Monday 14 May 2012 | Published in Regional
2011 International Triathlon champions Stephen Farrell and Kelly Pick successfully defended their titles on Saturday.
Perfect conditions on Saturday morning disappeared with strong currents in Muri lagoon making for an energy sapping 1500m swim and strong winds making for a tough 41km cycle and 10km swim.
More than 100 athletes lined up on the start line and just over 22 minutes later Stephen Farrell and 18-year-old Ryan Helg emerged from the water – Farrell just 2 seconds ahead of Helg and Nick Graham in third place in a time of 22.47.
At the transition point Farrell was first to his bike but once mounted he realised he only had one cycle shoe on his bike.
Farrell returned to the transaction point as Helg took the lead in the cycle but in the end he decided to ride with just the one shoe. Helg had a strong cycle and finished the leg in 1.07.44 with Farrell behind him by three minutes in 1.10.36.
On the run the experienced triathlete hunted down Helg and on the final 2.5km stretch of the 10km run – Farrell took the lead back to cross the finish line first in 2.11.57 followed just over a minute later by Helg in 2.12.52. Farrell’s time was within a split second of his 2011 time of 2.11.37.
Third place went to local triathlete Roland Neururer who had a strong race finishing in 2.15.37 followed by Nick Graham in 4th place in a time of 2.16.26.
Former event winner Leighton Hunt crossed the line in 5th place in 2.17.40 before local champion Kelly Pick crossed the line as first woman home in 2.20.12.
Robert Loveridge, local lad Thomas Henderson, Michel Gilbert and Allan Bieber rounded off the top 10 finishers all crossing the line within seconds of each other with veteran racer and triathlon president Geoff Stoddart coming home 11th overall in the time of 2.24.42.
Kristine Reid was the second woman home in 12th place while loved up couple Vanessa Palmer and fianc Rhys Woodger took out the teams event as ‘Fast n Furious’ in a time of 2.31.49.
The Die Hards of swimmer Shannon Saunders, cyclist Doug Ellingham and runner Fiona Pekepo were the second team home in 2.41.24 with team Patty Busters taking out third place in 2.41.4.
The day was another huge success with the traditional blessing and haka by young Pukapukan warriors getting the athletes blood boiling at the start of the race and the Girls Brigade manning water stops to cool down runners.
Full results with split times will be published in tomorrow’s edition of Cook Islands News.
Remaining tri week events include today’s Hash House Harriers run at 5pm and tomorrow the Turtles Tees Tour de Raro cycle race will start from Avarua at 4.30pm.
Wednesday’s fun Matutu Mile race wraps up the 2012 triathlon week and this will be held in Tikioki starting at 5.30pm.