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Race three, Shoe Clinic Mountainbike Duathlon Series

While the not-young Jake Stow (38), Wouter De Maat (52) and Michael Harte (55) respectively wrapped up the long course, short course and walk in the Shoe Clinic Mountainbike Series at Rabbit Island yesterday, youth triumphed in the women’s sections of the event.

Having missed race one thanks to national competition, 17-year-old Josie Wilcox’s win couldn’t gain her the series crown in the long event. That went to yesterday’s second-placed Laura Hoffmueller. The 17-year-old German exchange concluded her year in Nelson in a high note, making a heartfelt speech in faultless English praising the region as a hotbed of great events. She should know, having won a fair share of them herself.

 The short race series was a cliffhanger for the women. Series leader Andrea Livingston’s business concerns kept her away, so the stage was set for Karen Goodger (32) and Claire Erasmus (11) to battle it out. Goodger held a 40-second advantage going into the final race, but Erasmus led Goodger home by 1 minute and  7 seconds to take the title, but not the race.

That was won by 10 seconds by 13-year-old Pip Dalley, who also won race two but didn’t compete in the series opener.

Rebecca Wasley marched off with the series crown in the women’s section of the walk event.



Richard Ussher’s Kaimai report

Richard and Elina Ussher discover what’s so special about the Kaimai Classic, the Bay of Plenty multisport race attracting more than 600 starters. 

 

Richard’s report:

Last weekend Elina and I headed away from Sunny Nelson and up towards the raging gales that seem to start as soon as you cross the Whangamoas on the way to Picton. The weather on the way up was probably the worst I’d ever had to travel in with kayaks strapped to the roof and with the maximum gusts recorded apparently around 190kmh we were lucky to have our kayaks in one piece when we finally arrived in Tauranga.

We managed to have a quick look around most of the course via car and a quick run around the first 5km loop which allayed any thoughts of a quick time as it was either straight up or straight down for 95 per cent of the course.

Race day and I immediately started getting s**t from Elina, and plenty of others as in my warm up I’d inadvertently managed to flick a rather large cow pat over my legs and I was a right sight – how professional!

At the start I became a victim of my wife’s sharp elbows and had to slot in a few back until the pack spread out enough for me to get past and head off in search of Dwarne Farley who had led out at a pace not far short of a full sprint.

There was a good group of us as we headed out on the short run and it gradually thinned down as we entered the bus tracks and with about a kilometre to go I finally managed to get a small break and headed into transition with a 20sec lead.

On to the mountainbike and it was pretty slippery for much of the course. I had a bit of a scare not long after the start when I got slightly off line and as I headed on to the road went straight over a drop about a metre high, luckily my speed carried me far enough over the ditch below that I avoided an embarrassing trip over the handlebars and I made a metal note to be a little more cautious.

The course quickly links on to a fun section of track around a small lake and then a mix of farmland and gravel roads. It wasn’t long before I joined the farm track beside the river and soon the kayak transition came into view.

I knew this would be the hardest portion of the race for me with not a huge amount of kayaking lately. I felt great for the first 20 minutes before hitting the incoming tide and my progress slowed dramatically. Not having paddled the course before I was quite unsure as to my progress and I was happy when the transition came into view without being passed by any of the chasers.

The time trial was a good chance to put a solid ride in. The course has several out and back legs which give you a great chance to access where the competition is. Dwarne and I passed a few minutes apart at the first of these and again 10 minutes later at the bottom turn around. On the way back towards the transition and it was good to be going with the rising breeze for a change and I also passed Elina on her way out.

The last run is quite tough with 8km of uphill and then a final 3km back down to the finish. Every 2km it was marked and when the first 2km sign came up it was a bit demoralising as I felt for sure I was more like 3km into the climb. I tried to keep up a reasonable tempo and at the final drink station I had a quick stop to take in the view and have a drink before winding it up for the final few kilometres.

A good day done for me and very shortly Dwarne came into view in second and in 3rd Pete O’Sullivan. Elina had a good day to take the win from Sonia Thompson and Hanna Lowe in 3rd.

We are off for some racing and training in Europe next week with the next race up the Are Extreme Challenge in Sweden followed by the Quelle Challenge Roth in July.



Shoe Clinic Mountainbike Duathlon Race Two

Robin Reid and Britta Martin took the top spots in race two of the Tineli co-sponsored mountainbike duathlon event at Nelson’s Rabbit Island on May 10. Both Reid and Martin are athletes of international standing, but were forced to work for their victories, both taking their leads during the bike leg of the soft, tricky course and holding on in the final run section..

The series continued to attract big fields with more than 150 turning out to race. In a short course option, children as young as nine enjoyed the conditions, with first-time duathlete Pip Dalley, 13, taking a late lead to win by four seconds from Jane Martin. Wouter De Maat, 52, showed this is an event for all ages, improving on his race one result by winning the men’s section in the short race.

Walkers Michael Harte and Rebecca Wasley consolidated their series leads in the walk section.



Surprises at Crazyman

This year’s 19th HuttValleyNZ.com Crazyman was meant to be another husband and wife field day for Tineli-sponsored Richard and Elina Ussher. But when both failed to start following a late return from racing in China, the race appeared wide open.

Nelson’s Helen Chittenden has had a low profile, but followers of her running career would have noted a few good results, including a Buller Half Marathon win a few years ago.

But it was her kayak performance that sparked her race, as she raced to a two-minute advantage . But it was Chittenden who showed out first, finishing the kayak section just over two minutes ahead of recent Xterra winner Nic Leary.

Leary took control on the run. But only just. The Palmerston North mountain bike specialist was suffering the affects of a virus and declined to mount her mountain bike for the final 36km to the finish line.

This left Chittenden with an automatic lead, and the 33-year-old cruised the final mountain bike for a comfortable 18-minute win in 5hrs 33min 36secs. Nelson enjoyed a successful day in the Capital City, with Irene Minchin claiming third behind Wellington’s Megan Lowen, while father and son pairing Ben and Rob Davidson took out the corporate team section in the associated duathlon.

On a glassy Wellington Harbour  40-year-old Glenn Muirhead was first to finish the 13k kayak from Petone to Eastbourne, hitting the beach just over a minute ahead of Wellington rep runner-turned-multisporter James Coubrough, and Napier standout Rick Martin. But Muirhead faltered on the 18k run over Mt Lowry to Wainuiomata.

Coubrough wasted no time in capitalising on Muirhead’s demise. The former Wellington champion runner and recreational kayaker finished the run with a 10min lead.

But someone forgot to tell Hamilton’s Neil Parkinson. Once into the final 36k mountain bike section the 27-year-old totally dominated the race, riding nine minutes faster than Muirhead and a massive eighteen minutes faster than Coubrough to claim his first big win on the national multisport scene.

Parkinson crossed the Lower Hutt Town Hall finish line eight minutes clear of Coubrough, stopping the clock in 4hrs 32min 03secs. With a winning time just a few minutes slower than Ussher recorded the previous year, Parkinson has announced his arrival on the national scene.

In third place Glen Muirhead couldn’t quite make up what he lost on the run, finishing three further back in third place. But the 40-year took consolation in smashing the veteran men’s record, clocking 4hrs 43min 43secs to win by a massive 46min.

Full story and results here.