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'Challenge Wanaka',

Iron-Distance Triathlon, N.Z.


A big thankyou to my sister for taking the raceday photos below.



2009 Challenge Wanaka and more click here


2009 Challenge Wanaka and more click here


2007 Challenge Wanaka and more click here




The sun was just coming up as this image was being captured.

It was a beautiful calm day to begin and it stayed like this all day.






Ready to go in the clear warm 18.6 degrees water.










First swimmers coming in above and below.












Gina Ferguson was first woman out.





Andrew Abakahn looking set for a good day ahead.








The events don't run without great support from local people like those above.






Concentration for the day ahead.







One of international athletes who made up 44% of the field.










Chris McDonald had the fastest bike split of the day in just under 5 hours.












Marc Pschebizin having a good bike and setting himself up well to catch Chris MacDonald on the run.






Hillary Biscay setting herself up for second place in tthe womans professional field.








Mark 'Sharky' Smoothy shown here brought a team over from Brisbane that he coaches.








The crowd support along alot of the cycle course was energizing.







A fast transition to make the most of the lead from the bike.







Last years first place getter Luke Dragstra punchured a tyre on the bike this year.






Chris Bisley took out the 20-29 age category in a fast 9 hr 31min.







Exiting the bike/run transition.









A 2hr 48min run set up Marc Pschebizin to take out the 2008 title, pictured here about 200meters from the finish line.






High fives all round for a well deserved 2nd place pro.igh




Luxembourg based French athlete Ludovic Biancalani about to cross the line.







This is the only image I have of someone crossing the finish line. It just happens to be the creator of this site(me).

To read more detail of how I found the race you can click here or the event pages 'ironman training' links. Have to say that this photo was taken just over a minute after finishing(note the finishers medal around the neck).

To read P



Pre-race and post-race photos are all below.





Petr Vabrousek pictured above right arrived in Wanaka in good time from europe but unfortunately his gear didn't.

A call was put out at the pasta party for some help with gear and Chris McAteer very kindly loaned his bike. Understand Chris is involved in coaching and based in Christchurch(N.Z), and certainly has the triathlon experience credentials.

Spoke to Petr briefly after the race and he explained a puncture slowed him down. He was feeling really strong up to then and it must have drained some energy as he said he considered pulling out soon after the puncture. In the true toughness/courage that he obviously has(14 ironman in the last year), he carried on to place 6th and only 22mins behind the winner. e PetrP






Merryn Greenwood placed 4th in her first iron-distance triathlon in the pro-category. P





German pro Susanne Buckenlei's race didn't go as she would have planned.






It was great to see twice as many competitors as last year taking part.







The 'Challenge' series race director Felix Walchshofer(left), with a tri-N.Z official.








Put this image in because Bill helped set up the swim section of the race with his partner(swim director). See he had a good swim and finished well in his first iron-distance triathlon.

Also he got the best deal ever by buying this bike as is, on an online auction. He explained that the previous owner said the pressure was on, and it was him or the bike to go from the relationship. P







First in Age group at left.P







First in Age group, at right with the two local race organisers.P








First and second woman overall.P








Top individual men and woman. First overall Marc Pschebizin speaking.P









PiPictured here is the team that took the inaugaural event out. This year the managed a very respectable second placing in the teams.

The cyclist in the winning team made the biggest dent in the time difference with a very fast 4hrs 43mins on the reasonably tough course.P









Jeremy Smart had a good debut as a pro with a top ten finish, in a respectable time.


iing good






Time to wind down after a good days work the previous day.P






This is the most experienced team ever to complete a full ironman. Combined age of 214 years.

Photo was taken the day before the event for the 'Southland Times' newspaper.

One of them had a heart by-pass done 6 years ago and one of the original team had to pull out to have a by-pass also. Awesome achievement in a new record time for their ages of 13 hours 56min 55sec.

The above is greatly inspirational in my view.







Mens Pros


Germany's Marc Pschebezin set a new course record in a come-from-behind win in 8:47:49.


Chris McDonald held on to finish second in 8:49:37.


Justin Granger took third in 8:54:08.






Womans Pros



New Zealand's Gina Ferguson took the women's win after leading the entire way in 9:33:46, another course record.


Hillary Biscay, second here last year, took second again in 10:11:17.


Celia Kuch third in 10:32:39.





To visit the official 'Challenge Wanaka' website click here.


Mens and Womans tri-suits are available for purchase on this site at the clothing link here or at the top of this page or by clicking on the images below.