Shaz Dagg has her sights set on the 2022 Coast to Coast after becoming the first female amputee to complete the race earlier this year. But this time, she wants to do every step of it solo.
Dagg, a New Zealand representative para-triathlete, completed the 2021 Coast to Coast in 18 hours, 29 minutes, and 54 seconds. Once she crossed the finish line, she was already thinking about doing it again.
Dagg has signed up for the 2022 race with the goal of completing the kayaking stage solo, after paddling in tandem with Coast to Coast veteran Brett Garrett this year. For this to happen, the race organisers have asked that Dagg complete a grade 2 kayaking course before the race and have Garrett paddle behind her for safety.
Dagg says she loved every second of the grueling two-day multisport event.
“It’s an event unlike anything I’d done before. The kayaking section was mind-blowing – beautiful scenery, clear water, a great 70 kilometre experience.
“The comradery between the athletes was great and a big reason why I want to do it again. Everyone just focuses on completion, supporting and encouraging each other along the way.”
UCOL is again supporting Dagg’s 2022 campaign. They are helping cover the costs of her own kayak, with UCOL Science staff providing training and nutrition expertise. UCOL connected with Dagg after she was the guest speaker at the polytechnic’s 2020 Staff Welcome Day.
There Dagg shared her story of how she lost her left arm following a farming accident and went on to become the country’s first elite para-triathlete.
A UCOL Bachelor of Applied Science (Exercise and Wellness) student will be helping Dagg with her training programme, under the supervision of Programme Leader Dr Johannie Spies. One of Dagg’s priorities will be building strength in her left shoulder to improve her kayaking. She also wants to complete the mountain run quicker, now that she is familiar with the rugged terrain.
UCOL Applied Science Programme Leader Dr. Bob Stewart will work with Dagg to develop a custom nutrition plan for her.
“I want to focus more on nutrition for the competition days. Instead of relying on energy bars and gels, I want to look at natural alternatives that will be easy to eat on the go. I’m keen to see what Bob can come up with,” says Dagg.