David Street and Gabe Raymond won the Cook Islands Triathlon Ariki Adventures Raro Challenge, finishing in a time of 5:01:20 hours on Saturday. CITAI/ 23101731
The weather on Saturday was just perfect for the Cook Islands Triathlon Ariki Adventures Raro Challenge which was being held for the third consecutive year.
Ten teams of two people
lined up on the beach in front of Enua Manea Hall and at 8am prompt the epic
A favourable current and
brisk tailwind combined to give fast paddling conditions for the 5.7 kilometre Stand
Up Paddle Board section of the race. Onlookers saw the majority of the field
head out towards the reef, with just Mike Carr taking his own line, staying
closer to the shore, a move which proved advantageous for him giving him an
excellent start to the race.
Visibility in the lagoon
was perfect and competitors reported paddling past turtles and rays on their boards.
Most competitors were very close together throughout the entire Sup course.
The battle between all
male teams David Street with Gabe Raymond and mix team of Roland Neururer with Adrianna
Skurosz was already proving exciting, with both teams exiting the water at the
same time. With a very quick transition Roland and Adrianna headed out onto the
run leg first, followed closely by David and Gabe.
From the water the teams
headed inland, up to the Waterfall and commenced the Cross Island Track for a
run or scramble across the island. They lead quickly changed, Roland and Adrianna
were quickly hunted down by David and Gabe who are both very strong runners.
waited for news of who would exit the bush first. It was David and Gabe who
rounded the corner first with a 7-minute lead over second placed Roland and Adrianna.
Teams left the Avatiu
Valley transition area straight into one of the steepest hills of the day, the
first of a number of gruelling ascents. The route took competitors up arduous
climbs in Avatiu, behind Tereora College, near Highland Paradise, in Rutaki, Takitumu
and Avana. The day was not without its drama and the Highland Paradise descent
proved very tricky.
Casualty of the day was
Nick Shalder, who was not able to finish the race due some sickness, Alun
Dodd’s derailer broke half into his race, but with some outside help, he was
still able to finish the race. Punchers was reported by Andrew Menzies, but he
was able to fix his bike but lost a lot of time. Avana water intake also proved
slippery and by this time the very weary teams had been racing for over 4
hours, but luckily, nobody crashed this year. This was a first as well!
After a massive day in
the heat and with a punishing course it was a hugely exciting finish, the GPS
live tracking showed the first two teams racing within a few kilometres of each
The overall winners of
the race were David Street and Gabe Raymond finishing in a time of 5:01:20 hours
followed by Roland Neururer and Adrianna Skurosz in a time of 5:13:23.
CITAI president Neururer would
like to congratulate the winners and all the athletes who took part.
“This is truly a unique
race which tests both physical and mental toughness, to complete this is an
outstanding achievement and one which should not be taken lightly. Everyone who
has finished this course has undertaken something very special.”
CITAI wishes to thank
Ariki Adventures for their very generous sponsorship of the race for the third
consecutive year, and supporting sponsors The Bond Store, Vaima Water, Ride
Rarotonga, and the Raina Family for the use of the land at Enua Manea Hall.