormed your way to the finish line in New Brighton?
"Marmite and avocado on salty crackers. Salty chips. SALT!!"
What is one thing that you wish you had known before you raced Coast to Coast for the first time?
"To keep my pain killers closer within reach!!!"
What events have you planned for after Coast to Coast?
"I love Breca (a swim/run race) and as long as my elbow holds out, anything with paddling in it! Te Anau Enduro and of course The Routeburn Classic (I’ve done that the last 5 years in a row)"
Alex's strong form and dedication to training means she is a true force to be reckoned with in the kayak
If you could race any race in the world, what would it be?
"Hmmmmm.. C2C One Day!!?? I like to take things one step at a time!!"
Who is your support crew/support network?
"Last year Bridget (original run buddy) and hubby Paul This year Becca (great friend and physio) and the gorgeous Jess. All my training buddies along the way especially Kat who’s river paddling missions have given me so much more experience and confidence"
What is the best advice you have been given?
"Coach Steve: “Use your f*#ken big muscles”!!!" [when paddling]
Alex has been had some outstanding race performances this year, here are some of her impressive results:
Kathmandu Coast to Coast 2017
Two Day Individual - 4th
Te Anau Enduro 2017
4 Hour Individual - 1st
Rasdex Waimak Classic 2017
Veteran - 1st
Clutha Classic 2017
Veteran - 1st, 3rd over all
Alex Martin - After her Win at Rasdex Waimak Classic
All the very best to Alex Martin for this weekend as she Cycles, Runs and Kayaks her way the 243km from Kumara on the West Coast of the South Island to New Brighton in Christchurch on the East Coast.
If you want to keep an eye on Alex and her progress on race day check out the Kathmandu Coast to Coast Live Coverage:
Alex's athlete number is: 2094
Alex Martin - Multisport Legend, Barracuda Athlete