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Former Triathlon World Champion Rick Wells to Compete in Auckland ITU Triathlon

Former Triathlon World Champ Rick Wells will return to amateur racing for the Barfoot & Thompson ITU Triathlon World Cup to be held in Auckland on November 20 this year. Entries are still open and for Australians this is a great opportunity to get over to NZ and race in a major ITU triathlon around the streets of a great city and experience something magical.

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In just 110 days New Zealand and international triathletes will compete in the Waitemata Harbour and streets of Auckland in the Barfoot & Thompson ITU Triathlon World Cup – the first major international sporting event to be hosted after the Rugby World Cup 2011 and making use of the new public events space at Queens Wharf.

Former Triathlon World Champ Rick Wells will return to amateur racing for this event. “This is a sport I’ve dedicated my life and career to, so it’s a real coup to have the elites battling it out on my home course. Despite my past achievements in the sport, these races will still be a personal challenge for me and something I am keen to take on to show that anyone can give it a go.”

This unique event, delivered by Triathlon New Zealand, will see a field of the world’s best elite triathletes competing for Olympic qualifying points and will incorporate selection races for New Zealand’s top ‘weekend warriors’ to represent their country in the 2012 World Championships.

Entries are still open and for Australians this is a great opportunity to get over to NZ and race in a major ITU triathlon around the streets of a great city and experience something magical.

The milestone was marked today with a special reception to thank foundation partners and sponsors, who have helped make it possible for Auckland to host the two key events in the international triathlon series, including Auckland real estate firm Barfoot & Thompson which was confirmed as the presenting sponsor.

The Barfoot & Thompson ITU World Cup on 20 November will also serve as a test run for Auckland before the city hosts the biggest event on the global triathlon calendar in 2012, the Dextro Energy ITU Triathlon World Championship Grand Final – presented by Barfoot & Thompson.  The 2012 finale of the series – which also visits world-class destinations such as Sydney, London, Madrid and Beijing – will be held on the same Auckland course as the World Cup event and will attract over 2,000 international athletes along with supporters, media and spectators to the city.

The opportunity to host these two major events has been made possible through the foresight and commitment of Triathlon New Zealand, key funding partners including Auckland Council’s subsidiary Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), Major Events NZ, SPARC, Pub Charity, and presenting sponsor Barfoot & Thompson, all of whom recognise the significant benefits this represents for business, encouraging visitors and community value.

Last year, the Government announced up to $900,000 in funding for the 2011 World Cup and 2012 World Championships from the Major Events Development Fund. Economic Development Minister David Carter said: “The Triathlon World Cup and World Champs are further excellent opportunities to cement New Zealand on the world stage of major events,”

“The Triathlon World Cup, Rugby World Cup and Winter Games are all on over the next six months – a great time to showcase our country as a major events host and visitor destination. The Government is pleased to support these events through its Major Events Development Fund.”

Speaking at the reception today Mayor Len Brown highlighted the tangible benefits of the two events, including a return on regional investment for Auckland that is conservatively estimated at around $7.4 million.

“This is a sporting event of the highest calibre and delivers on the elements of our new Major Events Strategy.  As well as the direct economic benefit, we will be profiling Auckland to the world, hosting a significant number of international visitors, while also giving our residents the chance to enjoy two free, world class festivals in the heart of Auckland.”

The two events are expected to deliver more than 7,000 local and international participants from all levels, attract 100,000 spectators to the races and surrounding festivals, and achieve a global television audience of more than 25 million people.

Martin Cheer, CEO of founding event partner Pub Charity said: “This event is a great example of public and private partnership providing benefit to the wider Auckland community.”

Dave Beeche, CEO of Triathlon World Champs 2012 said that while the benefits to the local sporting community were obvious, the two events would also allow New Zealanders to see elite athletes from around the world compete in a championship event that is only surpassed by the Olympic Games.

“This will all take place in a stunning setting that is ideal for the sport, making use of the prime location of Queens Wharf with the water and a challenging course right on its doorstep,  and all completely accessible to spectators.

