The Air New Zealand Rarotonga Triathlon returned in 2022 after a two-year absence. Photo: Al Williams/22040107
The 26th annual Air New Zealand Rarotonga Triathlon took place has been hailed a success.
Cook Islands Triathlon Association (CITA) president Roland Neururer said a wonderful crowd of athletes and spectators gathered for what was once again a fantastic event.
A team event and an individual
race were held at the same time, over the Olympic Distance course which comprised
a 1500 metre swim, a 41 kilometre cycle and a 10 km run on Saturday.
Teams of two or three people were
in competition with each other, while the individual competitors also competed
for gender and age group placings.
Swells in the lagoon were a
concern for some of the less strong swimmers, but proved no problem for our local
star Darius Allsworth.
Darius, aged 14, exited the water
ahead of everyone in an impressive time of 26:19 to put his team RAD Little
Oneroa into a commanding lead.
Teammate Alyce Edwards enthusiastically
took up the challenge and recorded the fastest team cycle of the day and set a
new personal best, cycling the 41 km route in 1:07:56, runner Rupene Mataitoga
was also flying and recorded the fastest team run with a 10 km time of 43:41.
Team RAD Little Oneroa finished
the whole course in 2:19:17 to take away the team trophy.
A total of 14 teams entered with
Cook Islands teams securing the top three spots, congratulations to Just Doing
the Business; Bernie Raffe, Geoff Stoddart and David Street, who came in second
in a time of 2:43:49 and to Splash, Flash and Dash; Seychelle Carter, Andrew
Whittaker and Andrew Orange who were strong in third place in a time of 2:47:22.
Over in the individuals race the
competition at the front was stiff, the first individual out of the water and motivated
from her win at the CITC Boiler swim on Thursday was Rebecca Grace, she was
closely followed by Brent Knight, Mike Roigard, Roland Neururer, Susan Khoo,
Jason Moorfield, Taki Anaru and Trevor Watts.
Focusing on the ladies race, the
top three kept a steady formation, with local lady Adrianna Skurosz producing a
strong bike leg to move within a minute of second place Susan but not quite
having the speed to pass her on the run.
Our second local lady Lucy
McDonald recorded the fastest individual female cycle leg of the day and moved
from ninth place to fourth, but it wasn’t enough to put her in the final
The overall result in the ladies
race was first place, Rebecca Grace 2:43:02, second place, Susan Khoo 2:44:40
in third place, and first local lady Adrianna Skurosz in 2:55:37
In the individual men’s event only
about a minute separated the top two men for most of the afternoon, Brent
Knight held his lead through the bike leg, but the run strength of Mike Roigard
came through and he passed Brent to take the individual men’s title in a time
of 2:19:50, followed closely by Knight in 2:20:41 and Roland Neururer in third
place, and first local male in 2:37:23.
Jason Moorfield and Taki Anuru
were the second and third placed local males.
With the sun out and the humidity
sitting at about 82 per cent, the run was proving challenging for both the
visitors and the locals, some of whom were recovering from recent bouts of the Covid-19.
Weary competitors in both the
men’s and women’s races were very grateful to the Girl Guides for manning the
water stops and providing essential cold drinks and sponges.
The competitors kept working hard
through the heat and the exhaustion, receiving hard earned finishers medals and
nu from Air New Zealand Country Manager Addrienne Hosking-Tinirau.
“The challenge of just completing
a race of this length cannot be understated, and congratulations go to all the
participants for amazing performances in hot conditions,” Neururer said.
The Cook Islands Triathlon Association
wishes to sincerely thank all the marshals on the course on Saturday, many competitors
complimented these volunteers who gave clear instructions and much needed
encouragement, your kind assistance is so very much appreciated.
Thank you also to the Girl Guides
for manning the drink stations, the Puaikura Volunteer Fire Brigade for
offering first aid cover as well as marshalling and event pack down, the
Rarotonga Hash House Harriers for refreshments, the Rarotonga Sailing Club and
Ariki Adventures for water safety, the Raina Family for use of the land and
Enua Manea Hall.
In addition CITAI wishes to thank
their most generous sponsors Air New Zealand, Edgewater Resort & Spa, BSP
Bank, The Bond Store, Vaima Water, CITC, Ride Rarotonga and Cook Islands
Tourism. Events of this magnitude don’t just
happen without many many hours of work, so to all who contributed to the
success of the Air New Zealand Rarotonga Triathlon a huge Meitaki Maata and
congratulations to all athletes.