Sights on a record time at triathlon

23:00, Jan 16 2014
Southland Times photo
Thorns team members Maree Dawson, from Matamata, John Douglas, from Mossburn, and Anna White, of Ashburton, celebrate at the end of the Lake Wanaka Half triathlon last year.

Stamina, grit and the will to take up a stiff challenge are attributes that are driving several Mossburn and Lumsden athletes as they take on the Wanaka Challenge or Half Challenge on Saturday.

The "Rose and Two Thorns" team of Maree Dawson, of Matamata, completing the 21 kilometre run section, Anna White, of Ashburton, swimming 1.9 kilometres across Lake Wanaka, and Mossburn cyclist John Douglas taking on the 90 kilometre ride, competed last year in the Lake Wanaka Half triathlon.

Douglas is teaming up with the two younger women again this year in the same event.

"Last year we finished mid-field with Anna being challenged by the rough lake swim while I found it windy on the bike, but Maree was strong with her run section," Douglas said. "I did the bike ride in 3 hours 25 minutes last year but with a new hip and new bike I am aiming for 3 hours 15 minutes this time and of course we intend to have fun."

A new team competing in the Half Challenge under the Northern Southland banner, Fat Bottom Girls, features Lois Mitchell (bike) Trina Mitchell (run) and June Wright (swim).

An even greater challenge is being undertaken by "Team Mossburn" who have entered the full triathlon because all the spots in the half race had been taken when they went to register.


"The decision to enter this extreme challenge was all done by text in October as the deadline came and we now know there are only five other women's teams entered in this full section," team member Tracey Cullen said.

"I am doing the 42 kilometre run, Wendy Coghlan the 3.8 kilometre swim and Rachel Pardoe- Burnett is biking 180 kilometres."

The swimmers have been doing lengths in the local pools as well as some lead-up swims in Lake Manapouri, Lake Te Anau and Lake Wanaka to get experience - despite the cold.

"We are all taking our training seriously and hopefully can be an inspiration for more teams from Northern Southland to enter next year," Douglas said.