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New Look XTERRA European Tour

New rules make for a new game in the chase for the XTERRA European Tour Championship title and this year the crown could very well be won by master tacticians rather than the fastest racers in the field.

“It’s a numbers game, that’s for sure,” explained Dave Nicholas, the managing director of the XTERRA World Tour, who restructured the way the European Tour point series works for 2015.

“We’ve got 12 majors in Europe split into two divisions, what we are calling our Silver and Gold races. We did this to keep organizers with great races – but not a lot of money – a chance to be successful,” said Nicholas.

Silver races – XTERRA Malta, Portugal, Greece, Sweden, and Denmark – have pro prize purses that range between $7,500 and $14,000 USD, while Gold races – XTERRA Spain, Switzerland, France, Italy, Czech, Germany, and England – offer $15,000 to $25,000 USD.

While elites can race in all 12 events if they like, for scoring purposes the Tour will only count their best four Gold races and best three Silver races.

Gold races accumulate points on a 100-point scale (winner earns 100 points, second in 90, third is 82, and so on…) while Silver races accumulate points on a 75-point scale (winner earns 75, second is 67, third is 61, and so on…)

The maximum amount of points an elite can collect is 625 points (4 wins at Gold races = 400 + three wins at Silver races = 225).

“Certainly opens the door for the entire field of elites and I think makes the game a whole lot more fun to watch and follow,” said Nicholas.

“What we ultimately want is for all our racers – amateurs and elites – to explore and discover these great destinations and races all around Europe. How the chips fall at the end of the season, we’ll just have to wait and see.”

Conrad Stoltz

Conrad Stoltz to Race at XTERRA Asia-Pacific Champs

Conrad Stoltz, the most decorated off-road triathlete of all-time, is returning to Callala Beach in Jervis Bay for another shot at the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship title on April 18.

“It’s a big race, has a TV show, big money, and just look how the Aussies crawled out of the woodwork last year.  That’s good for the sport,” said Stoltz, who has an unprecedented 51 XTERRA championship titles to his credit.

The XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship, which again doubles as the XTERRA Australia Championship, is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.

“The whole race is phenomenal and very well designed. There is a lot of really good single track and it’s well balanced.  I loved the course and am super excited to have another crack at it.”

At last year’s inaugural race the seven-time World Champion from South Africa was in 2nd place after the mountain bike leg before pulling due to fatigue from a cold and a calf injury he couldn’t shake.

“Last year’s race was obviously very disappointing for me,” said the two-time Olympian.  “Fly fishing in the rain after XTERRA NZ was probably not the best idea … my wife was right – again!”

Despite the hiccup last year New South Wales still holds some special memories for Stoltz.  In 2000 when triathlon made its debut at the Sydney Olympics “the Caveman” broke away from the field on the bike alongside Olivier Marceau.  Those two took a one-minute lead into the run before getting chased down by the sprint pack.  The very next year he won his first of four XTERRA World Championships.

“Australia is such a triathlon hotbed, it’s nice to see XTERRA take off there and Callala Beach is perfect for off-road racing,” said Stoltz, who has 15 years of experience racing professionally in the dirt.

As the most prestigious event in the XTERRA Asia-Pacific series that includes championship races in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Japan, Guam, Tahiti, and Saipan – the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship will offer $50,000 in prize money to the sport’s top professional athletes and produce a television show for international distribution.

The main event combines a 1.5-kilometer ocean swim at Callala Beach, approximately two and a half hours south on Sydney, with 30-kilometers of mountain biking followed by 10-kilometers of trail running.

The event lures amateur and professional athletes from around the world to New South Wales, and locals flock to the event in pursuit of XTERRA Australia Championship honours.  The off-road sports festival weekend also includes a sprint distance off-road triathlon, trail runs, and relay team competitions attracting more than 500 competitors of all ages.

For more information and links to registration for the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship visit www.xterraasiapacific.com.

The XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.  Presenting sponsors include John Paul Mitchell Systems, the world’s largest privately owned professional salon hair care company, Outrigger Resorts – one of the largest and fastest growing privately-held leisure lodging, retail and hospitality companies in the Asia-Pacific and Oceania regions, and XTERRA Wetsuits & Boards Australia – the official swim sponsor.

