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Saturday 7 May 2011 | Published in Regional


New faces are expected to take out todays Air New Zealand International Triathlon when 150 athletes line up on the start line at Muri beach at 1.30pm.

Last years winners Josh White and Michelle Bremer have not returned to defend their title, leaving the competition wide open with a couple of local racers tipped to be front runners.

Local athletes are expected to figure prominently in the top field with Roland Neururer and Kelly Pick, the recent Tinman triathlon winners, likely to place well up.

The 1.5km swim in Muri lagoon, 41km cycle around Rarotonga, with the addition of the loop that takes in a part of the hospital hill, down past the back of the golf course and back to the main road at the Avatiu Harbour, and 10km run in Muri makes for a picturesque but tough race.

Not all are entering to be competitive as many athletes take part to prove that they can still do very well, what they used to do even better.

For many overseas competitors its a great sporting holiday.

All competitors are entered for the draw of the Air New Zealand sponsored return air ticket, and the first overall male and female competitors receive return air tickets sponsored by Air New Zealand.

The action starts from the beach next to Ngatangiia field today at 1.30pm and the general public is urged to drive carefully as cyclists will be out on the roads through the afternoon while runners will be all over Ngatangiia.

Everyone is invited to go to the Ngatangiia field and support the multisporters.