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Challenge Wanaka today announced world champion adventure racer, Richard Ussher will compete at Challenge Wanaka taking on New Zealand’s toughest iron distance course on January 17, 2009.
Ussher has amassed an impressive resume of achievements, both as part of the former New Zealand team, Seagate/Balance Vector, and on an individual basis including World Adventure Racing Champion in 2005 and 2006. He has also won the Speights Coast to Coast Word Multisport Championships in 2005, 2006 and in 2008 and has dominated the national scene in New Zealand.
Further highlighting his ability as an athlete, Ussher also represented New Zealand at the Olympics, competing in the men’s ski moguls event at the 1998 Winter Games and a decade later he has added the most grueling form of triathlon to his repertoire.
“I like to try new events and continually challenge myself on different courses against different people. Having raced in Taupo this year the obvious goal for me was to try the other iron distance event in the country,” he said. “Wanaka and the Southern Lakes area is also a pretty special place for me, it is where I lived for a number of years while ski training. The main attraction though is to race on such a stunning course in an area I love, and to experience Challenge Wanaka for the first time with many others passionate about endurance sport.”
Ussher joins a strong line up of top international and New Zealand professional athletes that will include defending champions, Marc Pschebizin (GER) and New Zealand’s fastest iron distance athlete, Gina Ferguson who recently won third at the world’s largest iron distance race, Quelle Challenge Roth in Germany.
The week-long Challenge Wanaka Triathlon Festival takes place from 11-17 January 2009 featuring the Puzzling World Junior Challenge Wanaka and Contact Cup sprint race as well as the iron distance triathlon. The event is part of the global TEAMChallenge series that features six races in Germany, France Spain and New Zealand. For further information, visit www.challenge-wanaka.com.