Sanson and Burke win National Duathlon Championships

Monday 26 August 2013, 11:50AM
By Triathlon NZ


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

Year 8
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