Adventure racers defy rain, mud and snow
It takes more than a snow storm to keep Wanaka multisporters in bed.
Competitors in the Red Bull Defiance two day adventure race tackled thick mud and an unseasonal snow storm on Sunday, with organisers forced to lop 11km from the final 21km alpine run.
Of 66 two-person teams, eight did not finish the 142km race (shortened from 153km).
Xterra specialists Braden Currie, of Wanaka, and Josiah Middaugh, won in 10:22:21, over defending champions, Alex Hunt, of Tasmania, and Dan Jones, of Wellington.
Wanaka couple Simone Maier and Marcel Hagener were the first mixed team home.
Joanna Williams and Sia Svendsen won the women’s category.
‘‘It was one of the hardest days racing in my life. The mountain bike was savage,’’ Hunt said.
Currie said it was one of the ‘‘coolest experiences’’ of his life. ‘‘I don’t think I’ve ever raced in such bad weather conditions.’’
Two single stage races were also held over the Minaret Burn mountainbike course and the shortened Skyline Route.
They were won by mountainbikers Richard Dunnett (2:14:46) and Melissa Newall (2:51:00); and alpine runners Ryan Carr (1:48:03) and Hana Holoubkova (2:24:07).