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Street, Logan claim Raro Challenge title

Wednesday 14 September 2022 | Written by Supplied | Published in Sports, Triathlon


Street, Logan claim Raro Challenge title
The overall winners of the Cook Islands Triathlon Ariki Adventures Raro Challenge were David Street, right, and Andrew Logan with a time of 5:20:20 hours. CITAI/22091305

The weather on Saturday proved perfect for the 2nd Cook Islands Triathlon Ariki Adventures Raro Challenge which had 20 competitors battling for the top honours.

A favourable current and brisk tailwind combined to give fast paddling conditions for the 5.7 kilometre Stand Up Paddle Board section of the race.

Onlookers saw the majority of the field head out towards the reef, with just John Engu taking his own line, staying closer to the shore, a move which proved advantageous for him giving him an excellent start to the race. Visibility in the lagoon was perfect and competitors reported paddling past turtles and rays on their boards. 

Roly and Maria Rolleston had a fantastic first leg and exited the water to take the lead ahead of Adrianna Skurosz and Jakub Postrzygacz. The battle between all male teams David Street with Andrew Logan and Roland Neururer with Matt Wyatt was already proving exciting, with only 22 seconds separating these two teams after the first leg of the race.

With a very quick transition Roly and Maria headed out onto the run leg first, followed closely by Neururer and Wyatt, Street and Logan and Jason Moorfield with his new partner Megan Willans. Willans read about the race in the Cook Islands News and was able to join Jason when sadly his wife and original partner for the day Tarina came down with the Covid virus.    

From the water the teams headed inland, up to the Waterfall and commenced the Cross-Island Track for a run or scramble across the island. The lead quickly changed, Neururer and Wyatt took up first place from Maria and Roly, but they were quickly hunted down by Street and Logan who are both very strong runners.

Transition managers waited for news of who would exit the bush first, and into T2 came Street and Logan with a nine minute lead over second place Neururer and Wyatt.

Sadly, the many circulating illnesses had gotten the better of Wyatt and after a gruelling first two legs he had to withdraw from the race. Neururer was therefore unable to defend his title as it is a team event, so he continued on the 48km mountain bike leg without a partner “just for fun!”.

A super quick run from Adrian Hopwood and Chris Stansell saw them come into T2 in third place only 10 minutes behind the leaders.

Teams left the Avatiu Valley transition area straight into one of the steepest hills of the day, the first of a number of gruelling ascents. The route took competitors up arduous climbs in Avatiu, behind Tereora College, near Highland Paradise, in Rutaki, Takitumu and Avana. The day was not without its drama and the Highland Paradise descent proved very tricky. Leader Street took a hard fall sustaining injuries and also breaking his saddle. Quick thinking and ingenious use of duct tape at the cycle checkpoint by marshal Debbie Whittaker ensured he was able to continue the race.

Another casualty on the same hill was team Roleston Bucket List with Maria damaging her bike too, although thankfully not herself.  The loss of a bike for a portion of the race meant that although Maria and Roly continued to finish the course the time was unable to be counted in the final placings.

Avana water intakes also proved slippery and by this time the very weary teams had been racing for over four hours, two teams sustained crashes here, but fortunately without serious injury.

After a massive day in the heat and with a punishing course it was a hugely exciting finish, the GPS live tracking showed the first two teams racing within a kilometre of each other.

The overall winners of the race were David Street and Andrew Logan with a time of 5:20:20 hours followed by Jason Moorfield, who won the title with Neururer last year, and Megan Willans less than two minutes behind in 5:21:51. 

Cook Islands Triathlon president Roland Neururer would like to congratulate the winners and all the athletes who took part. 

“This is truly a unique race which tests both physical and mental toughness, to complete this is an outstanding achievement and one which should not be taken lightly. Everyone who has finished this course has undertaken something very special.”

Cook Islands Triathlon thanked Ariki Adventures for their very generous sponsorship of the race for the second consecutive year, supporting sponsors The Bond Stone and Vaima Water, The Raina Family for the use of the land at Enua Manea Hall, Hayley and Rory Anderson for their tremendous assistance with the first aid crew, Puaikura Volunteer Fire Brigade and all the marshals for generously donating their time to ensure the event ran smoothly.

The Triathlon Association’s next event is for the Cook Islands Games – a sprint distance triathlon 750m swim/20km cycle/5km run on October 10.  Please do make contact with Roland via your island rep if you wish to enter this event.


Male Teams – 1st David Street, Andrew Logan 5:20:20, 2nd Adrian Hopwood, Chris Stansell 6:14:15, 3rd John Engu, Bobby Cervantes 7:10:10, 4th Alun Dodd, Andrew Whittaker 7:13:48, 5th Roland Neururer, Matt Wyatt (WD) DQ (4:59:27). Mixed Teams – 1st Megan Willans, Jason Moorfield 5:21:51, 2nd Adriana Skurosz, Jakub Postrzygacz 5:56:51, 3rd Helena Cook, Nick Shalders 6:40:11, 4th Marama and Richard Denny 7:03:47m 5th Maria and Roly Rolleston DQ (6:21:57).