EIT Hawke’s Bay’s recently appointed lecturer in exercise physiology Olivia Maclaren admits to being “a bit of a cycloholic”.
Her addiction started in her hometown of Christchurch, but it was in Dunedin, where she did her Master of Physical Education in exercise physiology, that she got more seriously into cycling.
Track and road, Olivia loves them both, and she’s excited about what this region has to offer.
“I’ve been told Hawke’s Bay has a good cycling club, well organised races and that the indoor velodrome is a happening thing. That’s all good.”
Her one claim to sporting fame, she says, was taking part in the Oceania track championships in Invercargill several years ago.
In the first ride-off in the sprints, she found herself up against Australian track cyclist Anna Meares, the two times 500m TT world champion and gold medalist at the Commonwealth and Olympic Games.
While Meares “kicked my butt”, Olivia was “just happy to be riding off against her”.
Other sports interests have included triathlons and multisport. Her next goal is to compete in the New Zealand Ironman before turning 40. “At 35,” she smiles, “I’ve got a few years left in me yet.”
Before joining EIT’s Faculty of Sport and Health Science, Olivia had five years in Auckland working as an exercise physiologist at Auckland University and more recently as a gym manager.
Living now in Taradale, she’s enjoying Hawke’s Bay’s slower pace and is looking forward to exploring more of the region by bike.