Shonny and Dan

XTERRA Legends Ride into Sunset

There will be a new women’s champion crowned at the XTERRA Costa Rica Championship this year and new men’s names have already emerged as winners of the XTERRA Philippines and South Africa Championship races – developments made possible due to the retirement of two epic XTERRA warriors – Shonny Vanlandingham and Dan Hugo.

For Shonny V, who is proudly 45-years-old, it was time to get back to the hardwood.

“During my 15 years as a professional athlete (eight as a pro mountain biker and seven as a pro XTERRA triathlete) I have been working toward acquiring profitable rental properties to be able to retire,” explained Vanlandingham, who played college basketball at East Texas State before becoming an endurance sports icon.

“So now I am starting a new season of life and am very thankful and thrilled to have the time to pursue some of my other passions, like coaching basketball.  Fun to be back in the game after 17 years!”

The 2010 XTERRA World Champion and most successful women’s mountain biker in NORBA history gave new meaning to “biking like a girl.” She regularly out-split most of the men and had the fastest bike time at just about every race she entered in her career, including six times in Maui.

“I will miss all the personalities and seeing all the lovely faces and physiques of XTERRA,” said Vanlandingham, who won 17 XTERRA majors in her career including the Mexico, Saipan, Philippines, and Brazil titles.  “It’s been a great ride!  I am so appreciative of the opportunities I have had to race, travel and meet so many wonderful people.”

As for Hugo, who turns 30 this summer, the lure of his dream job proved too great an opportunity to pass up.

“I was offered and opportunity from Specialized to form a part of the Global Sports Marketing team, the sort of opportunity I was hoping to step into a some stage,” said Hugo. “I’ll miss the simplicity, the feeling of satisfaction after a long hard and successful training day, and yes, I’ll miss the clarity of objectives. Already I can appreciate that racing is black and white, success or failure. Whereas the workplace is a more of a flow. All told, I am thrilled at new challenges with a brand that is redefining the cycling industry.”

It’s safe to say Hugo left on a high note. He won seven XTERRA World Tour races on five continents including the prestigious XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship title last year.

The native of Stellenbosch, South Africa raced in the very first XTERRA South Africa Championship back in 2004 and was an integral part of the growth of the sport – both in South Africa and abroad – ever since. Fans can stay tuned to Hugo and read some of his colorful prose on his blog at dghugo.com.

For the XTERRA Tribe, watching Hugo and Vanlandingham overcome obstacles, adversities, and injuries to come out on top so many times has been a joy. Wishing these two legends the very best in their respective next steps.

XTERRA Resorts Collection

Introducing the XTERRA Resorts Collection

Honolulu, HI – TEAM Unlimited LLC, owners of the XTERRA World Tour, announced a new travel related initiative today aimed at the active lifestyle sports target market. The XTERRA Resorts Collection is a marketing membership consortium for resorts destinations and properties that feature the activities, facilities, adventure and services attractive to active lifestyle travelers.

Tom Kiely, TEAM Unlimited CEO, said “One of the things we have learned about XTERRA participants is their love of travel and ‘active travel’ and that is a key element to our endurance sports events because every course and every experience is different. Beyond that, this group has a high inclination to travel any number of times each year, and they actively search for destination resorts which offer an array of activities such as fitness, hiking, biking, skiing, surfing, adventure and more. This target market generates an annual economic impact of $600 billion just in the U.S., and it continues to grow. Therefore, we have created a membership marketing platform for destination resorts and properties that appeal to this active travel group.”

The XTERRA Resorts Collection is supported by a major marketing campaign featuring national television, digital / social network marketing, PR / communications, advertising, and event promotions. The www.XTERRAResorts.com URL will be the portal through which travelers will find information, promotions, and descriptions of the benefits and activities of destination resorts and properties. Key points of the XTERRA Resorts plan:

  • Member destinations will be invited to join based upon the sports/recreation activities, facilities, and services they offer in or nearby their respective resort area.
  • Member destinations must demonstrate a commitment to this active lifestyle traveler demographic target market
  • The initial marketing launch of XTERRA Resorts will be a $3 million campaign of national television, events, digital media, social networking and marketing communications.

