by Claire Christensen
I met Liz Nash at the Zach Mach Adventure race – a five year old and exciting adventure race spanning 80kms and incorporating mountain bike, kayak, trail run and road cycle through the pristine Pioneer Valley in the Mackay region in Queensland. Liz was one part of a two woman team and was completing the 12 km trail run and 30km road cycle in succession.
I had seen and noticed Liz at my recent first-ever enticer triathlon and thought ‘that woman is glowing’, she just seemed to have a permanent and ready smile which made me wonder about her story. So sitting waited outside the Pinnacle Pub for our legs of the Zach Mach to commence I had the chance to chat to Liz and hear it all.
I learnt her outward glow can be attributed to the fact that Liz is right where she wants to be in life but like anything, it’s been a journey for her. A busy Mum of four and a local high school teacher, Liz embraces what she’s learning about health, fitness and happiness and takes it in her stride. Can’t wait to bump into her again and hear more about her progress and new adventures.
Have you always been this fabulously fit and healthy?
In the 1980's, I was very fit having trained at the police academy. Running at least 5km each day, plus other training, I was in great condition. In the 1990's my first child came along, and so did a very busy life, including my police career and motherhood. 4 children later, I had let myself go. A couple of years ago, I had a health crisis including heart issues. What a wake up call, I realised I needed to improve my health. My goal was to adopt a healthy life by the time I turned 50. I started going to boot camp with RPTM 3 days a week, while researching nutrition options. I started eating raw foods with no refined sugar. A lifestyle choice rather than a diet. I'm 52 now, 36 kg lighter, and the fittest and strongest I've ever been (both physically and mentally). My love of multi sport started when I entered the Mackay Triathlon Club Women's only triathlon in 2015 with some ladies I work with. I finished, my goals being don't stop and enjoy it. I enjoyed the challenge so much that I decided triathlon would be my sport. My next goal being to enter every triathlon through the Mackay Triathlon Club in 2016. So in 2017, I've upped the anti and also entered the Zach Mach adventure race. I entered with a partner, Lisa Kaiser, and I completed the 11km trail run and 30km road cycle. I recently finished the Mackay Marina Run half marathon. Next on my bucket list is the Olympic distance triathlon at the Mackay Triathlon Festival, and the Noosa Triathlon later this year.
What does an average week look like for you?
It's pretty busy, but I am very organised. I have a very supportive husband who helps, particularly with the children's routines. I train 5 to 6 times a week, often a morning session and afternoon session. I get up at 5am and usually go to bed by 9. My children are pretty self sufficient, doing chores to help me out, including feeding the farm animals and pets, making lunches, washing up, etc. My training schedule consists of strength sessions in the morning, running with TriActiv8, cycling and a boot camp with RPTM in the afternoons. I love to do a long run and ride on the weekend. I let my swimming go, but really need to ramp it up soon to prepare for the Mackay Triathlon Festival. My 2 younger children are both involved in sport, so driving them around fits in with my schedule. I meal prep every Sunday and like to bake healthy, (and not so healthy) goodies. At the moment I am making the most delicious fudge, which I sell to raise money for my Noosa Triathlon fundraising. I am passionate about sustainability and living without toxins. I make all my own personal care and cleaning products. I have done a few courses so am developing a good understanding of how toxins impact health. I am lucky enough to be able to pass on my knowledge of sustainability to younger generations through my teaching career. I think if I didn't have a healthy mindset, I wouldn't be so organised.
Tell us about an adventure you are planning and looking forward to?
I love a good challenge. If I put my mind to it, I know I will be able to do it. I've got a few things I am training for this year including the Olympic distance Triathlon at the Mackay Triathlon Festival, the Eungella Trail Run and the Noosa Triathlon. Next year, I have set a goal to do the entire Zach Mach. I would love my son to pair with me. He recently broke his back and we've been talking about getting back into training. I just love setting my goal and when I'm ready, I share it and commit.
If someone is contemplating the Zach Mach adventure race in Mackay what would you advise them?
You will absolutely love the challenge. Such a great location, Pinnacle is s beautiful place, not just the scenery, but the people too. It's great running and riding through a beautiful rural location. Fresh air and a view is amazing and unique. The organisers and other participants are so supportive. If you are up for the challenge, do the race by yourself, but if not, nominate a team and complete one, two or even three legs. There are so many organisations out there to train you in all events.
The Zach Mach Adventure race is held every year and is the Mackay regions signature adventure race. The event will be held on Saturday 12th May in 2018 so start getting your teams ready today!