Dougal Allan smashes record
Dougal Allan has done it again.
The defending champion and local hero has not only won Challenge Wanaka back-to-back but he smashed the course record with a time of 8:26:38.
The former course record of 8:34:41 was set by New Zealand’s Richard Ussher in 2010.
His achievement would feel ‘‘pretty damn good’’ when he had the energy to realise what he had just done, he said.
‘‘I was really pleased with my swim...it afforded me the opportunity to have some patience on the bike and my plan was really to attack the second lap, so I wasn’t in a big hurry in the first lap. I was holding back slightly and I was trying not to get too concerned by the time gap. The second lap is when the course can catch up on you and I gave it full respect and luckily it came together for me.’’
The Oamaru-based athlete, formerly of Wanaka, was up against a world-class field, including Mike Phillips of Christchurch, Luke McKenzie of Australia and Luke Bell of Australia, giving chase over the 226km race.
‘‘It’s just a case of managing yourself, tuning into your watch and following all your own processes and just putting up with some suffering really. My coach Val Burke texted me last night and said, ‘you’re good enough, you just have to suffer for the glory’ and I thought, ‘bang on - I’m ready to suffer’, and suffer I did.’’
Mike Phillips, on his debut over the iron distance, pushed Allan hard and came in second with a time of 8 hours 32 minutes - a time again under the existing course record.
Phillips said he found himself at the front of the swim so thought he ‘‘might as well stay there and come out in front’’ and put himself in a good position.
‘‘I rode in front for around 60km until Luke caught up and we rode together until 140km when Dougal came past and just blew it all to pieces...Dougal was just a stronger guy on the day and hopefully I can come back smarter and stronger next year. I had never done a full before - nutrition is a lot more important than in the half and pacing and stuff as well is so much more important.’’
The women’s race was almost a repeat of last year with an ongoing battle between The Flying Dutchwoman, Yvonne van Vlerken and Brit Laura Siddall. In the end it was van Vlerken who was victorious with another new course record in 9:15:44.