Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Join me on My Journey

I do apologise for the lack of blog updates especially for those that do not have Facebook, as I have been making regular updates on my ‘athlete page’ over on Facebook - (

Cam & I
Anywho here we go, so most recently we had our National Championships held at the new Avantidrome in Cambridge. I made the move up here 6 weeks before ‘go time’ after spending an amazing three years in Invercargill, which I can now call home! The number of people I met for such a small city was such an eye opener to how humble and generous the people are down there! Even though it was shitty weather most of the time, you could actually appreciate the nice days, but you fill up with frustration when those days are on your rest days – well that’s what the enduro’s say, but I was lucky enough to have witnessed it! My 678 tweed brother Cam Karwowski I swear every rest day you could imagine was the best day to go for a 5 hour ride with no music, its sunny, no wind, not too hold and not too cold just perfect! But these days were spent on the never ending massey uni catch up dates!

So, I moved in with a lovely family, the Harper’s. Which are located 2kms from the Avantidrome and 5kms from town – sweet deal huh! They adore horses, which I am allergic too but that’s OK also along with 1 dog (one eyed) Abbie, 2 cats Muffy and Rosie and of course I am allergic to all these fun friendly animals!
New backward to play in :)
I have my own sleep-out which is perfect so no one can see my mess, but also have access to the family house so I don’t feel so left out! Cambridge is an amazing town! I keep thinking of it like Invercargill and Auckland put together, small enough, busier enough, central and last but not least again such amazing people! An advantage of being so close to my other home Auckland I was very fortunate enough to surprise my school friend at her 21st, seeing her when I arrive made me so happy! Also seeing all my other school girl friends a few nights before nationals kept me positive; remember to always have a good balance in life!

I am absolutely loving it here – please do not be shy and some visit, just like some Royals that are coming next week, what’s up with that? It must be a nice place after all!

Cyclists vs Rowers Paintball round 1 - note rowers in shorts! Cyclists 1 up
Family BBQs here in Cambridge with Harold

Some may already my results from the Elite National Track Championships but here is the brief info and also some other results dating back to November – terrible I know I am so sorry!

March 13th - 16th, Avantidrome Cambridge. Elite Track Cycling National Championships
  • 1st Keirin
  • 1st Sprints
  • 1st Standing 250m
  • 1st Team Sprint
  • 2nd 500m Time Trial

December 6th - 8th, SIT Velodrome Invercargill. Southland Track Championships
  • 1st Keirin
  • 1st Sprints
  • 1st 500m Time Trial
November 19th - 22nd, SIT Velodrome Invercargill. Oceania Track Championships
  • 2nd Team Sprint
  • 4th Sprints
  • 4th 500m Time Trial
November 16th - 17th, SIT Velodrome Invercargill. UCI Festival of Speed

  • 2nd Keirin

Best podium smiles! Katie, Myself & Paige - Standing 250m
Hey there!

Natasha Hansen and I before defending our Team Sprint title :)

So what’s next for me?
I am hoping to be on the 2014 Commonwealth Games squad going to Glasgow at the end of July team will be announced over the next few weeks, but, firstly for me to have even been considered to be on the squad we were given certain target times to do at Nationals, some of my times were very, very, very close to the standards but not close enough. So, from here I have been given the support I need to show the selectors I have what it takes to be on the podium in Glasgow.

I believe in myself!

Do you believe in me? If you so, please show your support in any way possible, even something so small like "liking" my athlete page above and sharing i. I would love you to be on my support wagon! I appreciate any help I am given it really means a lot to myself and my family! 

Join me on my journey.....


Monday, March 31, 2014

10% discount code?!

Watch this space for my 2014 Elite Track Nationals update which were held at the new Avantidrome in Cambridge, which is now my new home! 

But, for now here is something for you and something a little different to support me!!

"Raiseys Original is a family owned and run business based in Napier, Hawkes Bay, on the beautiful East Coast of New Zealand". I am all for supporting locally owned and operated companies! So jump on board, support them and get yourself some tasty goodies and at the same time you will be supporting me - Bonus!

So here is what you want to know:
  • 10% discount Code - stephmck
  • For you - a 10% discount on Raisey's Original sports nutrition products online
  • For me - 5% "Support Commission"
Visit their website HERE, have a good look at the awesome products Raisey's Original offers, once you have items in your "shopping cart", proceed to the "checkout" - but do not forget to add in your 10% Discount Code! "stephmck"

Easy as!

