March 25, 2019
Issue 03 2019

Vet student heads for triathlon international stage

Vet student come triathlete Heather Neill has been invited to represent New Zealand for international triathlons in Europe this year.

A small interest in getting her fitness up while studying to be a vet eventually turned into being fully involved with the Manawatu Tri club.

The 5th year vet student’s debut has been over the summer just gone where she came 2nd at the TriNZ National Championships Half Iron-Man.

While at the podium she claimed the fastest female swimming and running times in her age group (20-24 years old).

This event involved a 2km swim, 90km bike, and a 21.1km run.

Her successes don’t stop at just long-distance triathlons; she has also volunteered with exotic animals in South Africa and has been involved in a student vet conference in Australia.

“Dedication and passion are quite evident in both fields–the mindset–you’ve got to commit and you’ve got to go all the way,” she said.

This May, Heather will be taking on the ITU (International Triathlon Union) long-distance World Championships held in Spain alongside the Multisport World Championships festival.

In September, she will compete in the ITU Standard-distance World Championships in Switzerland and aims to finish in the upper-quartile of her age-range for all these events.

Heather won her first ever triathlon by 4 and a half minutes on her Dad’s old road bike this time last year.

“I’m really excited to see all the gear. Sometimes I go to these national championship events, and you can see $16,000 bikes all racked up,” she said.

“And here’s me, with the bike that I bought for $500 off TradeMe.”

Heather doesn’t currently have any sponsors since gaining her successes in such a short time-frame and is open to any help she can get.

A Givealittle page has recently been made to help her get to these events.