Megan Dredge is someone who likes to set herself challenging goals and then work hard to achieve them. The 26 year old currently works full time as a Regional Hazards Advisor for Waikato Regional Council, and is continuing to further her qualifications by studying part time at the University of Waikato. She says she enjoys her role and feels she is making a difference.
"A lot of my time at work is spent informing the public on river flooding information around the Waikato Region. I use different types of maps to present the information and show people what they should be aware of. The Waikato is known to be an area which floods frequently, so it's important we are prepared as well as the people who live here."
Despite working full time, Megan has trained for a number of endurance sporting events. She completed the Taupo Ironman in 2013 and 2014, as well as many other half Ironman races, triathlon, swimming and running events. Megan says finding time to train for these events around work and other commitments is demanding but ultimately very fulfilling.
"A typical training week would be about 15 hours. That would be made up of 3 or 4 swim sessions usually done in the morning before work. After work there would be a bike or run session and then the weekends would be the long distance stuff. In the weeks leading up to Ironman my long runs would be around 30km and rides up to 180km."
Megan has also started her own boutique business, called Red Megs, which sells handcrafted jams and marmalade from locally-grown fruit. She sells these products at farmers markets and is hoping to grow the business in the future. Her aim in setting up Red Megs was to try something new and not be afraid to challenge herself.
"Red Megs started from a bag of limes which were given to me by a workmate. I enjoy making a product that other people find hard to do and in the future I would love to see my product selling in a wide range of stores."
Megan hopes her experiences can encourage other young people to step out of their comfort zone and look to challenge themselves.
"Never ever give up on something you can't go a day without thinking about. There are people, groups and clubs out there that will support you in what you want to achieve, you just have to go out and find them.
"Everything will seem to challenge you but stick with your goal, persist, and you'll get there."