Stephen Farrell was one of 15 Kiwi age groupers to finish the VinFast IRONMAN World Championships on Sunday. Fast-forward roughly a fortnight after his 14:10:00 effort for 61st place in the 60-64 category, and Farrell will proudly wave the Kiwi flag once more – quite literally.
The North Harbour Triathlon Club head coach has been named New Zealand flag bearer for the World Triathlon Age Group Championships in Pontevedra, Spain from September 22-24.
Farrell impressively boasts six gold medals, a total of 17 podiums and 30 starts at World Triathlon events heading into Spain.
High Performance Director at Tri NZ from 2004 to 2008, Farrell studied Physical Training for five years at the New Zealand Military ‘Physical Education and Recreational Training School’ in Wigram and the Royal New Zealand Police College.
During the mid 90’s, Farrell was among New Zealand’s fastest Ironman age groupers. His best Ironman New Zealand result came in 1996 when he placed 2nd. In 2004 he won the 40-44 age group and finished 11th overall. It was at this time he made the move to Tri NZ.
Farrell made a comeback to racing in 2009, winning silver medals in both the ITU Olympic distance, Gold Coast and ITU Long Distance Tri Champs in Perth in the 45-49 age group.
In March 2011, he raced IMNZ for the 10th time, finishing in 9.29.56 for 1st place in the 45-49 age group and 37th male overall. He has since followed this up by winning the 2011 and 2012 Air New Zealand Rarotonga International Triathlon and age group IMNZ titles in 2012 and 2013.
In September 2013, he won the 50-54 age group at the ITU World Triathlon World Championships in London. Earlier the same year, he was recognised as Tri NZ Coach of the Year.
In September 2015 he won the 50-54 age group in aquathlon, sprint triathlon, and standard distance triathlon at ITU World Triathlon Champs in Edmonton – the first New Zealander to win all three age group races.
He has coached many elite NZ athletes including Simone Ackermann, Rebecca Clarke, Anna Russell and Cameron Todd. He also coaches a wide range of age group athletes from first-timers to age group world championship medallists.
For the record, Farrell wasn’t overly happy with this finish in Nice but employed so trademark humour to put things in perspective.
“I blew up on the run. Don’t know why? Conservative on the swim and bike but probably got dehydrated late in the bike. Threw up a lot on the run and lost 5kgs overall. Another walking Ironman finish! ,” Farrell wrote on social media.
“Can’t hide the disappointment but… at least I’ve still got my good looks “