A South Canterbury teen is set to follow in the footsteps of her family when she takes part in the Coast to Coast next week.
Grace Faulkner (19), of Temuka, will take part in the two-day event of the multi-discipline race on February 9 and 10.
The event, which combines running, cycling and kayaking, goes from Kumara Beach on the West Coast, across Goat Pass and down the Waimakariri River to New Brighton in Christchurch.
Faulkner would be the fifth in her family to take part in the race. She had watched her parents compete, followed by her brother and sister.
Her mother, Simone, would also be taking part this year, for the eighth time, while her father and brother, who have also previously competed, would be on the support crew, along with her boyfriend, Eli Palmer.
Faulkner said she had been training for more than eight months, travelling around the South Island in preparation, which included running over Goat Pass several times and spending up to five hours kayaking on the Waimakariri River.
She said her brother had done the race at age 16, inspiring her to want to do it as well, but she had always been a bit unsure of the kayak stage.
“[I needed to] live up the family legacy.”
So she enlisted long-time multisport competitor Bill Godsall to help her train for the 70km kayaking section.
“He’s been helping me . . . learn to read the river.”
Now in her second year out of school, Faulkner had been working full-time at Fonterra and training in her spare time.
She described her training schedule as “anti-social” but was looking forward to the fact she was decreasing the amount of preparation with just over a week before the race.
Her main aim in taking part in the two-day event was just to complete the 243km race.