Article in and Taranaki Daily Newspaper

Former New Plymouth woman takes fourth in endurance events

Andrea Peebles came fourth in two international championship endurance events.
Robert Charles/FAIRFAX NZ

Living out of a van and training for 25 hours a week has paid off for a former New Plymouth woman, with top placings at two international championships.

Andrea Peebles came fourth in the World Championship Coast to Coast event two weeks ago in the South Island and fourth again at the World 24 Hour Solo Mountain Bike Championships last weekend in Rotorua.

She left her business in Australia six months ago to train for the events which meant living in the back of a van, named Bela, and training 25 hours a week.

Formerly from New Plymouth, Peebles spent six months training for the events.

“It’s been six months doing that and I’ve seen huge, massive improvements,” she said.

The Coast to Coast competition involves running, biking and kayaking 243 kilometres from the west coast of the South Island to the east coast, in a single day.

“You have to be good at executing all of them to win,” she said.

While Peebles was happy with the fourth placing in the women’s section, she finished the race thinking she had made the podium in third place.

She was passed by another woman while on the kayak but said she wasn’t too worried because she had planned on passing her on the biking stage.

When she did catch up, she though she had passed the woman again and was cruising along in third place.

“I got to the finish line and yelled out ‘I came third’ and they went ‘no, you came fourth’,” Peebles said.

“It was devastating.”

She later found out that she had passed one of the male competitors and in a split second look had mistaken him for her female competitor.

“It’s something I’ll never do again,” she said.

A week after the coast to coast, Peebles was back on the bike for the World Endurance Mountain Bike Organisation (Wembo) solo 24 hour championship in Rotorua and this time was determined not to leave anything in the tank.

The race involved completing laps, which took Peebles an average of one hour and seventeen minutes to complete.

After 22 hours of racing, Peebles said she came out of the pits and found herself chasing fourth place.

She said she was determined to not make the same mistake twice and leave northing in the tank.

“I did my fastest lap (of one hour and two minutes) after 22 hours of racing,” she said. “As I passed her I yelled catch me if you can. I don’t think she heard me.”

Peebles said she was staying in New Plymouth before heading overseas to compete in China and next year complete the Coast to Coast again.

“I’m going to win it,” she said.