Images courtesy MountFestival.kiwi
By Kent Gray/Triathlon.kiwi
Kate Brown is hoping it will be her third time lucky after qualifying for the World Triathlon Age Group Multisport Championship with her second Suzuki NZ Mid Distance Aquabike Championship victory in three years.
The Taupo mother-of-two won the 2km swim, 90km bike title at the Fulton Hogan Mount Festival of Multisport last Saturday in 2:54:45 – a tick under 4:30 clear of Danielle Trewoon with Jenna Barrett rounding out the podium.
Like Michael Glynn [2:39:32], who edged Tri NZ’s own Stephen Sheldrake by a mere three seconds for the overall men’s title, Brown’s trip to the April 7-May 29 Multisport Worlds in Ibiza, Spain has been made a lot easier courtesy of the generosity of Triathlon New Zealand patron Garth Barfoot.
Barfoot has again offered the overall men’s and women’s champions $2500 towards flights and an accommodation subsidy, along with accommodation subsidies for first and second-place-getters in each age group.
Brown is working on sorting care for her two children but is determined to get to Ibiza after a couple of World Championship false starts, the first of them in 2019 utterly heart-breaking and the second frustrating as her 2021 win in Tauranga coincided with pandemic travel restrictions.
She had qualified for the standard distance race at the then ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Lausanne, Switzerland and planned to tag Ironman Nice 70.3 onto the trip. Those plans were scuttled when her husband suddenly fell ill. Bernie sadly lost his cancer battle in December 2021 but will be proud of his wife’s persistence to achieve her triathlon goals.
“He was signed up to do the Tauranga Half in 2019 but then couldn’t do it obviously because he got sick, it’s one of those things that he never did,” Brown said poignantly. “Yeah, yeah I think so [he would be proud].”
Before the longer 3km swim, 120km bike test in Ibiza, Brown will line up again in Ironman NZ on March 4.
“I’ve had an ankle injury since March last year so…it’s been okay but I’m just looking after it with the Ironman so that’s one of the reasons why I did the Aquabike,” she said.
“With a bike setup change on Monday [short cranks and new saddle] it was all a bit of an experiment- all part of the build to Ironman in March.
“I had a good swim, probably the best I’ve had in Pilot Bay. I managed to navigate the course well amongst the yachts this time, coming out of the water in 29 mins in second. I was reasonably conservative in the first part of the bike and as I had expected, Danielle Trewoon came past me near the start of the expressway. I decided to stick with her and felt comfortable sitting behind till the last turn.
“After getting stuck behind several slow riders in a no-passing area I made the turn and kicked the power up for the 33km ride back to the finish…I felt great in the swim and on the bike and starting to get my bike legs back again.
“Pleased to come away with overall win again, a NZ title and also stoked to find out that Garth Barfoot the legend has put up funding for the Aquabike winners to go to the World Championships in Ibiza, Spain in May. It’s awesome, he’s very generous with all the prizes. It’s a great opportunity.”