‘Awesome’ turnout for oldest triathlon
Athletes from around the country celebrated Christmas by competing in the Lake Hayes Triathlon on December 27.
Lake Hayes Christmas triathlon organiser Adrian Bailey said this year’s event had an ‘‘awesome’’ turn-out. However, local athletes were in the majority.
‘‘It’s not so much of a calorie burner, even though we joke about that, but it’s a great familyoriented event within everyone’s capabilities because we have so many different events.’’
Bailey, who flew from Australia on the day of the race and had his colleagues start the event without him, said he was ‘‘stoked’’ to see everything running smoothly.
‘‘When I flew in today I could see the course when we came out of the cloud. It was kind of a weird sensation because I was watching the race from up in the sky.’’
Female sprint-distance winners were Fiona Crombie (1.08.57s), Anna Beik of Gibbston (1.12.00s) and Anna Lindsay (1.12.23s).
Male sprint-distance triathlon winner Saxon Morgan, of Christchurch, decided to compete a day before the event while on a family holiday.
He broke the tape in 1.02.37s. Steve Morrison from Cromwell was second in 1.03.04s; Reuben Thompson finished third in 1.04.54s.
The 16-year-old winner borrowed clothes and a bike for the day. Saxon found the course ‘‘quite tough’’, despite training 11 times a week in Christchurch.
Queenstown athlete Gabbie Ernst also found the triathlon race tough after a two-year break from the event. ‘‘That would teach me not to eat too much Christmas pudding,’’ she said.
Another event was a 5km run, in which farmer Adam Hill was the first to cross the finish line. ‘‘The only fitness I do is lifting hay bales,’’ he laughed.
A Wanaka mother and daughter ran the duathlon event together, with Cathren Pell completing an 8km bike ride and Elizabeth Pell, 8, running 3km.
The Lake Hayes race was first held in 1983 and is New Zealand’s oldest surviving triathlon.
The sprint-distance triathlon (750-metre swim, 20-kilometre cycle and 5km run) was one of seven events on offer, including a duathlon, 5km and 10km runs and a half distance triathlon (2km swim, 100km cycle and 18km run).
Queenstown’s Gabbie Ernst after her race at the Lakes Hayes Christmas triathlon in Queenstown.