Wellington husband and wife team Deano and Natalie Gaskin have conquered the Iron Maori half-ironman event in Napier.
It the first time Deano and Natalie had entered the 2km-swim, 90km cycle and 21.1m run event.
Gaskin was the fastest individual to finish the course in a record time of 4.16.01hours - nearly 18 minutes ahead of the next fastest man, Dino Michalakis, from Napier.
Natalie was the fastest woman home in a time of 4.53.32hours, 11 minutes ahead of Steph Anderson.
Deano said he was impressed with the ''friendly'' nature of the event , as well as the course and the Hawke's Bay weather.
''I only saw the course the day before [the race] when it was pouring with rain, so I was a bit worried, but [the weather] was perfect.
''It was nice change to hit calm waters - Wellington Harbour's always choppy where we train - and on the bike leg I was thinking to myself how smooth the roads were.''
He said also enjoyed seeing his wife on the course.
''I actually gave her a little slap on the bum as I went past her."
Event director Heather Skipworth said the feedback from the record field of competitors had all been similar to Gaskin's.
''The water was glassy, the road conditions were perfect, the only thing was the run leg might have been a bit hot - but that's typical Hawke's Bay weather for you,'' said Skipworth.
Just under 2100 athletes took in the event, 600 more than last year.
Skipworth said the event could not get any bigger.
''We could take a few more teams but not many more individuals. We are pretty much at capacity," she said.
No 1: Wellington athlete Deano Gaskin after winning Saturday's Iron Maori event in Napier. Photos: Clinton Llewellyn.
- © Fairfax NZ News