Saturday 25 February 2012 | Published in Regional
Three experienced Cook Islands triathletes will be lining up with some of the world’s best in the sport at the New Zealand Ironman race in Taupo on March 3 with the goal of finishing the race in better times than their previous races.
Husband and wife team Mona and Kevin Henderson along with Roland Neururer are heading to New Zealand this weekend to compete at the prestigious event – all in the name of passion for their sport.
The race includes a 3.8km swim, 180km cycle and 42.2km course around the Taupo town.
For Kevin Henderson – this will be his 8th New Zealand Ironman when he lines up in the 55 to 60 age category.
His goal is to better his fastest time of 11 hours and 45 minutes while wife Mona will be competing in the race for the second time after her first race some 10 years ago.
She completed her first race in 15 hours and wants to finish in 14 hours this year.
For Neururer – this will be the first year he competes in the New Zealand Ironman, however he has already notched up an ironman event when he raced in the Wanaka Challenge last year where he set a time of 11 hours – a time he hopes to better come March 3.
He has trained for seven months for the event, but last weekend he destroyed his cycle when he had an accident in Avatiu.
Luckily for him – good friend and fellow triathlete Richard Vinsen has leant him a bicycle so that he can continue to train for the event.
Despite having to take three days off from training to allow for his injuries to heal, after colliding with a parked truck, Neururer is looking forward to the race where he says he’s not planning to be the best but live his passion.
Many of the athletes that the local triathletes will be lining up against will be Olympic champions and hopefuls.
The top three in each age category will automatically qualify for the biggest ever Ironman event in Kona, Hawaii.