Sanson gears everything to Ironman NZ

23:00, Feb 04 2013

Chris Sanson will have his first crack at the big one, Ironman New Zealand, as a professional at Taupo in four weeks' time.

Joining the paid brigade was three years in the making for the Palmerston North athlete once he gave up cycling as a 22-year-old and moved into triathlon.

At the weekend he looked good in winning the Erin Baker standard distance race at Kinloch, part of the Contact Tri Series event.

It was said to be the oldest-running triathlon in New Zealand and Sanson, after a stern battle, headed off former Massey University student Hamish Hammond, who had been in fine fettle.

Sanson covered the Olympic distance in 2hr 4min which he figured was a personal best for the 1500m swim in Lake Taupo, the 40km bike and the 10km run.

It was a little quicker than when Ironman NZ ace Cameron Brown won the same race last year.


Sanson will get to see Brown and Terenzo Bozzone in the US$50,000 Taupo Ironman, on Saturday, March 2, in what will be Sanson's fifth ironman. He took part in the Hawaii world championships two years ago, in the 20 to 25 age group, but skipped Kona last year. "Ever since, I have been working towards getting my pro card," he said.

He was deemed worthy in December when he was fourth in the Taupo Half Ironman.

"It will be pretty tough in my first year as a pro and I am still really young. I want to see what I can do against them."

He started his sporting life as a 12-year-old cyclist out of Levin and had 10 years in the saddle, riding for New Zealand junior teams. Then he saw he would have to take the expensive route to Europe if he was going to get to the top, whereas multisport can be done more cheaply in New Zealand.

"I like the cycling but I am better as a triathlete and I think I can go further in triathlon."

Two weeks ago he rode in the New Zealand Cycle Classic around Manawatu, finished 61st overall and took last week to recover.

He said he did it for experience, had one bad day, but otherwise finished in the bunch.

Sanson trains 40 hours a week and works for 20 hours as Sport Manawatu's Whanau Tri programme co-ordinator.


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