Talented field enjoy ideal triathlon conditions

BROOKE GARDINER
Last updated 05:00 28/12/2012

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Southlander Jamie Whyte was one of the top performers in the 30th annual Lake Hayes holiday triathlon, winning the Olympic distance triathlon yesterday.

Organisers said other top athletes of the day were Fiona Crombie, of Canterbury, who won the distance female category and Wanaka competitor Nicky Samuels, who won the sprint distance triathlon.

Organiser Adrian Bailey said it was difficult to select just a few standout performances because of the talent in the field.

Because of the number of athletes, it was also hard to find enough volunteers to help marshal the race, he said.

With the addition of new races this year, many of those who had helped out in the past had decided to enter the event themselves, leaving Bailey no option but to approach a local job agency to find enough hands to help.

This year, for the first time, an Olympic distance triathlon race was offered. It was the first time an event of that length had been held in Queenstown since the World Championships in 2003.

The 1500 metre swim, 40 kilometre road bike and 10km run gave the huge number of local athletes training for the upcoming Challenge Wanaka iron distance triathlon a good opportunity to participate in a longer training race in the leadup to the event, Bailey said.

"A lot of longer-distance athletes training for Wanaka are able to use it as a warmup.

"We've had good entries and we are very happy."

Bailey is running another Olympic distance race at the end of March.

Yesterday's event saw athletes turn out to compete in the duathlon, triathlon and trail run races under the blazing heat of the Central Otago sun.

"We couldn't have asked for better," Bailey said.

"It's great weather, we've got a great crowd and a great mix of athletes from beginners through to international and Olympic athletes," he said.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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