U l t r a m a n A u s t r a l i a
NZ Army Officer completes extreme bucket list – by Simon Pohatu
John Humphries (AKA Humps), Major, NZ Army, NZ Defence Force. An Ironman competitor and now the Winner of the Military Division Trophy for Ultraman Australia 2016. “This was simply an event like no other.........the hardest endurance test of my life.....I’ll stick with Ironman!”
Ultraman Australia was held in Noosa, Queensland over the period 14-16 May 2016. The Ultraman is a 3 day, 515km endurance race – Day 1, a 10 km swim and 140km cycle; Day 2, a 281km cycle; Day 3, an 84km double marathon. There were 41 competitors, most of which were from Australia but also included entrants from Italy, Spain, Argentina, USA, Great Britain, Philippines, Singapore, India and 2 Kiwi’s.
Humps entered the Ultraman event because he wanted to give something back to the NZ Defence Force. In doing so, he chose to fundraise for the Killed, Injured, Wounded and Ill (KIWI), the Fallen Heroes of the NZDF (and subsequently raised donations in the amount of $NZ 2,606.50).
Of course he could not prepare or survive without the support of the UltraHumps team – Ray Boardman, Endurance Sports Consultant of Qwik Kiwi, Coach and Team Captain; Derrick McMillan of NZ Army; Scott Cordwell of NZ Army; and 12 year old local and official Ultraman paddler Lily who supported Humps through the swim.
ASA did not hesitate to support the UltraHumps team, especially since Humps and Derrick are former colleagues of the Chief Operations Officer Debs Pohatu. The team was supplied with two 4WD medical first response vehicles throughout the duration of their stay which was the envy of the other teams. Additionally the team was treated to many screams of encouragement and support from Debs as Humps smashed the countless walls of the double marathon on the final day.
Congratulations to Humps and his team – an awesome achievement by all. You have done yourselves, your families and the NZ Defence Force proud and ASA was honoured to assist.
So what is next for UltraHumps? – “When you win the title you have to return to defend it” Fair enough Humps, but just remember that the idea of a bucket list is to tick it off just once and not every year! ...... whatever happens, ASA will be there for you mate - Debs.