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 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.

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