Moss Burmester is a big name in New Zealand Sport having represented New Zealand at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and various other world champs and commonwealth games . So when I saw his name on the start list I quickly pinned him down for an interview. I decided to mix some serious questions with some really stupid questions, Moss was happy to oblige. For the record Moss is competing in the full Motu Challenge Multisport event. 170 kilometres of mountain biking, running, road cycling and kayaking!
What is your greatest achievement? Representing my country in 4 sports with swimming being the highest. 2x Olympics with a 4th at Beijing 2008, World champion 2008, Gold and Bronze at 2006 Melbourne CWGs.
What is your greatest sporting achievement? As above and I would have to add in my recent spearfishing achievement of spearing and landing NZ's first ever Black Marlin - 163.4kg.
Why enter the Motu Challenge? Great prep for Kathmandu Coast to Coast and because I see it as a massive challenge that will really test me.
You can obviously swim but can you kayak? I've grown up on the water and doing almost all water sports. I can kayak and have played in the Wairoa River with friends and my brothers on body boards before (once was closest I've come to death) so I am pretty comfortable in a kayak. But I've never raced people in them until the Coromandel Classic (double) and recent South Head Challenge.
Do you think you will do any swimming at the Motu Challenge? Hahaha, possibly but hopefully not!
The Motu Challenge is a long event, what is the longest event you have done previous to this? So I have heard! Coromandel Classic this year, it was gruelling this year (I was told by experienced multi-timers), Carolyn and I did it as a transverse team, day one was just over 5 hours, day two 9 hours! Previously it was spearfishing nationals which are 2x 6 hour days in the ocean back to back, we cover between 10-12km and that's not including any of the vertical dive meters.
Which leg will be the toughest? For me, TBH I'm not sure, I'm still so new to this. Right now I would say the 65km MTB, but skills-wise probably the kayak.
What are you doing for a job these days? I'm a Performance Specialist and love it! I get to work with high performing companies and organisations that have chosen to implement our (Steel Performance Solutions) High Performance Frameworks to help them achieve their strategic aspirations. The foundation of our work is the exact same models I used to help me become a World Champion, so I know it works and is different than anything else out there.
What is your favourite food and what will you eat on race day? Where to start...pizza, lamb, pork belly, seafood, chocolate... But on race day it will be a big LCHF (low carb healthy fat) breakfast, then a mixture of LCHF snacks and some simple carbs (gels, bars, etc.). If you are trying to eat on the go then sometimes that limits whats practical. I'm (Carolyn too) working with Caryn Zinn Dietician and What The Fat Book on my fuelling and am still experimenting and refining with the LCHF approach. So far it’s worked well for me and something I think people should seriously look into.
Do you have an athlete that you look up to more than any other? Why? At the moment it would be my coaches in the Foot Traffic Endurance Coaching team, Rob Dallimore, Anna Barrett and Anna Lorimer. They are all established athletes and know their stuff! Having them as coaches and their advice and guidance is the best thing I have done, it has helped fast-track my learning.
I also get motivated and inspired by everyone who is out there giving it a crack, from those who are aiming to complete it to those at the top. Last weekend at the South Head Challenge I was hoping to beat Hannah Wells, but didn't and learned a new term; I got 'chicked'!
Will you do C2C? Yes!!! And can't wait for this epic event! Carolyn Arthur and I are doing it as a Two-day Tandem traverse team. And it's popular as that section is sold out already!
How much training are you doing? Training is fitting around work which can be very hard to manage. It's very different than when I swam professionally as that was my job and training came first. Most days we are trying to train before and after work for an hour or so and a little longer over the weekends.
How fast can you cycle? Ha ha, I don't really know. I've got a 20km TT (time trial) with the Foot Traffic Coaching squad tomorrow which might give me a better idea. I'm lucky enough to be given the opportunity to currently trial an Avanti demo bike from the Avanti team. I've been borrowing my friend's old aluminium road bike so can't wait to buy my first proper carbon road machine! I feel like a kid getting his first bike all over again!
Do you like mountain biking? Yes, I love anything outdoors!
Do you still swim? A little now, twice a week with the Rick Wells squad at the Olympic Pool and Gym in Newmarket. I hadn't swum or done any structured exercise for 7 years since retiring end of 2010 and it was the World Masters Games that prompted me to get back in the pool 5 weeks before it. I really enjoyed it and then thought what next? That's when Carolyn suggested Kathmandu Coast to Coast and I just said yes, without even knowing what it required.
Do you play any music to inspire you to exercise? No, but when I'm in an excited mood driving to an event or exploring I usually blast music that fits the excitement.
Where do you live? Living in Auckland. It poses its challenges for training for the multisport/adventure races but where there is a will there is a way. Looking forward to using the Wero Whitewater Park to learn and better my river kayaking skills and hoping Ian Ferguson will be able to give me a few tips!
Fastest 10km run time? I did my first ever running race, the Onehunga Half Marathon two weekends ago and went 1:31:05. Was hoping to go sub 1:30but everyone is telling me I should still be bloody happy with that time. Maybe I'm not such a floundering #fishoutofwater as I thought I might be.
Have you been to Opotiki before? How about Motu village? Opotiki yes, at the beach when I was a kid. I grew up in Tauranga. Motu Village....not sure, may have passed through it as a kid.
Who is your support crew? My brother Cole! He's done a few of these things and tri's so knows what’s what. His advice and that of Anna Barret will be invaluable. We are doing a recce with Anna on the Friday before the race; luckily I'm a fast learner!
Do you know Daniel Jones (he won last year)? Nope, but only because I'm new to this sport. Sorry mate will look you up now, no disrespect. Congrats on the win!
Do you know Elina Ussher (she won last year)? Yes! Do I get a point? Partner of Richard Ussher and an amazing athlete in her own right! Follow her on Instagram but yet to meet her.