Dave Grono took the major honours in Sunday's opening round of the BikeFit Marlborough Summer Triathlon and Duathlon Series.
Held around the streets of Blenheim, starting and finishing at Paddy Barry's Pub in Scott St, the long triathlon comprised a 750 metre swim, 20km ride followed by a 5km run.
Grono showed everyone a clean pair of heels in the swim to finish the first leg in 12min 40sec, sufficient for him to hold the lead through the subsequent bike and run to eventually record a smart time of 1:05:35.
In an interesting sidebar to this race, Jeremy McKenzie was late to the start line and was entering the pool when most competitors were exiting. At the end of his swim he headed out on the bike with the entire field in front of him. That seemed to spur him on and he finished third overall. In so doing he appeared to set an unofficial course record, having completed his entire race in under 60 minutes. However, in a sporting gesture he declined any consideration of his efforts being recognised as a record.
In the women's section a contest developed between Almuth Waechter, fresh from competing in the recent World Triathlon champs in Auckland, and youngster Jess Barnes.
Waechter had a sensational swim and was third out of the water, establishing nearly a two-minute lead on Barnes heading into the ride. However, by the end of the cycle leg Barnes was gaining on her, having made up a minute. Waechter seemed to find another gear on her favoured run and pulled away, recording a fast time of 20:48 for the 5km and which was fourth-fastest. She went on to win in a time of 1:11:24 with Barnes close behind in 1:13:34.
In the team event J P Carre and Jamie Kidd did enough to take first place, clocking 1:15:12 and that despite a slight detour on the cycle course.
In other events, first timer to the sport Susan van der Pol won the medium triathlon raced over a course comprising a 300m swim, 15km ride, 3km run in a time of 51:50. Christine Dew took out the long duathlon (2km run, 20km ride 5km run) in a creditable time of 1:21:23, while Hugh Trollope won the medium duathlon (2km run, 15km ride, 2km run) in 46:45.
The aquathon (3km run, 200m swim followed by a 2km run) was won by Fergus Greer in 30:15.
- The Marlborough Express