Last year FOHER alongside some fantastic partners, held the first ever Fohette’s Roll Out women’s cycling event. It was a huge success with girls coming from all over to learn a little more about cycling, share stories, and generally catch up over a mutual love of cycling and of course… coffee!
Now in conjunction with the Specialized Healthy Catch Ups, we are holding another roll out in Brisbane this Sunday 22nd May 2016. If you would like to attend or find out more, head over to the Facebook Event Page: FOHER MULTISPORT HCU
As with all cycling events and knowing we will have a mix of abilities, we thought it would be a great time to go over some cycling and bunch riding rules. Thank you to Cyc’d Cycling Club for proving these very useful tips and rules to ensure we all have a great morning out that is safe and fun for all!
Kaya is our youngest Official Fohette. We are proud to share her race report from the Australian School Sport Triathlon Championships. Here is her account…
I left to Hervey Bay Monday morning. We got there around noon and went to check out the apartments that the Queensland team was staying at. When I entered my room to unpack, I found my roommate (there were only two of us in this room). Later we had our team photo and I went for a light jog to loosen the legs before dinner. On this night I ordered pizza and got to know my age group a bit better. When we arrived back at the apartments I tried to get to bed as early as I could for the following morning. When I woke up I headed down stairs in my bike gear with the majority of the team to get an early bike ride in.
After this I packed my bags for the day and headed over to the opening ceremony by bus. The ceremony consisted of the usual opening of the event and the race briefing. When the ceremony finished we got back on the bus and headed towards the harbour to get to Fraser Island. When we got off the boat we jumped back onto more buses (4-wheel drive this time) where we drove along a very bumpy, sandy trail to Lake Mackenzie. The lake was beautiful. The water was crystal clear and the sand was the purest and cleanest I had ever seen. No dingoes were spotted and we headed back up the track to the boats, then the harbour, and finally the apartments.
Dinner was earlier this night as transition opened at 5am the next morning. I had a simple pasta dinner and headed back to the apartments as soon as possible where I got ready for the following day. Before I went to sleep, of course all the girls – including me – had to have the traditional two braids in their hair.
I woke up at 4:30am the next morning so I had time to have a small breakfast and triple-check I had everything I needed. The walk to transition was freezing, everyone was wearing jackets and those who weren’t wearing long, cosy track pants quickly regretted it. I racked my bike where the allocated spot for it was and sat down under the Queensland tent – I still had 4 hours before my race began. The morning consisted of more braiding, and the usual nervous and excited feelings. I started my land warm up about an hour before the race and soon headed down to the water to do a swim warm up. The race was supposed to start at 9:15am but was delayed by about 15 minutes due to a crash a few races before.
I was very surprised, and annoyed, that there was a number ordered start because it meant that I couldn’t choose my starting position. When the gun went, I had a great start and I was first from the dive I took into the water to when my hand hit the sand at the end of the swim.
Because the race was draft legal, I wasn’t in a big rush to get to transition because I had a bit of a gap on the next person. I jumped on my bike and started out until I was caught by two other Queenslanders. We were going great until we got caught by the chase pack. When we finished the bike leg and headed into transition, my legs felt great and they were ready to smash a 4km run. My race was going exactly to plan.
I came out of transition in about 12th but soon settled into 8th. I had a good run and brought 8th place all the way to the finish line with me. I am stoked to have finished with this result – not only did I finish two places better than last year, but I’m at the bottom of the age group. I could confidently say my race went almost exactly to plan thanks to my coach Toby Coote at Sunshine Coast Triathlon Academy.
The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing and recovering from the race, before the presentation dinner later that night. We had our dinner, the medals were presented and the state that won the day was announced – Queensland! Dinner and presentations were a great way to end the day, besides trying to act normal when your legs feel like falling off. By the time we got back to the apartments, packed and cleaned the room it was 10:30pm and I fell asleep instantly.
The following morning was the team event where each team consisted of two girls and two boys, and each member had to compete in a miniature triathlon of 200m swim, 6km bike and 2km run. I was the first person in my team to go. I had another killer swim coming out with the winner of the senior girls and my bike and run reflected that. By the time I had tagged my next team mate, our team was about the second or third. By the end of the race we finished with a proud 4th place, just missing out on a podium finish. Finally, was the closing ceremony, where Queensland also won the teams event, and to conclude the trip, Queensland won the overall trophy for the 11th year in a row!
We asked the lovely Megan Hendry to be our first 2016 Ambassador Program Featured Fohette. Megan has such an interesting background, living and training in a relatively rural part of Australia, and I’m sure we can all related to her first time triathlon experience! We are just so excited to have gals like Megan repping for us and can’t wait to see her smash her first ever 70.3! Here is her story, and we hope you love it as much as we do 🙂
‘It is such as honour to be asked to be a Featured Fohette for this incredible Aussie Company. My name is Megan Hendry, I’m a 26yr old from Far North Queensland. Living, working and playing in a small community of Yungaburra.
So Yungaburra….where is that. Good question. Yungaburra is where I was born and raised. It’s a small regional town about 1hr south west of Cairns. Growing up here was great, heaps of room to run around play with the family and just be a kid. My family consist of me, my three older brothers (Scotty, Matt and Jason) and Mum and Dad. Having the older brothers around as a kid was fantastic and I wouldn’t change a thing, they also taught me a lot, eat your food before they take it, you’re one of the boys and just live with it, (I learnt to love it) bruises from backyard sport are an everyday occurrence and be competitive because they will not let you win unless you do it fair and square.