“I have seen an array of travel related membership marketing programs and the concept is a very viable part of the promotion of hotels and resorts,” said George Ramirez, the President of Partnerships Unlimited, a tourism-focused consulting company.  “The XTERRA Resorts plan goes one step further because it specifically targets travelers that desire sports related/recreation activities and adventure as a key part of the vacation experience. This demographic group is highly valued by destinations, resorts, and properties.”

About TEAM Unlimited/XTERRA

TEAM Unlimited is a Hawaii-based television events and marketing company, founded in 1988.  It owns and produces XTERRA and in 2015 will offer more than 300 XTERRA off-road triathlon and trail running races in 25+ countries worldwide. In addition, TEAM TV has produced more than 300 adventure television shows since 1990.  View samples at www.xterraresorts.comwww.xterra.tv, and learn more at xterraplanet.com, xterratrailrun.com, and xterraasiapacific.com.

Suzie Snyder

XTERRA West Championship One Month Out

The XTERRA U.S. Pro Series kicks off April 25, 2015 in Lake Las Vegas, Nevada for the seventh straight year.  It’s also the first chance for U.S.-based amateurs to qualify for the 20th XTERRA World Championship in Maui on Nov. 1.

“I have a love/hate relationship with Vegas,” said XTERRA Pro Suzie Snyder.  “It is always a real challenge. There’s the temperature extremes of swimming in the cold water lake then biking and running in the hot, dry, exposed desert landscape.  And for a lot of people it’s the first race of the year so the nervous energy runs high as everyone is eager to see where they stand.”

Learn more at www.xterralakelasvegas.com.

Steve Tarpinian

Steve Tarpinian, 1960-2015

Steve Tarpinian, one of the true legends of triathlon, passed away this week at the age of 54.

“Tarp” was an XTERRA original. In that first race in 1996 he was one of the fastest swimmers in the field and ultimately finished on the podium in the 35-39 division, placing 36th overall.

The world-renowned swim coach from Long Island, New York fell in love with Maui and the challenge of XTERRA that year and made it a staple in every season thereafter.

For more than a decade Steve was the only competitor from the continental U.S. to have competed in each XTERRA World Championship, as he made the long trip to Maui every year for 17 seasons in a row.

“We lost a great XTERRA Warrior this week,” said XTERRA managing director Dave Nicholas.  “Steve was there from the very beginning of XTERRA and we worked together well.  I recall meeting him in his office in New York and figuring out how we could work XTERRA and his swim coaching together and how to create an off-road tri in upstate New York.  Always had a smile when bantering with him, saying ‘when the hell are you going to get a haircut?’ to which Steve would reply ‘when you learn how to swim.”

Tarpinian’s impact on triathlon went far beyond XTERRA, and to get a feel for just how many people he touched have a look at the comments in Tuesday’s slowtwitch.com post announcing his passing.

“Steve was single handedly responsible for the triathlon movement on Long Island,” said fellow New Yorker and XTERRA great Anthony Snoble.

“A true legend of sport.”

At XTERRA Worlds in 2003 Tarp went head-over-heels on the bike, “a 360-degree flip” as he described it, broke his pedal, two ribs, and then flatted.

“I made the bike cut-off by five minutes, and the finish by 10,” recalled Tarpinian, later adding that the race was among his all-time greatest accomplishments.

Of course, much like all frequent visitors to the old Maui course, spills and thrills were nothing new…

“The first year I was in 5th after the swim and on the very first downhill I started to lose control at about 20mph and decide to lay it down right there before I got going too fast. While I was on the ground Ned Overend comes flying down in an aero tuck going at least 35 + mph, looking like he was on pavement! I laughed at how badly I sucked on a mountain bike!”

He didn’t suck. Ned was that good.

Tarpinian was a swimmer in college at Stony Book University on Long Island, where he made it to NCAA Nationals and graduated with a degree in electrical engineering. He had many skills but found his niche in swimming, triathlon, and coaching.

In a profile form he filled out 10 years ago Tarp described his pre-race rituals as “Coffee, chocolate, coffee, chocolate, repeat til’ ready” and listed his hobbies as “modeling, surfing, and romancing with Jean.”

Jean is his long-time partner, who he said always looked forward to the desert bar in Maui : )

Tarpinian was a good friend and motivator to many, and will be greatly missed.

