Chal­lenge Wanaka changes the game for Allan

Central Otago Mirror - - CLASSIFIEDS - MAR­JORIE COOK FULL STORY: stuff.co.nz.

Chal­lenge Wanaka or­gan­is­ers are cut­ting the elite field from the 226km triathlon Fe­bru­ary 2018 and putting more fo­cus on the 113km race, hop­ing to en­tice more pro­fes­sional ath­letes.

The de­ci­sion has gut­ted backto-back 226km ti­tle holder and record holder, Dou­gal Allan, but mid­dle dis­tance ex­po­nent Braden Cur­rie is pos­i­tive.

The Chal­lenge Wanaka Half will be­come Triathlon New Zealand’s na­tional mid­dle dis­tance cham­pi­onships, of­fer­ing a prize pool of $25,000 for the top six places, down from $80,000 of­fered for the 226km race.

Port of Tau­ranga has hosted the na­tional cham­pi­onships for the last 20 years and Cur­rie is the cur­rent ti­tle and record holder.

Wanaka’s full dis­tance race has never at­tracted large num­bers of elite ath­letes, al­though some of the best in the world have com­peted, in­clud­ing Chris McCor­mack, of Aus­tralia, and Yvonne Van Vlerken, of the Nether­lands.

‘‘Ob­vi­ously gut­ted about it as my strength lies in the full dis­tance events, es­pe­cially on tough ones like Chal­lenge Wanaka,’’ Allan said from Aus­tralia, where he is pre­par­ing for Chal­lenge Roth in July.

Allan is look­ing for an­other full dis­tance race to do, though Cur­rie said the half was ‘‘ab­so­lutely on the plan’’.

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