Duathlon ath­lete cracks bar­rier

McPher­son safely grabs first sub-4-hour time since 2001

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport - By ABBY BROWN

Mata­mata ath­lete Kieran McPher­son was the first per­son com­pet­ing in the Coast duathlon solo to go un­der the four hour time mark since 2001.

He com­pleted the 100km duathlon, con­sist­ing of a run, bike, run, in 3 hours 53 min­utes.

The event takes place ev­ery year along the East Coast of the North Is­land on Novem­ber 3.

The first leg of the race was a 14km run from Gis­borne to Tat­apouri. The flat to un­du­lat­ing ter­rain en­abled McPher­son to es­tab­lish a three minute lead by the end of the leg.

His mum and dad were on hand to cheer him on and helped him to keep a good lead for most of the bike leg. Once he got off the bike he could barely stand, he said.

His de­scrip­tion of the race down­plays the huge chal­lenge it would be to most mere mor­tals.

He de­scribed the last run­ning leg as ‘‘only 10km to go’.

The teams, with their

fresh legs, had an ob­vi­ous ad­van­tage over McPher­son but he held them out as long as he could.

He was passed on the last kilo­me­tre when his body was on sur­vival mode and quickly shut­ting down.

He said he made it to the fin­ish line and col­lapsed.

De­spite not be­ing the first per- son home, he had the fastest solo time and was crowned the Coast cham­pion.

His time was a huge feat con­sid­er­ing the whole race was into a head wind, he said.

The event was the for­mer New Zealand long dis­tance duathlon champs and at­tracts a field of well over 1000 ath­letes.

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