Ironwoman lines up for Challenge Wanaka

Last updated 00:00 25/10/2007

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Record-breaking ironman distance athlete Gina Ferguson has confirmed her place in next year's Challenge Wanaka where she faces a strong line up of professional athletes from around the world.

The 27-year-old Christchurch athlete finished her season on a high, winning the Ironman Wisconsin in the United States last month and breaking the course record by nearly 10 minutes.

Her finishing time of 9hr 37min 3sec was 24min faster than her nearest rival, Hillary Biscay, from the United States, who will also be racing at Challenge Wanaka on January 19.

Ferguson started competing in triathlons in 2005 after doing very little in the way of sport for seven years but was hooked after completing her first event.

She won the national triathlon series this year and has been the Xterra national off-road triathlon champion for the past two years.

Ferguson has since switched her attentions to the longer distance races with Ironman New Zealand, in Taupo in March, her first ironman where she finished fifth.

She has gone on to finish fourth in Ironman Switzerland before her breakthrough win in the US last month.

Other professional athletes starting in Wanaka in January include Australians Belinda Granger and Justin Granger, and Canada's Luke Dragstra.

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- The Press

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