Forne, Wil­liams on top in Peak to Peak

Otago Daily Times - - REGIONS - GUY WIL­LIAMS

WORLD cham­pion ad­ven­ture rac­ing team­mates Chris Forne and Joanna Wil­liams grabbed the men’s and women’s ti­tles at the Tor­pedo7 Peak to Peak mul­ti­sport race in Queen­stown on Satur­day.

They were among nearly 400 com­peti­tors who tack­led the 44km course in per­fect weather from the top of the Re­mark­ables ski area to the Coronet Peak base area.

The pair have won en­durance rac­ing world ti­tles to­gether with Team Avaya (for­merly Sea­gate), and will be join­ing forces again for the world cham­pi­onships on Re­u­nion Is­land in Novem­ber.

Forne, a six­time win­ner of the Ad­ven­ture Rac­ing World Cham­pi­onships, said it was now ‘‘down­time’’ in his rac­ing year.

With his next ma­jor race in Novem­ber, the Peak to Peak was an op­por­tu­nity to gauge his fit­ness and ‘‘keep a bit of sharp­ness’’.

‘‘I knew it would be a close race, and I’m a lit­tle bit sur­prised.

‘‘But that’s part of the fun. These races are al­ways a bit un­ex­pected be­cause you don’t know what sort of train­ing ev­ery­one’s done.’’

Forne was chased home by 17­year­old Reuben Thomp­son, for­merly of Queen­stown, who is the na­tional sec­ondary schools un­der­19 triathlon cham­pion.

Now based in Cam­bridge, where he is train­ing with the na­tional high­per­for­mance team, Thomp­son said he was ‘‘gut­ted’’ with sec­ond place de­spite it be­ing his first mul­ti­sport race.

He had lost a lot of time af­ter com­ing off his bike in gravel on the Re­mark­ables road.

Queen­stown’s Hamish Flem­ing, who had won the past three races, came in third.

It was the sixth Peak to Peak win for Wanaka phys­io­ther­a­pist Wil­liams, orig­i­nally from North­ern Ire­land, which makes her the event’s most suc­cess­ful in­di­vid­ual.

The 43­year­old said she de­cided to do the race again to ‘‘shock’’ her into train­ing.

‘‘It’s been hard, with the snow be­ing so good this win­ter, to go run­ning, bik­ing and pad­dling, so I’ve been quite dis­tracted.’’

The race started with a ski or snow­board down The Re­mark­ables ski area’s Out­ward Bound run, a moun­tain bike ride down the ac­cess road to Frank­ton Beach, a kayak pad­dle to Queen­stown Bay, a run to Arthurs Point and a climb by road bike to Coronet Peak.

Event di­rec­tor Ge­off Hunt said it was the per­fect train­ing pro­gramme for ath­letes gear­ing up for longer events like the Coast to Coast.

‘‘The weather couldn’t have been bet­ter and the feed­back has been re­ally pos­i­tive.’’ Re­sults

Vet­eran team — Avanti Plus Mixed team — Sil­ver An­niver­sary Of The Fa­mous Five

Busi­ness team — Ful­ton Ho­gan Ter­mi­na­tors

Open team — Ryan Shanks Fit­ness

Ju­nior male — Will Mor­shuis Vet­eran male — Rikki Grif­fin Vet­eran woman — Alex Martin

Open women — 1: Joanna Wil­liams, 2: Alisa Rollinson, 3: Meg Bichard

Open men — 1: Chris Forne, 2: Reuben Thomp­son, 3: Hamish Flem­ing

PHOTO: GUY WIL­LIAMS

Vic­to­ri­ous . . . Chris Forne, of Queen­stown, and Joanna Wil­liams, of Wanaka, cel­e­brate win­ning the Peak to Peak mul­ti­sport race on Satur­day.

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