Looking back, we found this article Steve wrote for XTERRA in 2004, titled “10 Years of XTERRA, already?”

By Steve Tarpinian

When I first did XTERRA in 1996 I knew immediately it was a special event, but I had no intentions of making any kind of a string of finishes. My interest was pretty pure and pretty much the same as when I did my first triathlon….gulp, 25 years ago! It seemed like a challenge and something not many had done. In a way, triathlons have always been about exploring new frontiers; but by 1996 they were getting a little stale. Well, I was soon to discover “the wild west” of our sport.

Looking at the course description for the first XTERRA race, the only thing that resembled a normal triathlon was the swim and the first two miles of the bike (on pavement). As soon as we turned off the road we did a little climb, and then preceded with what most of us triathletes considered a challenging course and mountain bikers considered “fun” and fairly non-technical!

A few things stand out in my mind from that first XTERRA World Championship (a little trivia for you, the first event was called Aquaterra). From the first contact with the people running the event it was obvious this was going to be a unique and first class event. Registration was very organized and the presence of such Mountain Biking Legends as Ned Overend (what a cool name for a mountain biker) and Mike Kloser in addition to triathletes like Mike Pigg, Scott Tinley and Jimmy Riccitello gave the event an air of a showdown.

The 9am start time was the equivalent of a noon start time for us veteran triathletes. As I approached the transition area I see at least a half a dozen television cameras and can hear announcer Whit Raymond with his deep voice booming on the PA system:

AAAAAAAAQUAAAAAAAAAAAATEEEEEEEEEEERRRA!

Ocean swim, mountain biking and trail running. All of a sudden I had chills and visions of sharks and broken bones! Why did I sign up for this again?

On the start line I felt more like we were all in this challenge together as opposed to a competitive world championship. A mass start would put professionals and age groupers on the start line altogether, just like the races of the early 80’s….cool!

Telling you the XTERRA Race course is beautiful is an understatement. The bike course is only open on race day each year (since it is privately owned). The view down Haleakala just before the plunge is literally breathtaking. It may be enhanced by the fact that you only get to enjoy it for a few seconds before the downhill takes every bit of your concentration, nerve and strength.

Here is a quick synopsis of my first XTERRA: I have a nice swim and get out on the bike course in the top five. A few triathletes like Pigg and Tinley make short work of me, but otherwise I get the first off-road climb under my belt in good form and start the first little descent.

Did I say mountain biking skills were not my forte? Well, about halfway down this hill I realize I am on loose lava rocks and stand no chance of braking. My speed is increasing and I guess I was going about 20 MPH or so. I start losing control and realize I am going to crash, so I make it a graceful slide off to the side of the trail and as I slowly get up and check my scrapes, I hear a low whirr……It is Ned Overend in a road bike tuck that I have only seen Tour de France riders use during a descent in the Alps! His bike is totally under control and hardly bouncing. I estimate he is going 35 – 40 mph and looking like he is on flat pavement! I am not sure but I think he even looked over to see if I was okay! With my ego bruised I forged on towards the “plunge”, a 5-mile screaming downhill with some random loose lava rocks looming like land mines on the trail and off the trail to either side was an array of sharp pointy lava rocks and Kiawe thorns. In other words: DON’T FALL! After surviving the plunge I am not sure if I just finished the most exciting amusement park ride or should be committed to a psychiatry ward for suicidal tendencies. Either way, I am full of endorphins and have an awesome run with single track trails, soft sand, rocky beaches and finally one of the most festive and exciting finish lines I have ever had the luck to cross.

Since then I have competed in every XTERRA World Championship, nine going for ten. Why do I go back each year?

  1. I have an annual swim workshop in Hawaii each October
    2. I love Maui and it’s residents
    3. Racing with my friend Rip Esselstyn
    4. The pre and post-race parties are unbelievable with great food and entertainment (read, Greg Welch)
    5. Top level international World Championship competition
    6. Colorful (and crazy) race director
    7. Great race shirts
    8. Great post-race dance and costume party
    9. The spirit and camaraderie of the competitors and event team
    10. The challenge
Squaw Lake

XTERRA Points Series Spotlight

It starts in California and ends up in Arizona … thus the name, the XTERRA Tri2Unify off-road triathlon.

