(L to R) Jill, Joan and Cathie will race as a team this Sunday. (L to R) Jill, Joan and Cathie will race as a team this Sunday. CREDIT: Barfoot & Thompson World Triathlon Auckland

West Auckland sisters overcome surgery through triathlon training

Monday 1 April 2013, 2:12PM
By Barfoot & Thompson World Triathlon Auckland


Participating in the Barfoot & Thompson team sprint triathlon will give West Auckland sisters Jill Harvey and Joan Henderson the ideal opportunity for a quicker rehabilitation after both having surgery.

The sisters will take part in a team over the sprint (750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run) distance on Sunday, using the Auckland waterfront event as a chance to return to fitness. It is a first attempt at triathlon for both.

Harvey (60) is recovering from a hip operation and Henderson (55) from a shoulder reconstruction. Harvey’s surgery was in October and Henderson had a rotator cuff shoulder reconstruction in December.

Harvey who lives in Grey Lynn and works in Henderson consulted former top triathlete Matt Brick for the operation.

“I had an arthroscopic operation on my hip, the edge of the femur bone was rubbing against the socket, so after diagnosis of MRI's and other X-rays the specialist Matt Brick advised he could do the operation arthroscopically and shave the overlapping portion of the "ball" away to eliminate this and perform cartilage repair on the socket which regenerates in time.

“Added to this I was having issues with both knees locking (weak), and Matt advised intense physio post op to attempt to strengthen the muscles around the knees and avoid further surgery,” said Harvey.

“The physio programme has been designed specifically for my rehab with consultation between Matt Brick and Karina Balle (Fit Fit Fit) of which I have been doing 5-6 days a week training and all thanks to them for my speedy progress, resulting in the participation and training for this Tri,” she added.

Her progress back to fitness has been excellent to the extent that Harvey after consulting with her specialist decided to do the cycling leg of the triathlon. A friend Cathie Klatt is doing the swim and Henderson the run.

Being their first foray into a triathlon, their aim is completion.

“We’ve trained and we are focussed and our mission is to complete the course – challenge set,” she said.

Henderson’s husband is sponsoring the team through his company Henderson Demolition by paying the entry fee and providing T-shirts and caps.

The sisters and Cathie will be amongst hundreds taking part in a variety of events over the course of three days, starting with the twilight swim/run on the Friday evening and including a 5km Brunch fun run on the Saturday morning before the triathlons on the Sunday for all comers over either the standard or sprint distance.

The courses are contained to the waterfront and CBD with the athletes getting to enjoy much of the same course that the elites will compete over on the Saturday, albeit in a different direction; course maps are available online at

In between all the action for the everyday Kiwi’s taking part is the opening round of the International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Series, with the best in the world kicking off their 2013 seasons with the elite women’s and men’s races on Saturday afternoon.

Late entries are accepted for the event at registration on the Friday and Saturday, full details can be found at

Barfoot & Thompson ITU Triathlon
April 5-7
Queens Wharf

Friday 5th April
12.00pm to 8.00pm              Sport & Lifestyle Expo Open
6.30pm                                   Twilight Swim/Run
Saturday 6th April
8.00am to 5.00pm                Sport & Lifestyle Expo Open
9.30am                                   Brunch 5km run
12.06pm                                 Elite Men ITU WTS
3.06pm                                   Elite Women ITU WTS
Sunday 7th April
9.00am to 5.00pm                Sport & Lifestyle Expo Open
7.00am                                   Sprint, Open and Team Triathlons
12.00pm                                 Paratriathlon

Entry open now at