Eurocoast Triathlon Club members Leah Childs and Peter Cox “crossed the ditch” to race in the 35th edition of the New Zealand Ironman Triathlon. They were among more than 1500 athletes from 47 countries to race in this iconic event.
New Zealand is home to the second longest running Ironman triathlon, only Kona, in Hawaii, the spiritual home of Ironman history, has a longer heritage. New Zealand has a higher proportion of international competitors than any other Ironman event.
Ironman New Zealand comprises of a 3.8km swim in Lake Taupo (pronounced Toe-Poor), followed by a 180km bike leg consisting of two 90km laps to Reporoa and back to Taupo, and finishing with a marathon distance run of 42.2km, consisting of three laps of a 14km loop to the suburb of Four Mile Bay, and back to Taupo.
Weather conditions on the day, that effectively control the race pace, were relatively good, only strong cross winds during the bike leg had a negative impact on the times recorded.
Leah (racing in the 40-44 age group) completed the race in a total time of 14:15:39, with splits for the disciplines of 1:41:18, 6:34:06, and 5:41:30, giving her a total race time of 14:15:39. Peter, racing in the 55-59 age group, had splits of 1:14:45, 6:53:36 and 6:15:52, for a finishing time of 14:46:12.
Winner of the race in the professional category was kiwi Mike Phillips, who finished in a time of just over 8hrs and 5 minutes. Winner of the womens category was Jocelyn Mccauley from the USA, who completed the distance in a time of 8:53 and was placed 10th overall.
Above: The swim start in Lake Taupo. One of the few Ironman races to retain the mass start.
Above and Below: Peter Cox, halfway through the 180km bike leg.
Above: Peter Cox, partway through the 42.2km marathon run