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Ussher, Crawford Take Challenge Wanaka

  • By Liz Hichens
  • Published Jan 18, 2010

New Zealand’s Richard Ussher and Gina Crawford won one of the most isolated, and beautiful, triathlons in the world at Challenge Wanaka in Lake Wanaka, New Zealandthis weekend. Both athletes beat tough fields, with many of Teamtbb’s athletes showing up for the early 2010 event.

See the complete recap of the event below:

New Zealand’s own Richard Ussher showed determination and resilience to not only win the fourth Challenge Wanaka long distance triathlon but to do it in a record time of 8:34:41, smashing the previous record by three minutes.

Ussher completed the race ahead of Justin Daerr, of the USA, who finished in 8:38:19 and fellow Kiwi Keegan Williams with 8:41:19.

Ussher, who exited the swim in sixth position made his move to the lead in the first third of the bike leg. Ussher passed the bike/run transition area with ease and over three minutes ahead of the chasing pack.

“It was a tough day but the support from the crowd was unbelievable. It really carries you through those bad spots,” said Ussher. “I’ve only done two other courses like this and this is by far the hardest.”

Leading from the start, Gina Crawford, of New Zealand, returned to reclaim her crown as women’s champion with a time of 9:28:57. Australian Rebekah Keat followed in second place in 9:30:41, while Lizbeth Kristensen, of Denmark rounded off the podium in 10:03:09.

“The swim was cold and it took a while to warm up on the bike, but from Cromwell it felt really good,” said Crawford. “It is hard to lead a race from start to finish, especially with someone like Rebekah chasing.” Today marks Crawford’s third consecutive win.

The race covers 3.8km of swimming, 180km of cycling and a marathon run on a scenic course through the Southern Lakes region and along the Clutha River. Challenge Wanaka is part of the global Challenge series of long distance triathlons that features races in Germany, France, Spain, Denmark, and Austria, as well as New Zealand. Now in its fourth year, both the Challenge Wanaka and the inaugural Lake Wanaka Half, drew more than 1000 entrants from 24 countries.

Men

1) Richard Ussher (NZL)8:34:41 (57:00 / 4:42:26 / 2:51:42)

2) Justin Daerr (USA)8:38:19 (56:57 / 4:47:12 / 2:49:19

3) Keegan Williams(NZL)8:41:19 (53:32 / 4:47:41 / 2:55:59)

Women

1) Gina Crawford (NZL) 9:28:27 (53:31 / 5:17:58 / 3:12:24)

2 Rebekah Keat (AUS)9:30:41 (57:07 / 5:19:33 / 3:08:59)

3) Lizbeth Kristensen (Den)10:03:09 (57:09 / 5:31:15 / 3:29:29)

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Liz Hichens

Liz Hichens

Liz Hichens is the Web Producer of Triathlete.com. She is an Ironman and marathon finisher and fan of all endurance sports.

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