Mum Makes It 13 in a Row 9 Jul 2012
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Whakatane mum Michelle Waghorn continues to defy the odds.
Not only does she continue her quest to win at the gruelling Tarawera 100 cross-country motorcycle endurance race but she has just clicked up finish No.13 at a time in her life when many riders, not just women, would have given it up.
The 45-year-old is a mother-of-two – “well, mother-of-three actually, husband Kane is a bit of a kid too,” she laughed – has become something of a legend at the iconic event.
Though a previous class winner at the big annual dirt bike race, this year she settled for 122nd overall, out of 169 starters, and sixth in the women’s class.
But what was perhaps even more significant on Saturday was that Waghorn (Yamaha YZ250F) had made it 13 consecutive outings at the annual race and each time she has been a finisher, a feat that would be the envy of any other rider, male or female.
“I didn’t have any problems out there on the track, despite the fact that I didn’t really do any training to build up for it this year,” she said.
“I was hoping for a mid-pack finish and that’s what I achieved. I was riding on instinct really and that got me through in the end, that and my trusty 2010-model Yamaha.
“It was very hard going for me this year but I just kept focussed on finishing. That was what was important to me. I’ve done 13 now and finished every one. I wanted to keep the finishing record intact.
“I’ll be back next year and for as long as I’m able to keep riding. My aim is to complete 20 but we’ll have to see about that.
“Kane and I would really like to do this race as a family. We all ride dirt bikes but it would be neat to have me and Kane complete it with the kids – Ashley and Jordan – too. That’s definitely something I’d like to be able to tick off my ‘bucket list’.”
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