I’ve always had a fairly active and sporty background, growing up I played every sport the area had to offer water polo, futsal, netball, squash, hockey, soccer, car racing, mountain biking, touch football, golf, athletics…you name it I most likely tried it. Could never sit still as a kid, not much better now-a-days either.
After school I moved to the Sunshine Coast to study outdoor education and then moved west of Brisbane to Forest Hill to work in school adventure camps for 5 yrs. Taking kids and adults rock climbing, abseiling, canoeing, mountain biking and hiking. Fantastic and rewarding job, the fact that I got to be out and about teaching people new skills and helping them to overcome a lot of fears.
Now it was travel time, the travel bug had caught me after a few small trips to NZ, Fiji, Samoa and Japan. Now it was time to set off on a big adventure. USA and Canada for 18 months here I come. I picked up a position in a summer camp in New York State, travelling the country for 8 weeks with the kids – AMAZING. After the camp finish I headed North to Canada. 6 months in the snow, snowboarding and adventures, then summer time, swapped the snowboard for the downhill bike. Like I said, can’t sit still. You only live once, so why not make the most of it.
All adventures eventually come to a close, time to come back to reality and real life. Headed home back to Yungaburra after 8 years away was a little different but also a lot the same. I decided to join my local fire department and become an Auxiliary Firefighter. A chance to do something completely different and give back to the community. Stressful at times when your pager goes off in the middle of the night for a structure fire, or during work for a car accident and sometimes smack bang in the middle of a training session for a grass fire. But it is amazing, the things you learn, the crew I work with and the adrenaline rush cannot be matched. Fun trying to remember to put the pager in the cycling jersey every time I head out, haha.
Settled back in now and it was time to ‘tri’ something new, and that’s when triathlons came to the picture. It was about September 2014 and I saw an ad on TV for Soldier On Triathlon in Yungaburra. Why not, it’s in my home town, easy to get to and know the area. I thought yep, I can do this. I own a Mountain bike, runners and a sports bra…surely that’s all you need. Done, sign me up. So I did. Sprint Distance triathlon in November 2014. Having never run more than 5k in one go, this was going to be right at the edge of my limits, but hey, not better time than the present to step out of that comfort zone.
So November rolled around, I had done some swim training, been out on the mountain bike and made sure I could run in fact still run the dreaded 5k. Just to challenge me a bit more, 3 days before the event I was offered a friends road bike, so I pump up the road tyres (googled how to do that) and off I went attempting to ride this skinny tyred machine.
Race day…yep looking like a compete newbie. With a bit of help and a lot of watching others I had the bike racked, numbers in the right place and started in the right wave of people. So off we went, swim was great, my strong point after years of waterpolo, the kicking and crazy arms involved in that sport defiantly helped me on the start line. Out of the water, woo hoo. Now ride they say… I had never attempted to ride after swimming. Legs didn’t want to work for the first few kilometres. Once they got going I got into the swing of things and felt great on this road bike. So much easy up the tableland hills than the mountain bike, then Running…….ohhh running. My weakest by far. But I finished, ran the whole thing yay. Getting to experience that rush of the finish line and people cheering you on was so incredible. Couldn’t wipe the smile off my face if you tried. Biggest surprise for the day was the results. I somehow managed 4th lady overall in my very first sprint distance. Excited and shocked was an understatement. That is when I thought, man that was such an awesome day I want to do it again and again….there formed my love of triathlons.
From there, I received a beautiful Pinarello Paris for Christmas and have never looked back. Purchased the cheapest pair of tri shoes and cleats that I could find and I was set. (Still own and use that same ones) Did the next few triathlons in my same cheap sports bra and $5 bike shorts (NO padding haha). After a few of those I signed up for Townsville Tri fest and invested in my first Tri Suit… man they make a difference.
Late 2015 after seeing a number of these Foher suits around and noticing they had sponsored some events around the area, I did some research into purchasing a new suit and then noticed they were looking for 2016 Ambassadors. Bingo, why not throw my name in the mix with the other amazing athletes out there and see how I go.
I was like a little kid in a candy shop when I received the email to say they are had picked me. Super excited and surprised and excited again. Then excitement overload when I got to pick my new Foher super suit – ORANGE, no way that was definately going to be mine. My favourite colour by far. So now with this amazing company backing me, bring on 2016, Big year, big goals, big smiles.
Since that first triathlon my love of the sport has grown and grown. Raced the soldier on triathlon again in 2015, but this time was the Olympic Distance. So happy to say that I managed 3rd place lady overall position. I was the happiest person around. Big smiles all day and then next few weeks. And this year has started so well. Sprint Distance at Tinaroo with the Cairns Crocs and I managed my first ever win. I was starting to believe that training was paying off. Also got to meet a fellow Far Northern Fohette – Clare Zappala. Foher Domination as she came in 2nd in our age group to make it and 1 – 2 finish.
2016 is the year for big goals. I decided after spectating last year’s Cairns Ironman Festival I was going do that. So come entry time I did it without thinking. Cairns 70.3 in June that’s the goal. Just to finish but finish running. Super excited and cannot wait.
Training up on the Atherton Tablelands can be interesting at time. I do 80% of my training solo which is great for mental toughness but can be hard at times. I have found a swim squad for Tuesday and Thursday nights and recently started road riding on a Saturday morning with a local group. Group riding for the first time was very nerve racking but slowly getting the hang of it. As for running, I just get out there and do it…..well try to do it.
Overall, life, training and triathlons up on the tablelands is pretty amazing. For anyone out there considering a triathlon I say do, just give it a try. It’s an awesome sport; social, fun, fitness and an achievement. Go on, you got this.’