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Strong international field at Challenge Wanaka

Challenge Wanaka has announced a strong international field for the fifth edition of the long distance triathlon

Challenge Wanaka has announced a strong international field for the fifth edition of the long distance triathlon that will also be the largest yet with over 1,200 athletes taking on the spectacular and testing 226km course.

New Zealand’s top long distance triathlete, Gina Crawford will defend her title for the third successive year and faces some stiff competition in the form of Australia’s leading female athlete, Rebekah Keat who broke the world record at Challenge Roth in 2009 and has a number of iron distance victories under her belt, including the inaugural Challenge Copenhagen. They are joined by top British athlete, Joanna Carritt and emerging Australian pro, Jodie Scott who took out fourth last year.

The men’s field sees another Challenge winner, Jimmy Johnsen (DEN) who took out Challenge Barcelona in record time in October as well as Petr Vabrousek from the Czech Republic who has competed in all five Challenge Wanaka events. The field also includes two former Challenge Wanaka champions, Germany’s Marc Pschebizin (2008) and Canada’s Luke Dragstra who won the inaugural event in 2007.

“I couldn’t possibly miss doing Wanaka again,” said Dragstra. “This race is true triathlon and a beauty one at that. At Wanaka you will feel the real challenge of iron distance competition with all the elements, sun, heat, wind, hills and off-road running. Beyond that you also get the treat of an atmosphere almost unmatched in the world of triathlon brought to you by fantastic sporting community.”

They are joined by a strong Australian contingent including Brian Fuller, Adam Holborow and Justin Granger together with New Zealand’s own rising star, Keegan Williams who has already taken out a second and third in this race.

Taking place on 15 January 2011, Challenge Wanaka is New Zealand’s fastest growing iron distance triathlon and part of the global series of Challenge long distance races that features 11 events in Australia, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Denmark, Austria as well as New Zealand.

The race is the flagship event of the Challenge Wanaka Triathlon Festival that runs from 9-15 January 2011 and also includes Puzzling World Junior Challenge Wanaka, the Radio Wanaka 5km Charity Fun Run, Swim the Course, Contact Cup Sprint Triathlon and the Lake Wanaka Half. For further information, visit www.challenge-wanaka.com.

Profile image of Matt Baird Matt Baird Editor of Cycling Plus magazine


Matt is a regular contributor to 220 Triathlon, having joined the magazine in 2008. He’s raced everything from super-sprint to Ironman, duathlons and off-road triathlons, and can regularly be seen on the roads and trails around Bristol. Matt is the author of Triathlon! from Aurum Press and is now the editor of Cycling Plus magazine.