Keen Athletes Brave Chilly Conditions at Christchurch Duo
It was hard to tell it was right in the middle of summer as the Sovereign tri Series came to Christchurch with the
Duathlon at Orana Wildlife Park on Saturday night. On what was meant to be a beautiful twilight on a summer’s day,
conditions turned very chilly but thankfully dry for the many brave competitors turning out in the variety of events.
Event director Stuart Dwight was really pleased despite the cooler temperatures.
“I don’t exactly know where summer went today, it was a little bit chilly but the feedback has been great. People loved
the event. They really liked the new layout of the course and the fact that the two running legs were in the park and
not on the road so that was good. We had some people come from out of town to support us as well which was really
Local triathlete Nick Rennie and Ironman athlete Julia Grant took out the men’s and women’s Standard Distance races in
emphatic style. Rennie crossed the finish line almost eight minutes ahead of his nearest rival Geoff Williamson, while
Grant completed the race a good five minutes clear of Samantha Owles.
It was a good hit out for Christchurch’s Rennie who had no idea how the Duathlon would go for him, as it was his first
race of the new season.
“I’ve done maybe 10 runs since the start of November so it was really just about going out there and seeing how I’m
feeling. We’ve been doing a lot of work on the bike and I felt really strong. In the first kilometre I went through in
2:47 so I thought I better slow down and ease back a bit. But yeah, it was just great to get out and have a race,
especially with the Sovereign race at Kinloch coming up I didn’t want to go in there blind so this was good for me.”
Rennie was a big fan of the course at the Orana Wildlife Park, enjoying the off-road running. He’ll target Kinloch and
Takapuna in the Sovereign Tri Series and then head to Wollongong and he’s also hoping to do a few ITU World Cups – in
New Plymouth, Chengdu and another race in Penrith if he can get starts.
Grant has switched her attention to the longer format of triathlon, having competed on the Ironman stage. She’s very
glad she gave the Sovereign Christchurch Duo a go.
“It was really good out there. I made a very late and last minute decision to enter, as I just needed a good speed hit
out and this race was perfect. It was hard and I haven’t done a duathlon in ages so it was a bit different but
definitely a lot of fun.
“I have Challenge Wanaka coming up soon so I’m building towards that. I’ve done that event twice before, once I biked
home because it didn’t go so well and the other one was a bit better but this time around I want to podium so I’m going
Inspirational Christchurch mother Lorraine Walker (see preview story HERE
) completed her first ever duathlon and did so in front of her ‘Pumped Personal Training’ family.
“Kate and Rachel are the personal trainers at Pumped and are absolutely amazing and they offer amazing support. There
are a bunch of ladies who do events like this all the time so I think when you come to something like the Christchurch
Duo and you have them as your support crew it’s like having your family there. It’s that expectation that you can’t ‘not
finish’, so you don’t want to fail them. Obviously having the support of my partner Gary here with me is pretty huge and
I get to go home and tell my kids that Mummy did it.”
Walker’s goal was to get through the Short Distance race without stopping and she completed that goal. She’s determined
to do another duathlon but will stick to the shorter distances until she gets stuck back into training after a
well-deserved holiday break.
Paratriathlete Ed Jones was relatively pleased with his time of 1:16:40 in the Sprint Distance. The Duo was great
preparation for Jones who is off to represent New Zealand at the OUT Oceania Paratriathlon Championships in Devonport,
Tasmania next month.
A special mention as well to 82-year-old Ray Bennet, who became a crowd favourite at the Christchurch Duo – finishing
the Standard distance race in a very commendable time of 3:58:46.
Sovereign Tri Series
1st Nick Rennie 1:52:44
2nd Geoff Williamson 2:00:12
3rd David Fitch 2:05:40
1st Julia Grant 2:08:24
2nd Samantha Owles 2:13:58
3rd Martina Fellmann 2:17:08
1st Team Brazier 2:30:50
2nd Team Ramsay 2:35:14
3rd Team Kidd 3:06:25
1st Sam Harvey 1:06:32
2nd James Ireland 1:07:03
3rd Xavier Massart 1:08:32
1st Josie Clow 1:10:51
2nd Julia Spark 1:13:10
3rd Alice Perry 1:14:54
Men Sprint Junior 16-19y:
1st Christian Davey 59:30
2nd Oscar England 1:03:58
3rd George Ellett 1:05:27
Women Sprint Junior 16-19y:
1st Amelia Persson 1:06:40
2nd Annika Levestam 1:20:17
3rd Samantha Boyce 1:22:33
1st Ed Jones 1:16:40
1st Team Marshall 1:47:38
1st Lani Guilford 51:22
2nd Anna Affleck 53:14
3rd Nicola Loach 55:07
1st Simon Currie 49:03
2nd Gary Marshall 50:52
Women’s Short Youth 11-15y:
1st Brea Roderick 38:52
2nd Tori Bendall 41:09
3rd Brynlea Pain 41:44
Men’s Short Youth 11-15y:
1st Oscar Fossey 38:38
2nd Lachlan Hall 49:55
1st Team Smith 45:41
For Full Results click HERE