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Introducing our Guest Blogger, Mel, and her 2016 bucket list challenge!

Mel Brunker

Meet our first guest blogger, Mel Brunker. She has set a huge goal for 2016 – to compete in an Ironman triathlon this June in Cairns. Mel has agreed to share her journey with us. We hope it inspires you to challenge yourself to something you always wanted to do.

First a bit about Mel…

Mel is a mother of four who has taken up the sport of triathlon over the last couple of years. In 2016 she is aiming to tick off her bucket list the completion of an Ironman Triathlon. This entails a 3.8km swim, 180 km bike ride and then a 42.2 k run – yes a full marathon at the end! The Ironman distance triathlon has become increasingly popular over the last few years, and women in particular are moving to sports like running, cycling and triathlon in droves. Whatever the motive, it endurance events such as Ironman are offering people more than just a reason to get out of bed and get exercising. These type of endurance events offer a challenge both physically and mentally. However, it is a long journey just to get to the start line fitting in the training and keeping the body in top condition physically and mentally. When she does get to the finish line it will also be a huge achievement and an experience to she will remember forever!

Mel has included Rose-Hip Vital in her fitness regime for a number of years. She believes that you need to focus on injury prevention and recovery ongoing when training for races, and of course with a busy life as a mother and wife – balance is the key. And did I mention her husband also race Ironman Triathlons!

The Ironman event Mel has signed up for takes place this June in Cairns (Australia). Below is her first blog post…a little about her and her triathlon experience so far.

I am fairly new to the sport of triathlon. Growing up I was always into sport and fitness, netball and Little Athletics being my winter/summer passions, all other sports like tennis, basketball, swimming and school activities were squeezed in around training for my main sports. Once I left high school and ‘grew up’ was when I started exercising for the fun of it and realised the health benefits that go along with an active lifestyle and healthy diet. I have always enjoyed running, so it became my stress outlet and a bit like a hobby!

Fast forward a few years, I have been married for 18 years, have 4 beautiful kids, 2 boys aged 14 and 12, 2 girls aged 10 and 5. My husband is a builder, so life is fairly chaotic running our business, chasing after 4 busy kids and temping at a great company part-time when they need me, while also trying to renovate our home and both of us deciding to take up the challenge of Ironman triathlon – which in itself is like a part time job!

The thought of doing a full distance Ironman had never entered my mind until June 2014. One of our best friends who has been doing Ironman for years was racing in Cairns. We decided to go and watch, and have a family holiday tacked on to the end. Watching this event was so inspiring. Seeing people of all ages push themselves beyond what I thought was possible, with professionals competing alongside age group athletes – I thought it was just fantastic. The emotions on people’s faces as they cross the finish line after 10-17 hours was very moving. I think it was then that I thought how I would love to experience that elation, but I also thought it was completely impossible after having 4 kids…there was no way my body could endure that!!

However, not to be outdone by my husband, who was also motivated enough to register for his first Ironman distance for his 40th birthday and just recently completed his 2nd, I have decided to do Ironman Cairns as a present to myself for my 40th birthday. I love a challenge, and this is probably the biggest solo challenge I can think of. The 3.8km, swim 180km bike, and 42.2km run will be my celebration, and it’s a great excuse to get a new bike. Six months of hard training and my party will be on the finish line! I look forward to sharing my journey with you.

Make sure you give Mel lots of encouragement on her journey by leaving messages in the comment boxes of her posts –  and check back now and then for her latest updates or subscribe to our newsletter for monthly updates – see box at top right of this page.

We would also love to encourage you on your 2016 challenges. Do you have one or planing one? Share it with us…



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Rose-Hip Vital® with GOPO® is a plant-based anti-inflammatory and immune system support for joint health and general wellbeing. Made from Rosehips manufactured with patented extraction and drying processes, it’s a scientifically and clinically tested natural anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and natural vitamin C used to relieve and prevent joint pain, stiffness, inflammation and swelling associated with mild arthritis.

Patented manufacturing processes isolate the active compound GOPO® which has scientifically and clinically tested anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties. GOPO® works by stopping excess white blood cells from gathering around inflamed tissue, thereby helping to break the cycle of inflammation and protect cartilage. Rosehip products that do not contain GOPO® have not been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.

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