The Birth of Krayzie Kapers
They called me crazy …. it was the nickname that evolved out of the many adventures and activities I undertook ... It's kind of a long story but I'll keep it short if I can.
It all started when my eldest daughter got inspired by my competing in duathlons and deciding that she wanted to do the KiwiKids triathlon. Her problem was that she didn't want to train on her own and she didn't really want to train with me because she thought I was too fast for her. It got me thinking that if she didn't want to train alone then how many other children didn't want to train on their own.
At that point I was chairman of the school PTA and was teaching Boot Camp style fitness classes along with my own training for duathlons and then mountain bike races. I was in a unique position to be able to instigate a programme for the school children. Within two weeks I had a group of 30 children training for that years Weetbix triathlon which I continued doing for the next 5 years, along with the McDonalds duathlon and Bike Jams.
Somewhere along the way this evolved into an outdoor education programme which saw me coaching 20 – 30 intermediate age children over a period of 3 months and then taking them into the mountains for little adventures and overnight camps. I also had a small group of women that I would take on training rides as well as being captain of the local mountain bike club and leading club rides. I would ride 40km into the nearby hills and then spend two hours leading 20 children through the mountain trails. With two young daughters I was raising on my own and all this activity it was no wonder they called me crazy.
To support the training and to encourage the children and their families to exercise more I created a school duathlon for all 800 students and their parents which became an annual event and then I created a series of running events along the local beach called the Krayzie Beach Dash … this was undoubtedly the “official” birth of Krayzie Kapers although I had been using the name for years by now.
By this point I had been doing a lot of mountain bike riding and organised various low key events and was in discussions with DOC about a new trail running event that I had dreamed up … the maps were drawn, the permits under way and lots of scouting had been done to create new pathways throughout the bush under the watchful eye of local DOC when the September earthquake struck and turned my life upside down. With my home red zoned, my job no longer in existence and two teenage daughters, life turned a little pear shaped and all Krayzie Kapers plans and dreams were put aside while we operated in survival mode ... having to move town and rebuild our lives.
It was during this rebuilding phase that I discovered and fell in love with trail running. I started creating a trail running event in my local area only to discover that someone else was also in the midst of creating one in the same place so I abandoned that and concentrated on my own running which saw me participating in Day 29 of the High Five 0 … Malcolm Laws 50 mountains in 50 days, helping to raise funds for Mental Health NZ. It was around this time that all the stress of the earthquakes, moving towns, running too much and just simply trying to be everyones everyone that my health took a turn for the worse. That's a story for another day but hugely delayed any rebirthing of my dreams and to this day impacts my life heavily.
But like a beautiful Lotus flower rising out of the mud and murk, after a hiatus of 6 years, Krayzie Kapers is now reborn. That big trail running event I had been planning is still brewing in the background but with new health and safety legislation it may take a little longer to come to fruition. In the meantime, together with my partner George, we have created the inaugural Krayzie K's, these awesomely challenging and fun trail races that we hope will inspire and entice trail runners of all ages and abilities to take on as their own personal Everest …. and I'm really passionate about having younger runners involved.
So that's how Krayzie Kapers was born and born again!
Oh yes … that young girl who wanted to do the Weetbix Triathlon. She did it 3 times and then went on to compete in the same triathlon/duathlon series as me. One of my proudest Mum moments was when we both took out the series Win for our respective age group categories.!!!
Photo Credits: Corrine Sharifah; George McNeur; Terry Snee; Stephanie Berry