Steph :)
Like their FB page here -

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Festival of Speed to New York!

Sadly it is my last week here in Trexlertown, I am already making the most of it by taking a day trip to New York by myself!

The UCI Festival of Speed had a Keirin for the females sprint athletes - Final line up: Stephanie Torres, Mandy Marquardt, Jennifer Valente, Dana Feiss, Alysha Keith and myself. I was very happy to have taken the keirin win from Dana second week in a row.

Elimination at the Festival of Speed -  currently doing approximately 10 neutral laps

NEW YORK - I took a bus from Wescosville to New York and yes I did take a "fanny pack" with me, it was so convenient walking around in the 30/86 degree heat. I did not want to take a backpack and look cool when I doubled strapped - I thought that would be too hard and embarrassing. I purchased a city pass which gave me access to 1. Empire State Building Observatory 2. American Museum of Natural History 3. The Metropolitan Museum of Art 4. Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) 5. Top of the Rock OR Guggenheim Museum and 6. Circle Line Cruise OR Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island. I got on the 0800 bus and arrived in New York at 1000, too easy right? I Arrived at the bus terminal and followed people that looked like they knew where they were going until everyone went different ways and I could not find my way out of the terminal - we started underground and there were many levels how hard is it to get out of the terminal! I popped out onto some street mapped out where I needed to go and off I the Empire State Building! The views were amazing. 

Hope you enjoy these pictures of what I got up to in New York!!

Empire State Building and Madison Square Garden? Building.
86 Levels High - not bad! Freedom Tower in the distance
The American Museum of Natural History was where the movie Night at the Museum was filmed. The Museum's renowned fossil halls feature the largest collection of dinosaur fossils in the world

Our mate T-Rex
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the world's largest and finest museums, with collections of nearly two million works of art spanning more than 5,000 years of world culture, from prehistory to the present from every part of the globe.
Armour of Henry Herbert (1534 - 1601) - 27.24kg (60 lb. 1 oz.)
 EGYPTIAN ART - Egypt is a place I would love to travel too, it is on my bucket-list!

 GREEK AND ROMAN ART - Greece is also another place I need to visit, so much history!

David - the on board guide
The Statue of Liberty

Times Square!!

View from the Empire State at night - obviously

Saturday, June 15, 2013

America: Week 2

Can not believe this but, I am half way through my stay here in Trexlertown! Well time fly's when you are having fun, right? Unfortunately I don't have any racing photos to share with you! If anyone know's any photography's floating around here in Trexlertown - let me know!

World Series of Bicycling: Last night I was very happy to have won the Keirin Cup to Dana Feiss. Here is an article from the Morning Call, wording was slightly out, but the only one I could find enjoy -,0,3302937.story


Sooo being in this country, the United States of America has been a real big eye opener, not sure if that is an understatement or not, but I have experienced many "language" barrier situations, though my highlight has been explaining us "Kiwi's". So for those American's that are reading and not sure what a "Kiwi" is, please do read on...
A piece of fruit high in fibre and Vitamin C caled Kiwifruit

So, us New Zealander's are also known as Kiwi's, this is not associated with the fuzzy green piece of fruit but a Kiwi that is truly unique, it is the only bird in the world with nostrils at the of its beak, they are nocturnal, which means that they come out of their burrows after nightfall to forage for insects, grubs, earthworms, fallen fruit and native plants. They have very tiny wings, but cannot fly, their feathers are more like fur. Their eggs are also the largest in the world in relation to the size of the bird laying it.

A Kiwi amongst the Silver Ferns

"So that is why you guys have feathers on your skin-suits?" - Nope that is also incorrect, to confuse you guys a little more we have what is called a "Silver Fern" on our skin-suits. So like the Silver Ferns netball team, right?..... What's netball? Sounds like "nipple" when us "Kiwi's" say it, so I found out. But it is not handball, basketball or football it is just netball - 'you put the ball through the net'. Here is a short introduction video to what netball is

The Silver Fern is out national symbol and is named for the silver underside of its fronds. The fronds are the ferns leaves and when they are young they are tightly coiled into a tight spiral. This shape is called a 'koru' in Maori, it is a popular motif in many New Zealand designs. Silver ferns are typically found in moist, forested areas because they require lots of water. Tree ferns are some of the most distinctive features of our forests.

