Kids and YouTube teach Ironman hopeful to swim

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In the first in a series, the Taupo & Turangi Weekender follows Ironman volunteer entry winner Nick Hume on his journey to becoming an Ironman.

Nick Hume, 41 thought he had missed out. Every Ironman volunteer has the chance to win free entry to next year’s event.

At this year’s volunteers’ dinner two names were called out, and Nick a volunteer for the Taupo Swim Club, was considering his options when the announcer said two more entries were available for Ironman 2021, courtesy of Bayleys Taupo real estate salesperson and New Zealand Ironman volunteer director Felicity Cantwell. Nick was in!

Nick says training for Ironman New Zealand 2021 has given him motivation to keep active and fit and manage his mental wellbeing at the same time.

“Without doing something and having a goal I would have found this year near impossible. Covid has stressed a lot of people and will continue to do so”, said Nick.

He retired from rugby a few years ago and took up road cycling, which opened his eyes to other sports and the concept of individual sports. Currently he trains 12-15 hours a week concentrating on road cycling and running so far.

Nick only learned to swim two years ago. He was often at the pools at 6am for swim training for his sons Ryan, 12 and Jacob, 14 and thought he may as well jump in. “My kids taught me to swim, as well as You Tube”, said Nick.

His first swim in the lake was last month and Nick says the cold didn’t put him off. Of the three disciplines cycling is his strength. “I am trying to fit my training in with the boys and with friends. We have a regular Saturday road cycling and mountain biking group”. Over the years Nick has run a couple of half marathons, not recording times to skite about though, including running with children doing the Taupo Intermediate Bevan Docherty Challenge. Never a strong runner, last month he ran the Taupo Marathon in 3 hours and 59 minutes. “It was a good time for a first marathon and the longest I have ever run”.

Working at BFA Business Advisors and Accountants as a Client Advisor, Nick says he is lucky to work in an environment where balance is encouraged. Directors Garth Beker and Mark Sinclair have done ironman, Director Vicki Beker competes at national level squash and many of his workmates are involved in sport.

In previous roles Nick has experienced stress and anxiety because of work pressure and is now committed to keeping a good balance between life and work and not allowing work to consume his life. “I want to keep a balance, so the training doesn’t become a drag”.

Keeping the balance right is also a focus for his wife, Rachel Hume, who is very supportive of Nicks goal to complete an Ironman. She tends to remind me if the balance is out of kilter”.

Nick says the Ironman competitors who do not look like athletes are the ones who come in near the midnight cut off, are a source of inspiration. “They push themselves mentally to better themselves and take on challenges”.