“Our foundation partners enabled us to put forward the winning bid, and further to their generous support we are pleased to announce our presenting sponsor Barfoot & Thompson. They recognised the benefits straight away and enabled us to progress plans for promotion and development immediately by coming on board so willingly.”

Today’s reception was held at Barfoot & Thompson’s head office, which overlooks a part of the course running alongside Albert Park, highlighting the combined commitment to growing and developing Auckland as a prosperous and enjoyable place to live.

Peter Thompson, Managing Director of Barfoot and Thompson said:  “Supporting this event reflects our own commitment to growing a thriving and healthy community, while also providing opportunities for everyone to enjoy high calibre major events such as this.

“Both of these events will show off our city to the world, and that is something our company is always proud to do.”

International Triathlon Union (ITU) President Marisol Casado said the ITU was excited to bring the World Cup back to New Zealand, a country that has produced many legends of ITU racing. “I have no doubt that this World Cup will be a brilliant success. It will be an excellent way to finish the 2011 international ITU season and a great start to a huge 12 months of elite racing as Auckland gears up for the 2012 Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championships Grand Final.”

Dave Beeche also noted that the event would not have been able to go ahead without support from Ports of Auckland.  The event ‘transition’ area will be located just inside the famous Quay St Red Fence.

Ports of Auckland Chief Executive Tony Gibson said the port was delighted to be able to help.  “It’s great to see such a popular event on the Auckland waterfront and we’re excited at being able to help make it happen,” said Mr Gibson.  “This is a great opportunity for Auckland and a natural fit with our own focus on fitness and wellbeing.”

Founding event partners are ATEED, Major Events NZ, SPARC and Pub Charity. Presenting sponsor Barfoot & Thompson is joined by other sponsors for the events including Sanitarium, Ports of Auckland, 2XU, Asics, Sileni Estates and The Radio Network.

 

Event overview and triathlon statistics:  


The Barfoot & Thompson ITU Triathlon World Cup 2011 Dextro Energy ITU Triathlon World Championships Grand Final 2012, presented by Barfoot & Thompson
Schedule & date One day event Week-long festival

20-Nov-11 14 – 22 October 2012
Status 1 of 9 World Cup events  Final race of 7 in the World Champ series (WCS)

(feeder series to WCS)
Elite attendance 100 athletes (10 of top 20) 360 athletes (all top 20)
Participation 1,000 Age Groupers 2,300 International Age Groupers

3,800 ‘have a go’ participants
Volunteers involved 500 800
TV distribution Live domestic to 150k+ Live International to 25mil

Intl & domestic highlights show Live domestic to 150k
Course  Queens Wharf Queens Wharf

2 courses: Elite and Age Group 2 courses: Elite and Age Group

 

  • Triathlon is NZ’s fastest growing sport: 90,000 New Zealanders participated in triathlon events last year (an increase from 38,000 in 2000)
  • Participation is 60% female and 56% are aged 20+
  • Triathlon has 365,000 loyal, local fans, including 120,000 in Auckland alone
  • 20,000 kids take part in the Weetbix Tryathlon every year, aged between 7 and 14 

To enter or find out more information click here.

 

 

Karl is a keen age group triathlete who races more than he trains. Good life balance! Karl works in the media industry in Australia and is passionate about the sport of triathlon.

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Ironman World Championship: Europeans Dominate and Records Fall

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Daniela Ryf of Switzerland celebrates after winning the IRONMAN World Championship on October 14, 2017 in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

European dominance of the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona has continued but not as the pre-race script had been written.

While Switzerland’s “Angry Bird” Daniela Ryf made it three Kona victories, it was not defending champion Jan Frodeno’s day, with the men’s championship title transferring to fellow countryman Patrick Lange.

Coming from a nine-minute deficit off the bike, Lange revelled in near perfect conditions to write himself into the IRONMAN history books to destroy the course record set in 2011 by Australian Craig Alexander, with a 2:39:59 marathon that helped deliver a total race time of 8:01:40.

In a record-breaking day, Aussie Cameron Wurf won the battle of the bikers taking control of the race at the 110km mark and leading into the bike/run transition to set a new bike course record of 4:12:54, more than five minutes faster than Normann Stadler’s 2006 record.

