Christina was the first placed female and sixth overall finisher at The Race 2014. This September she is representing the Irish age group team at the European Ironman championships in Almere before starting to focus on preparation for The Race 2015.
We caught up with her this week to chat about The Race and her training schedule for the rest of the year.
Name: Christina Mackenzie
The Race 2014 Time: 18 Hours 13 Minutes
I got into triathlons in 2012 and adventure racing in 2013. I love the challenge of trying something new and pushing the boundaries.
I had done an Ironman in Bolton in August followed by the Hardman in Kerry. I felt comfortable with these distances but worried about the mountain run and kayak section of The Race. These were elements I hadn’t attempted before
I also knew that I would be out for a lot longer during The Race in potentially bad weather. One event that really prepared me for this was the Art O’Neill race in January. The weather was shocking and we got lost in the mountains. It was the first time I have had the feeling of survival during an event. It was horrendous at the time but ultimately gave me confidence that I could keep calm in these conditions.
It also taught me the importance of planning my clothing properly. A critical lesson to learn before attempting The Race.
I have been fortunate to have taken part in a number of man powered expeditions and endurance races over the last number of years. One the most rewarding parts of these expeditions has been the memories earned through undergoing hardship. Those handful of occasions when you felt like you had nothing else to give. When the heat, the cold or the wind seemed to have won. When your body cried out to stop but you continued on. These are the moments that you end up remembering years after they are done.
After completing my last expedition I returned home with the view to setting up an endurance race that would mirror the mental and physical struggle experienced during an expedition. Along with Maghnus Collins and Gartan Adventure Centre we set out to create an event that would challenge competitors to the point where they felt that they had nothing left to give.
Canadian athlete Bill Wells at the finishing line. He completed the course in an astonishing 15 hours and 22 minutes. Ireland's Sean Mcfadden and Michael McCarron were only minutes behind. Christina Mackenzie was the first placed female,completing the course in 18 hours and 37 minutes. In total 54 competitors began The Race 2014 with 38 finishing. Congratulations to all who took part.
Registration is now closed. Congratulations to all competitors who have signed up. The talent and variety of experience throughout the field is remarkable and is sure to result in a truly fascinating contest.