Now in its second-year, the Tri2Unify takes place on a scenic, point-to-point course during the sunny end of spring, on Sunday, May 3 to be exact.

It starts at Squaw Lake in Bard, California, and ends at Historic Quarter Master Depot in Yuma, Az.

There are two major thrilling hills and a few exhilarating curves as the course follows the striking Colorado River. You finish the last half mile running past the legendary Territorial Prison, Ocean to Ocean Bridge, and the East Wetlands wild life bird reserve leading you up to the finish line. The event also includes a top-notch expo, and post-race festival complete with music and a large finish line with an awards ceremony.

The XTERRA Tri2Unify Triathlon has 3 different distances offered and is hosting the Unified Triathlon for the Special Olympic Athletes May 2 at the Yuma Palms Resort.

Learn more at www.tri2unify.com or email ewanancy@aol.com.

Two-time Olympian Courtney Atkinson to Take On Asia-Pacific Champs

Two-time Australian Olympian Courtney Atkinson has confirmed he will race at the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship in Callala Beach, Jervis Bay, next month.

The 35-year-old from the Gold Coast was second overall at the inaugural event last year and captured the XTERRA Australia Championship title for being the top Aussie in the field.

The XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship, which again doubles as the XTERRA Australia Championship, is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.

Atkinson, who is trying to make the Australian triathlon Olympic team for the third time so he can race for gold in Rio next summer said “XTERRA puts me that little bit on edge racing in an environment that is not my normal playing field and I dig that fact.”

“I’m coming back to race XTERRA because “I” want to. Last year my mates and I came down to Jervis Bay in NSW and we made a weekend out of it. We had a great time racing and good nights at the RSL club, it reminded me a lot of triathlon when I first started as a young guy,” he said.

Despite spending most of his training time on the road Atkinson says he does still jump on his mountain bike and adds that the power riding in XTERRA is good training too.

“About 95% of my riding is on road now, but I do get to take the mountain bike out after my long run at my local trails to warm down and that at least keeps my feel for the bike.  To be honest I believe the mountain bike riding helps for the Olympic racing more than the Ironman stuff.  We are really up and down on power in ITU just like a hard mountain bike race. There are dangers riding fast in packs on the road, but at least in mountain biking you are in control of the risks. Obviously I don’t go crazy like some of the boys do when racing XTERRA,” he said.

Last year at the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship Atkinson was the first man out of the swim by a full minute, but that lead didn’t last.

“Straight in, first mud hole, I got the first big crash done,” laughed Atkinson after the race. “I thought I’d be able to hold a lead but it seems the fire tracks are as hard as the single track on this course.”

Dan Hugo, Ben Allen, and Roger Serrano bridged the gap to Atkinson within the first few kilometers of the bike, then the eventual winner Hugo got some daylight and drove a wedge between himself and the rest of the field.  By the bike-to-run transition Hugo had three minutes on Serrano and Allen, and roughly six minutes to Braden Currie, Bradley Weiss, and Atkinson.  Atkinson showed off some amazing foot speed by picking off everyone in front of him except Hugo.

“When I heard I was six minutes down I didn’t think I could bridge that no matter how well I ran but I heard that Benny (Allen) was two minutes up so started thinking about winning the XTERRA Australia title and pushed,” explained Atkinson.

About the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship (April 18 – Callala Beach, Jervis Bay, NSW)

As the most prestigious event in the Asia-Pacific series that includes championship races in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Japan, Guam, Tahiti, and Saipan – the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship will offer $50,000 in prize money to the sport’s top professional athletes and produce a television show for international distribution.

The main event combines a 1.5-kilometer ocean swim at Callala Beach, approximately two and a half hours south on Sydney, with 30-kilometers of mountain biking followed by 10-kilometers of trail running.  The event lures amateur and professional athletes from around the world to New South Wales, and locals flock to the event in pursuit of XTERRA Australia Championship honours.  The off-road sports festival weekend also includes a sprint distance off-road triathlon, trail runs, and relay team competitions attracting more than 500 competitors of all ages.

For more information and links to registration visit www.xterraasiapacific.com.

The XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.  Presenting sponsors include John Paul Mitchell Systems, the world’s largest privately owned professional salon hair care company, Outrigger Resorts – one of the largest and fastest growing privately-held leisure lodging, retail and hospitality companies in the Asia-Pacific and Oceania regions, and XTERRA Wetsuits & Boards Australia – the official swim sponsor.

Dougal Allan

Allan, Maier/Simson win Motatapu

Results / Full Release

Some wild weather came through the South Island of New Zealand on Saturday making for some tricky conditions for both racers and organizers at the XTERRA Motatapu off-road triathlon.

With heavy rain the morning of the race, the course was muddier and wetter than previous years, which appealed to many competitors citing “the challenging and brutal course” a great personal challenge.

Throughout the day organizers with a team of officials experienced in local rivers, monitored the rising river levels as the morning rain flushed down the valleys.

Near midday, high river levels meant it was unsafe for competitors to continue crossing the last river on the course. As a result, and for the continued safety of all competitors, a course diversion was put in place 2km up the Arrow River which meant competitors completed two different routes on the day.

Wanaka triathlete Dougal Allan backed up a strong performance in Challenge Wanaka just two weeks ago to come in first place, edging 24-year-old Oliver Shaw with a time of 4:27:41.

“Yea it was a tough day out there!” exclaimed Shaw, who took the runner-up spot for the second straight year. “The conditions were brutal. Some of the worst I have raced in with single digit temperatures and heavy rain making for a very slow and hard race! For a comparison to last year, I think the everyone averaged around 30 minutes or more slower this time around. The organizers do a great job of informing people that you are racing in an alpine environment and this year everyone saw firsthand just how fast things can change up there. The rivers rose dramatically making for some exciting and technical river crossings! It was also noticeable how much they had risen from when we crossed them on the bike, compared to the end of the run where they would have been at least 50cm deeper!

I had a tough day out there. It’s always interesting racing in cold conditions and personally I didn’t feel my hands or feet until I got to the run! I had a great swim to get a lead on the rest of the field but the storming Dougal Allan caught me on the bike and flew past. I managed to stay close and just trail him into T2. We stayed really close for the first 15 minutes of the run but when we reached the technical track Dougal took off and I wasn’t able to follow, being a bit restricted with the movement in my hip. Dougal was having a great run though and comfortably took the win. I managed to hold onto 2nd and come across the line feeling relieved to have crossed the line after the long and tough race!”

Competing in his first Motatapu XTERRA– he’s done the Speight’s Mountain Bike race twice – Allan said he was feeling pretty fit coming into the race, despite two big races in recent weeks.

“It was a fantastic race. I was really happy with my swim, but then the bike and run felt a little hard and I was always looking for Oliver to pass me. But then I thought, do you know what, do you want another 2nd or 3rd placing or do you want to win this,” said Allan.         “This is a really great race and with today’s weather, people are even more jubilant coming across the finish line. Full credit to everyone out there today, just getting to the finish line is a huge achievement.”

Taking out the female elite title in the XTERRA UDC Triathlon, Wanaka locals Simone Maier and Jess Simson made a pact half way through the 47km mountain bike ride that they’d “finish the race together.”

Both athletes competed in the Motatapu off the back of strong performances in Challenge Wanaka and the Coast to Coast and both admitted to “feeling a little tired.” The duo crossed the line with a skip and a hop to finish neck and neck with a joint first place time of 5:32:36 – the first time in race history there has been a joint winner.

“The conditions weren’t that bad,” said Maier. “I was expecting a lot worse but it was fine, I was just feeling tired after Challenge and also lack of sleep watching my friends compete in Godzone this week. So it was nice that Jess and I could sit back and chat on the ride.”

Coast to Coast winner Jess Simson competed in the XTERRA UDC Triathlon for the first time and said it was “really cool to finish first equal”.

“We were both feeling like sacks in this event,” said Simson. “Normally we can blitz this sort of thing but we know our bodies are tired. We’re both really proud because we’ve both done some big efforts lately and to be able to come and do this in a decent time is sweet. We’re happy.”

“It was quite muddy on the bike and the run was a bit slippery, but the swim was nice being calm and the water was warm. There’s something quite cool about going from Wanaka to Arrowtown under your own steam. Normally you drive that. The Motatapu valley is extremely typical of Central Otago, it’s quite beautiful.”