Chris Sanson and Mel Burke took out the elite open Duathlon National Championships in Taupo, with Matt Franklin and Rueben Bisschops taking out the elite U23 races, Bisschops in perhaps the performance of the day finishing first overall ahead of Burke.
The day dawned overcast and windy with the threat of rain very real but thankfully the only shower to hit Taupo Motorsport Park fell just prior to racing getting underway and the roads were largely dry for all events throughout the day.
The wind though was a big factor, buffeting participants on various parts of the course, in particular on the bike as the athletes came back towards Taupo Motorsport Park.
Sanson (Palmerston North) took out the elite men’s Duathlon National Championships, handling the conditions best of all to post a start to finish win.
“I do more long distance, Ironman and 70.3 but this is good for speed. The wind was insane, I struggled quite a bit on the bike, got a bit of cramp going in and another bit of cramp coming off after pushing into the wind all day, it was killing me but overall I am pleased with the race and the way it unfolded.
“This is my first national title so it is pretty cool actually, very cool. I am going to do some 70.3 racing in Aussie and build towards Ironman New Zealand next March.”
Reubyn Bisschops (Christchurch) took out the elite U23 race and in doing so was first across the line in the women’s standard distance event. Bisschops is essentially tuning up for a busy summer triathlon campaign.
“I am very happy with that. This is my second duathlon, I was here a coupel of years ago and got third, I have raced plenty in triathlon but not an elite Duathlon before. I always enjoy the run, I just got into a pattern. The bike was a bit tricky with a few headwinds coming back to transition up the hill but once you got into it it was okay.
“I hope to do a few of the National Tri Series, with a few different events this year it will be fun to see how things go, that is the goal this season, to race well in the Tri Series.”
Mel Burke (Auckland) was second over the line overall but took out the elite women’s event, in doing so erasing some bad memories from last year.
“That was tough out there today, that wind was really difficult and windier than I thought it would be but at least the rain stayed away. Rueben just got too much of a lead on the first run, I lost about 3 minutes and that was too hard to peg back. But it is nice to actually finish the race after last year lasting about 400 metres before I suffered a hamstring injury, one that is still troubling me a little today.
“I am aiming now to step up to 70.3 and Ironman racing with a 70.3 on the Sunshine Coast in about 3 weeks, so I have spent the best part of the last 18 months learning how to swim. That is a tough process but I am getting there and looking forward to racing this summer.”
National Duathlon Championships
Incorporating elite, age group and national schools championships.
Year 7 Schools 2km run, 7.1km bike, 1km run
1 Kiaan Watts Hilltop School 25:52
2 Samuel Phillips Palm Nth Intermediate 26:58
3 Campbell Browne Tauranga Intermediate 28:20
1 Krystal Clark Bucklands Beach Int 28:59
2 Emily Hacket-Pain St Cuthberts 29:05
3 Sophie Wilkinson Baradene College 29:09
Year 7 Paratri
1 Olivia Wickens Wadestown School 35:37
1 Dylan McCullough St Kentigern College 24:31
2 Callum Walsh St Kentigern College 24:45
3 Jared Pidcock Kirkwood Intermediate 25:09
1 Kendall Vaughan St Cuthberts College 26:27
2 Megan Greensmith St Cuthberts College 28:40
3 Caitlyn Hollis Farm Cove Intermediate 28:59
U14 Schools 2.5km run, 10.7km bike, 2.5km run
1 Janus Staufenberg Mt Aspiring College 37:28
2 Trent Dodds McLeans College 37:56
3 Henry Gautrey Hutt International Boys 38:00
1 Anna Wilkinson Baradene College 44:00
2 Estafana Fowler Baradene College 44:36
3 Laura Watkinson Diocesan School for Girls 44:52
U16 Schools 3.45km run, 15km bike, 2.5km run
1 Kyle Smith Taupo Nui a Tia 44:33
2 Daniel Hoy Westlake Boys High 45:11
3 Liam Ward St Kentigern College 46:00
1 Katherine Badham Takapuna Grammar 52:11
2 Elizabeth Stannard Palmerston Nth Girls 53:03
3 Emma Daniels Sacred Heart Girls NP 55:41
U19 Schools 5km run, 20km bike, 2.5km run
1 Tayler Reid Gisborne Boys High 59:35
2 Sam Elstob St Bede’s College 1:00:57
3 Jake Jackson-Grammer Palmerston Nth Boys 1:00:58
1 Susannah Lynch St Mary’s College Wgtn 1:12:39
2 Sophie Evans Avonside Girls High 1:14:05
3 Grabrielle Gray Rangi Ruru Girls School 1:14:20
Male Paratri 3
1 Russell Watts 1:18:38
Elite U23 10km run, 40km bike, 5km run
1 Matt Franklin Auckland 1:59:30
2 Cooper Rand Auckland 2:00:31
3 Matthew McQueen Auckland 2:13:34
1 Ruebyn Bisschops Christchurch 2:12:27
2 Martina Fellman Auckland 2:17:59
3 Laura Wood Christchurch 2:22:54
Elite open 10km run, 40km bike, 5km run
1 Chris Shannon Palmerston North 1:56:11
2 Hamish Hammond Greytown 1:57:30
3 Brett Tingay Christchurch 1:57:56
1 Melanie Burke Auckland 2:15:49
Full results and times will be posted at https://regonline.activeglobal.com/builder/site/tab2.aspx?EventID=974206