The second round of the Contact Tri Series will be hosted at holiday hotspot Whangamata on January 3rd with the elite field set to include a great cross section of the current stars of the sport and the up and comers as well as hundreds of holiday makers keen to swim/bike/run off some of that Christmas pudding!
The women’s elite race will feature a fascinating battle between current New Zealand Ironman Champion Jo Lawn and NZ U23 representatives Teresa Adam, Sophie Corbidge and Rebecca Kingsford.
Lawn was an impressive winner last year when racing in preparation for her trade mark longer distances later in the season but won’t have it her own way against the younger brigade who will all be keen to claim the scalp of one of the sports all time greats.
“I have huge respect for Jo, she won this race last year and I know she will be trying to make it two in a row,” said Teresa Adam who raced over the standard distance for the first time at Whangamata last year.
“Being a non draft race on the bike will suit Jo but I have been training well on the bike and love a good drag race! Then if my legs behave themselves I hope to burn up the run course! There are plenty on U23s in the race too, all trying to get in good early season results – Sophie Corbridge (third last year behind Lawn and Maddy Brunton) and Rebecca Kingsford will both be tough to beat.
“It is not an easy course with the hills on the bike and half the run on the beach, but I think that’s what makes it a great race –it’s a really tough 'Kiwi' course. The venue is fantastic - I love New Zealand beaches, especially around New Years when there are plenty of boy racers hanging about to cheer you on, well I think they are cheering! Last year Whangamata was buzzing on race day and I hope it’s the same this year – it was an awesome atmosphere to race in.”
The men’s race will also feature a number of the sport’s emerging stars with Edward Rawles (New Plymouth), Sam and Matt Franklin (Auckland), schoolboy star Cooper Rand (Auckland) likely to contend for the podium.
Last year’s winner Michael Poole and runner up Ryan Sissons are not on the start list with Sissons racing in a team event over the standard distance. Neither is Cameron Brown who loves racing in the family holiday spot at an event that he first competed in as a 17 year old before embarking on one of the sport’s greatest Ironman careers. Brown will likely be in Whangamata at the family holiday home but is focusing on the Tauranga Half Ironman in preparation for Taupo in March.
Entries are open for some time yet though and it is expected that more big names will line up on January 3rd to contest the prize money.
Also on the schedule on the day are races for children (Contact 1:2:1) beginners (Contact 3:9:3) and a sprint distance race with team racing an option in all but the children’s race.
Team’s racing is proving a popular option as holiday makers grab family and friends and get involved in one of the races with the shorter distances all offering the team option. One bach in particular was so excited at simply watching the event last year that three teams have been entered thanks to a father – son dare as to who could organise the best team.
Connor Clements reckons on winning the day against his father Andrew with Connor biking for his team and his father Andrew putting the finishing touches on another with the 10km run. But the bug has spread with a third team from the bach taking up the challenge, making for some fiery banter in the lead up to Monday 3rd and bragging rights for the remainder of summer going on the line.
Entries are open online at www.triseries.co.nz
Contact Tri Series
Monday January 3rd
Registration Williamson Park 7:00am - 8:00am
Trophy - Standard