Auckland triathlon shows glimpse of NZ prospects

March 25, 2019

Auckland triathlon shows glimpse of NZ prospects

Two triathletes cross the finishing line at the People's Triathlon in Mission Bay. Photo: Reid Etherington

Up and coming triathletes have praised the recent People’s Triathlon in Mission Bay as good development and preparation for nationals.

Saint Kentigern College students Finnian Orr and Maddy Clarke both won the sprint event for their respective genders, with Orr doing it in 56 minutes and 54 seconds and Clarke completing in 59 minutes and 35 seconds.

The triathlon is open to all ages and levels, from have-a-go entrants to first timers, but both Clarke and Orr were standouts from a small group that saw it as training for the upcoming nationals in New Plymouth at the end of March.

“Definitely leading up to nationals, some would say they go a bit easier, but it’s kind of hard. Everyone’s got that competitive spirit and you just find yourself pushing yourself as hard as you can anyways,” said Miss Clarke.

Both also saw the Mission Bay event which is the fourth of four other triathlons during the 2018-19 season starting in November as critical to the triathlon calendar with the season due to end soon.

“It’s super important just to be racing. There’s not many races around Auckland at the moment, so it’s really good to get out and race and get used to using your bike and race,” said Mr Orr.

They’re both looking at possibly going professional, but Miss Clarke has no long-term intentions of doing so just yet.

“Short-term I thought about triathlon getting me places in terms of academics, so I’m looking at unis over in the States and going for a triathlon scholarship, so wherever that leads me afterwards, I don’t know,” she said.

Mr Orr agreed: "I think that’s definitely possible, I’m thinking of going kinda longer distance, maybe Ironman in the future, and yeah, going longer.”

The Barfoot and Thompson People’s Triathlon is Auckland’s longest-running triathlon series, starting in the 2009-10 season.

It usually starts in November, and the locations alternate between Maraetai in November and February and Mission Bay in December and March.

The sprint distance consists of a 500m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run compared to the Olympic distances of a 1.5km swim, 40km and 10km run.

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