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Neururer claims 14th consecutive Maori Auri Tinman title, Murphy takes first win

Wednesday 17 April 2024 | Written by Supplied | Published in Sports, Triathlon

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Neururer claims 14th consecutive Maori Auri Tinman title, Murphy takes first win
Roland Neururer, right, claimed his 14th consecutive Maori Auri Tinman title with first time winner Joan Murphy. CITAI/ 24041607

Roland Neururer claimed his 14th consecutive Maori Auri Tinman title at the 42nd edition of the annual event held on Saturday.

In the ladies division, Joan Murphy claimed her first Maori Auri Tinman win while the team title went to Nikao Heights Heroes.

The Cook Island Triathlon Association organised event had participants – a field of eight individual and six teams – competing in 1200-metre swim, followed by a 31-kilometre cycle and a 10km run.

The weather on Saturday was windy and sunny, but all competitors where shocked to see the lagoon in a turmoil, with large waves and very strong current in the sea. However, this didn’t deter the 20 plus strong athletes from their afternoon pursuit.

The individual race had some strong competition with Neururer and Jason Moorfield battling hard for an early lead in the men’s division and Murphy and Brook Ross in the women’s category.

At the same time the teams, who each completed one or two of the disciplines were trying to get ahead of the individual competitors and their opposing team rivals in the hard-fought team battle.

The swim had a large amount of chop and current and this made it very difficult for all competitors. Average swim time was over five minutes slower from usual times.

Out of the water first was Tem Strickland in 27:23 minutes, with Neururer in 27:45 mins, and first women Murphy in 30:19 mins.

Onto the bike and a nice tailwind made the first part enjoyable to ride, until the turnaround when the competitors battled strong head and side wind.

Strength on the run is often what makes the day, and this was true for Neururer who blazed through the run leg in the individual men’s competition to claim an amazing 14th consecutive title in a time of 2 hours 18 minutes, and 11 seconds, followed by Moorfield (2 hours 25:09 mins) and Mike Carr (2 hours 37:37 mins).

“It is a special one, to keep this trophy for 14 executive years. I have a special spot for this trophy at home and it is great to fill this spot again. This year’s time was slower than previous years for all of us, due to the very difficult conditions, especially the swim site,” Neururer said.

“It is quite special to have a race run for 42 years without missing any year, not even Covid. 

“This race is also a big stepping stone for our main event, the Air New Zealand International Triathlon to be held on Saturday, May 4, 2024. This is our 30th International Triathlon with almost 100 participants on the starting line.”

In the ladies individual division, Murphy claimed her first Maori Auri Tinman win in a time of 2 hours 26:23 minutes followed by Brook Ross (2 hours 31:39 mins) and Laurren Turner (2 hours 52:34 mins).

In the team event, Team Nikao Heights Heroes, crossed the line first, clocking 2 hours 19:02 minutes followed by Team Three Amigos in second place (2 hours 24:17 minutes) and Team USA finishing third in 2 hours 34:28 mins.