Under the banner of 'Team Unstoppable', Nutri-Grain has assembled a trio of athletes who embody Kiwi values of tenacity and determination while representing us on the world stage.
For Hannah Wells, NZ's undisputed triathlon queen, excelling in one field wasn't enough and until recently split her time between the worlds of sport and science.
By day she worked as a research fellow in biotech engineering, dissecting sheep arteries to find an alternative for human grafts. By night - or by very early morning- she trained for triathlons.
However in 2019 she decided to commit her time fully to sport, while leaving the door open to returning to research at the end of her sporting career.
"It definitely was a difficult decision," she told Newshub.
"I was enjoying my job as a researcher so it wasn't an easy decision to step away from it...I'm so glad I had a proper education and I stuck with it all the way through as far as I could go."
While not an easy call, it was a decision that paid dividends. Within two years Wells won an incredible sweep of eight half Ironman crowns across Australia and New Zealand and recently placed third in the Ironman 70.3 at Sunshine Coast in Queensland.
Then earlier this year she stepped up to the ultimate challenge, the full-distance Nutri-Grain Ironman New Zealand. Across a sprawling course comprising 225km of swimming, cycling and running, Wells dominated an elite field of competitors to finish first on her very first attempt.
"The goal of winning on the first outing was pretty ambitious but to go and achieve it, after all the hard work, it was definitely a really cool feeling," she reflected.
While competing is reserved for elite athletes, Wells recommends that anyone interested should spectate at an Ironman because there's electricity in the air you won't find elsewhere.
"It's just so massive. And it's an iconic event with an iconic distance…there's a certain atmosphere you can't really describe," she said.
"This is a bucket list thing. It takes a huge amount of training and dedication just to make it to the start line. And you know that every single person has done so much work to be there and it means so much for them to cross the finish line. And you can feel that in the race."
Not content to rest on her laurels, Wells already has her eyes on the next victory, including defending her Nutri-Grain Ironman title in 2022. However, like all of us, the ongoing pandemic is complicating her calendar.
"We rely on being able to travel to races around the world. So it is pretty limiting at the moment and pretty tricky...It sort of goes against what we like to do as athletes in being able to sort out our seasons because we can't really plan them for the next six months."
Wells says that while COVID provides plenty of uncertainty, the disruptions are a useful reminder to get back to basics and focus on what she can control.
"When it's so hard to aim for those podium finish goals or race goals, it's just about going back to the reason why we do what we do and that's to be the best athlete we can be."
Wells is no stranger to pushing through setbacks, after being sidelined for six months by a virus last year and missing the 2019 Ironman world championships in France.
"Learning to deal with challenges, when things don't go quite right, just knowing how to work through those and developing that never give up attitude," she said.
"It's something that you definitely develop in research because these experiments go wrong all the time. I've definitely taken that with me into sport and something that I'll forever be grateful for."
When asked about what she's learned as a professional athlete since turning pro that she would pass on to others, Wells points to keeping perspective in the low points.
"It's about accepting there's going to be good days and bad days and not getting wound up by them or not over analyzing anything too much. It's about just trying to remain as consistent and as positive as possible over a long term."
And as for what the future holds?
"That's the hardest question to answer," Wells laughs.
Having now completed the 70.3 Sunshine Coast, Wells says her focus will be on training to ensure whatever the coming years hold, she'll be at her best.
"It's a big unknown for us right now...but what doesn't change in the next year for me is getting better as an athlete," she said.
"That doesn't change no matter what I'm doing. If I put in lots of training this year, even though I can't travel to a lot of the races I want to compete in. Over the next two or three years, I'll benefit. That's the mindset that you have to take at this time."
This article was created for Nutri-Grain.