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Leticia Hughes

What event are your training for and what is your goal?
Challenge Wanaka plus lots of other smaller, local events.
What it is your motivation for wanting to achieve this?
I want to fit my skinny jeans?!?! Seriously… having an event scheduled in keeps me motivated to get out and make the most of the beautiful place we live in. The event itself is aways fun as you’re surrounded by like minded people who are buzzing in a sensational park of NZ!!
What is your background and how did you get into your sport?
I’ve spent my whole life playing sport – mainly netball, rugby, touch and squash. A knee injury forced me off the squash court and I was pretty gutted. In 2012 I watched my husband at the Tauranga half ironman and thought “hmmm I reckon I could do that!”. Initially I could barely run 20 mins, so after I completed my first half marathon, I knew I could do a half ironman. In 2013 I completed the Tauranga half ironman and the rest is history. Since then I’ve done 3 ironman, Coast to Coast 2 day, Whaka 50, Exterra, Tararewa Ultra 50 and LOTS of half ironman, triathlon and running events.
What is your favourite event/or training mission so far?
Coast to Coast was EPIC!!
Training for Coast to Coast took us to some of the most spectacular places in NZ such as the Rangitikei river and Mount Ruapehu. At the time, my husband and I were living in Rotorua and we’d pack up our camper and head away to complete our huge training weekends. The Coast to Coast event was sensational and it certainly pushed me out of my comfort zone – I still get heart palpitations when I think about that 70km paddle down the Waimak!!! I remember on the first major rapid, it was carnage with people and boats everywhere (garage sale!) and the only line available was down the middle and I literally launched my kayak off a rather large rock. Much to my surprise I managed to not swim!!! Finishing Coast to Coast was certainly something I’ll never forget.
What is your favourite training ride/run/kayak/swim etc?
We have just moved to Picton and I am absolutely loving the mountain bike and running trails in the area. I also adore the mountain bike and running trails in Kaiteriteri and Rotorua.
Who is your inspiration?
My mum!! She is 72 and is still swimming and cycling like a demon!!! She is living proof that age is no barrier.
Who is your biggest fan?
Probably my mum 🙂 She was my support crew at Coast to Coast and it was so special to share it with her. She had a fall on the morning of the kayak and ended up breaking a bone in her knee. Despite this, she was still out there cheering me on – legend!!
Do you have an inspirational quote that you would like to share?
Explore – dream – discover!
What is your favourite recovery food?
Hot chips and a cold beer.