Underlining of the fern - Silver Fern

So that was something a little different, hopefully I have taught a few things to you Americans :)

Thanks for reading - ciao for now,


Monday, June 10, 2013

America: Week 1

Sooooo, this week has gone way too fast for my liking! I arrived after a long haul, unfortunately I didn't have Birdman to count up the hours of travel but I had a 12 hour layover in LA before flying into Philadelphia where Mandy and Jamie picked me up. Before we drove to my final destination, I just so happened to have flown in on the same day of one of America’s big one-day race the ParxCasino Philly Classic. So, I was very fortunate enough to have seen what the “Wall” was all about and see Team Novo Nordisk in action for the very first time and of course see some kiwis smashing it! The males raced around the 12 mile circuit 10 times and the females 5 times.

Again here is Stretch from the Harlem "Shakers" I mean't Globetrotters in one of LAX's Terminals
Unfortunately the first Friday night/US Sprint Grand Prix were cancelled due to the weather and were postponed until Saturday – which was not so bad. Mandy qualified first with an amazing time and a personal best of 11.93 and I qualified second, funny enough we both made it to the finals! This was the first time we had raced against each other and the first time the crowd had seen two female type 1 diabetics going head to head, which was a pretty awesome feeling! With Mandy only just making the transition from endurance to sprinting and me with more race experience, I took the win and 5th overall. You can find all the results for the night here. The racing definitely woke up the legs after training in the cold back home, but it was so good getting back into it! Racing recap can be found here.
Chris Knight/Special to the Morning Call/June 8 2013
Mandy and I after night 1
Going into the second week I have finally got use to riding and also driving literally on the right side of the road. The weather is looking nice for this Fridays Keirin Grand Prix, so am looking forward to that. I also have an exam at the end of the week so I will be studying up a storm!!

Adios :)
These cool looking barns are every
Run down cottage, came come soaking wet.
Borrowing this awesome Harry Havnoonian for the month :)
Rainy days

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Racing in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania

Soooooo, after having a massive reality check returning from Trinidad and Tobago I got back into the swing of things with a bit of general conditioning in the gym with Simon Jones, fixed up my nutrition with Aimee Burns here at the Southland Academy and also got some decent track time into my legs ready for some racing over in Trexlertown (T-Town). T-Town is an outdoor concrete 333 metre track which is the home of the Valley Preferred Cycling Centre they have hosted World Cups, Olympic trials, Junior World Championships (twice), national championships and countless major international competitions.

I will be leaving on the 1st June and will be there for 4 weeks, racing every Tuesday and Friday night for Team Novo Nordisk along side my team mate Mandy Marquardt and hopefully I will see a few kiwi's whilst I am there too :) I am going to be racing in The World Series of Bicycling, which starts on the 7th June and runs through to the 30th August, it has a mixture of sprint and endurance events, each night has a wee promotion to keep the nights exciting for both the cyclists and the fans, the schedule is below.

So, this will actually be my first trip to America let alone T-Town, I am really looking forward to this opportunity and hope to gain lots and lots of valuable experience! If you have twitter you can follow my progress following this link here and for those who do not I will keep this updated as much as possible!

I hope everyone has dodged the early winter sickness, it is that time of the year and it sucks!
Bye for noooow,
Steph :)

2013 World Series of Bicycling Schedule:
FRI 7US Sprint Gran Prix
FRI 14Keirin Cup/10 Mile Championship
FRI 21UCI Festival of Speed presented by EnduroPacks
FRI 28Red Robin BRL Finals/Mike Walter Madison presenting by Kratzer Orthodontics
FRI 12Keirin Revenge
FRI 19The Golden Wheel Race presented by Bear Creek Mountain Resort
FRI 26USA Cycling Jr. Naionals
FRI 2Tandemonium/Women’s Open
FRI 9Rodale Corporate Challenge
FRI 16Deer Park Natural Spring Water UCI Fastest Man on Wheels presented by Univest
FRI 23Air Products Program Championships
FRI 30UCI Madison Cup presented by Salamander

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Caribbean Experience!

