Kiwis Hannah Wells and Braden Currie were the class of the field in taking Challenge Wanaka, running their way clear of Americans Meredith Kessler and Andrew Starykowicz to take the New Zealand national championships.
February 16, 2019 | NEWS|
Braden Currie and Hannah Wells kept the overall titles in New Zealand hands at the epic Challenge Wanaka half-distance race held on New Zealand's spectacular south island. Considered one of the most scenic triathlon events in the world, the race also proved to be a competitive one.
McNiece in the water, Starykowicz on the bike, Currie on the run
Dylan McNiece (NZL) led by almost a minute out of the water, with Currie coming out at 1:03 behind and American super-biker Andrew Starykowicz just under two minutes back. It didn't take long for Starykowicz to blast his way to the front - by 25 km he had 21 seconds on Currie with McNiece another four-seconds down in third.
By the end of the bike Starykowicz had opened up a lead of 2:33 on another Kiwi, Matt Burton, with Currie at 3:10 behind and McNiece well back - he was over eight-minutes behind heading into T2.
On the run, though, it was all Currie - by 8 km he was just 21 seconds down on the American, and by the end of the run he had a 2:45 gap on Starykowicz, who ended up second, with Burton hanging tough for third.
Kessler powers ahead in the water
Last year Meredith Kessler (USA) charged back to the triathlon race scene just months after the arrival of her son, Mak, and she maintained her strong form with a stellar swim that saw her come out of the water 1:22 up on Kiwi Kerry Morris, with Wells another five seconds back. On the bike Kessler was joined at the front by Morris, who would eventually enter T2 with a lead of 24 seconds on the American and 52 seconds on Wells.
Through the 2 km point of the run all three women were together, but from there Kessler and Wells left Morris behind to duke things out. Through the 8 and 11 km splits they were still together, but Wells managed to open up a bit of a gap at 16. 5 km and continued to gain ground, eventually getting to the line just over a minute ahead of Kessler. The ever-consistent Laura Siddall (GBR) managed to run her way to third, moving Morris from the podium and into fourth.
Challenge Wanaka 2019 | Pro
February 16, 2019 | Wanaka, New Zealand
1.9 km Swim
90 km Bike
21.1 km Run