Eddie Dawkins' tale of speed, stamina, and small-town serenity

Eddie Dawkins' tale of speed, stamina, and small-town serenity

Former track cycling champion Eddie Dawkins shares his dynamic journey from the high-speed velodrome races to the enduring grit of ultramarathon trails. 

The episode opens with a reflection on Dawkins' illustrious cycling career, which saw him capture world championship victories, Commonwealth golds, and a bittersweet silver medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics. 

"It was the first time New Zealand won a gold medal in a team event and then in a sprint event at a world champs," Dawkins recalls, marking a "here we are" moment for New Zealand cycling on the world stage. 

The camaraderie and success shared with his teammates over a dominant four-year period are evident as Dawkins speaks about the potential of coaching and mentoring up-and-coming cyclists, especially with the Paris Olympics on the horizon. 

The conversation then shifts to an athlete's metamorphosis from the explosive power of weightlifting to the stamina-driven world of ultramarathons. Dawkins narrates his personal transformation, highlighting the need for mental resilience and physical reinvention. 

"My body's completely changed," he says, noting a weight loss of "about 15-16 kgs" and the drastic changes in diet and training. 

The switch from a 2k sprint to 10+ hours of ultramarathon running is an extreme testament to Dawkins' relentless pursuit of personal limits. Dawkins further delves into the gruelling nature of a backyard ultra race, where "runners complete a 6.7km lap every hour until they can no longer continue." 

This unique race format allows newcomers to long-distance running to test their personal boundaries. The discussion underscores the significant role of nutrition in endurance sports. Dawkins mentions the "heavy reliance on carbohydrates for energy" as opposed to his powerlifting days where protein and water cuts were the focus. 

The episode concludes with Dawkins sharing a glimpse of his tranquil life in Rolleston, contrasting the hustle of international competition with the serenity of small-town living. His stories provide a rare look into the fabric of community life, revealing the personal side of an athlete's existence. 

This episode not only showcases Eddie Dawkins' remarkable athletic versatility but also explores the broader themes of transformation, endurance, and the impact of sports on community and personal identity. 

It is a story of a man who has pushed his body to its limits, from the thrill of Olympic success to the humbling challenges of ultramarathon running, all while maintaining a grounded perspective on life.

Listen to the full chat between Eddie Dawkins and Dominic George above.

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