Sunday saw the two week long ITU Multisport Triathlon Festival wrap up with the first ever ITU Aquabike World Championships and the Long-Distance Triathlon being run side by side.
Each race comprised of a 3km Swim and 120km Bike, with the Long-Distance Triathlon finishing with a gruelling 30km run.
An impressive 90 athlete strong NZ Age Group Team took part in both events, 36 in the Aquabike, and 54 in the Long Distance. Keeping within the theme of success, with securing at least six medals per race day, the Kiwis walked away with 15 medals in tow, 11 in the Aquabike, four the Long Distance.
Stephen Sheldrake was the first athlete to cross the finish line, taking out the Age Group race overall and subsequently winning his 40-44 age group. Also, sharing the top podium position within the Aquabike race were Taryn Ryan (20-24), Deidre O’Donnell (45-49), Michael Glynn (45-49) and Neil Fleming (80-84).
Garth Barfoot, who initiated and supported the launch of the Aquabike race format in NZ, was competing in a hotly contested 80-84 age group that included fellow kiwi, Neil Fleming. While Garth had won round one against Neil in the NZ Aquabike Championships, this time Garth had to settle for second place behind Neil.
Vicki Wade Fleming (45-49) stood on the podium for the third time at the Multisport Festival, this time settling for a third after two first place finishes earlier in the week. Not a bad effort considering that the large portion of the bike leg she rode on a flat tyre.
While the Aquabike racers had all retired by lunchtime, the Long-Distance triathletes were hitting the pavement for their 30km run. Although most athletes passed spectators sporting a smile and thumbs up, the aftermath suggested this was all a façade for the cameras. Those who continued to smile into the night were our second and third place getters.
Angie Keen (20-24) and Alice Coombes (30-34) both secured their second medals for the week, with Angie placed second and Alice third respectively. Alan Fletcher (65-69) who last competed in Perth in 2009, and Shirley Rolston (65-69) who has had ten podium results out of the 23 ITU races she has entered over the years, both also secured a second place for their hard-earned efforts.
Other Kiwi’s who made it onto the podium in their respective age category were:
Margaret Rose Ward 2nd
Marieke Buma 2nd
Nathan Toma 3rd
Matthew Bradbury 3rd
The Kiwi clan will disperse, some heading home, while others will continue their journeys.
The next stop for our NZ Age Group Team will be the to be the Sprint and Standard Triathlon World Championships in Rotterdam on September 17th.
Until then Ka kite ano i a koutou
View race results here.