Wow, where do I start?! Let's be honest here...

Njisane 3 Day Cycling Festival #N3DCF, Wining, Paint party I Love Jamishness, Tobago, Nylon Pool, Boat Party, fresh fruit, Soca, Bus trips, The Hyatt Regency Hotel, Car Park Party, Coconut Water, Flat car battery and so many more memories that I will never forget, I could write a novel, but will keep it brief! So it all begins here:

We arrived in Trinidad and Tobago Saturday 13th note at 5am going from Christchurch - Sydney - Vancouver - Toronto - Trinidad. So the journey was rather long but we can all agree it was well worth it! We got to the Hyatt Regency Hotel went to our rooms 'Showfield' and I shared a room and then found ourselves poolside very quickly to overcome our 'jet-lag'. We were given a brown paper bag with a few things inside it and we were told we are going to a paint party at 3am and instructed to wear the singlet.
Small - Large the aftermath

Ompa loompa... party is about to get real!

So it hadn't been 24 hours and were already experiencing a little bit of Trinidad and Tobago's culture. This is where we were introduced to wining - note i haven't spelt winning wrong,wining it is a way of dancing? Is that correct? I think it is, we were a little surprised of how it works - let's just say it is a whole lot of hip action with a lot of people! I think by the end of the trip after getting experts teaching us we found some rhythm.......They were explaining to us this was only tiny compared to 'Carnival' so this has given us more reason to come back to the Caribbean to experience Carnival!!

Postcard material

We're on a boat
Nylon Pool
A couple of days later, we were mean't to take the boat to Tobago which took 2 hours at 630am, but we sadly missed out as the boat was full. So, we jumped on a plane at 930am and went to Tobago for the day. Once we arrived in Tobago we went straight onto a Glass Bottom boat, bonus was we had speakers to crank up whilst on the journey. Went on jet skies, ate some sort of crab meal, snorkeling and saw dolphins whilst jet skiing . But, my highlight of Tobago was when we went to Nylon Pool - a shallow coral reef, which is located in the middle of the ocean just off Pigeon Point. It was amazing!

43 #RaceNumber 

Raffle sprint

Wining - Getting amongst it
So this trip was cycling related. We were invited to race at the Njisane 3 day cycling festival. Njisane Phillip went to the 2012 Olympics as an unknown or a non favourite, he ended up 4th in the Sprints and 7th in the Keirin. He put this event on to promote cycling in Trinidad and Tobago and encourage young cyclists to take up cycling and also to promote his country which we were part of. The event was well thought out and was delivered well. There were 3 women's teams made up of 5-6 ladies from different countries, I was in Team 2 along with Olga Streltsova (Russia), Hannah Walker (Great Britain), Kianna Lester (Trinidad and Tobago), Graciela 'Chely' Arreola (Mexico) and Shelby Renolds (USA) and we were all managed by Stuart MacDonald.
Raffle Sprint 3rd/4th - Tarsh

Raffle Sprint Round 1 - Juliana (Columbia )

Raffle Sprint Round 2 - Katie
Our goal was to set out a plan and make sure we executed it in each race, personally I think we all did very well I certainly learn't a lot about endurance races!! (taking a lap and rejoining..haha eek). I am glad we were able to work as a team and also teach Kianna (only 15) what to do and what not to do during races - watch out for her in the near future!

At the beginning I had no expectations of Trinidad and Tobago, I was very open minded. Whilst we were there we ran on 'Trini Time' so we had to take it day by day and moment by moment, most things just fell into place and no one worried once! We didn't want to leave, after experiencing a taste of what Trinidad and Tobago was all about, they like to party - that's an understatement! Nothing is going to get close to what we experienced, I'm definitely going to go back that's for sure. 

I hope everyone knows where Trinidad and Tobago is now and understands their culture - I am sure that we have provided everyone with a taste of what to expect I can say that it is a place to visit and 'Carnival' should go onto your bucket list right now!! Thank you so much to Phillip, Marie, Lershaun, Varun and of course Njisane for giving us the opportunity to experience Trinidad and Tobago! 

Take Care,

Steph :) xx
Boat Party

In the local paper

Fruit salad provided during racing

Calm before the storm #JLD

Just living Daily

Overnight stay at Wellington Airport