Wurf surrendered his lead early on in the run, as Lionel Sanders (CAN and Sebastian Kienle (GER) made their presence felt, but very quickly all eyes turned to a charging Patrick Lange who had moved into third at 21km of the marathon intent on reducing the six-minute deficit to the leading Sanders.

Lange was on a mission and keen to improve on his third place last year and with 5km to go on the run he flew past Sanders, heading for town and the adoring crowd lining the run course and the finish line on Ali’i Drive.

“It’s everything I ever dreamed of. Oh, my god, I cannot believe it,” Lange said. “I always, always, always since I was a child dreamed of having this crown. From time to time you think someone is hitting with a baseball beneath your knees and you just want to drop out. I had to fight, I had to fight so hard,” Lange said at the finish line.

A fading Sanders managed to hold off the hard-charging David McNamee (GBR) for second with Kienle and James Cunnama (ZAF) crossing the finish to take fourth and fifth.

Swiss miss Daniela Ryf joined an exclusive club at the IRONMAN World Championships, recording her third win in Kona with a very skilful and strategic victory that while remarkably effective, lacked her usual flair and total dominance.

Ryf didn’t have it all her way, with Lucy Charles dominating the swim and majority of the bike before Ryf decided that enough was enough. Ryf wrestled the lead off the Brit and charged home with the fastest run of the day, putting a nine-minute gap to her chasers by the end of the 42.2km run.

“It was the hardest I had to ever fight for the win. I’m so happy to turn it around today,” a more emotional than usual Ryf said at the finish line.

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Ironman World Championship: Patrick Lange Smashes Course Record and Daniela Ryf Earns Third Straight Win

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Daniela Ryf of Switzerland celebrates after winning the IRONMAN World Championship. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Patrick Lange (DEU) and Daniela Ryf (CHE) earned championship titles with momentous performances today at the 2017 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i. Lange passed Lionel Sanders (CAN) in the final three miles, clocking in at 8:01:40 and establishing a new course record (formerly 8:03:56 by Craig Alexander, 2011). Ryf earned her third consecutive crown with a time of 8:50:47, joining an exclusive “three-peat” winners’ circle alongside the newest IRONMAN Hall of Fame inductee Chrissie Wellington and Natascha Badmann, Dave Scott, Paula Newby-Fraser and Mark Allen. Over 2,350 athletes from 66 countries, regions and territories on six continents started the IRONMAN World Championship race on the Island of Hawai`i in the toughest one-day endurance event in the world.

Patrick Lange of Germany putting the hurt on as he runs to victory and a new course record during the IRONMAN World Championship. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Lange, who raced in only his fourth IRONMAN to-date, had an incredible ascension after having been 17th out of the swim in today’s race. Shortly after the swim, a pack of strong cyclists including Sanders, Sebastian Kienle (GER) and Cameron Wurf (AUS) broke away from the group. Wurf would sail into T2, shattering the 2006 bike course record held by Normann Stadler (4:18:23) with a 4:12:54 split. Sanders and Kienle also smashed the record with 4:14:19 and 4:14:57 split times, respectively. On the run, Sanders took a quick lead as Kienle fell into second. Meanwhile, Lange moved from 11th place to a steady third-place position by the half-marathon marker. Lange then made a decisive pass at mile 23 on the run, as he moved ahead of Sanders to take a hold of the lead, finishing strong in first place. With a 2:39:59 run split, he was only 14 seconds away from breaking the run course record he set last year (2:39:45).

Sanders hung on for second place, ultimately concluding his race with a time of 8:04:07. David McNamee (GBR), Kienle and James Cunnama (ZAF) rounded out the top five.

McNamee had the second fastest run split of the race with 2:45:30, helping him clinch a third-place podium finish by more than two minutes ahead of Kienle.

Defending champion and Olympic Gold Medalist Jan Frodeno dug deep after back spasms slowed him first to a complete stop and then run/walk pace, mustering enough strength to finish the race.

Lucy Charles (GBR) led the professional women out of the water with a 48:48 split, missing the course record by only five seconds. After a speedy transition, Charles took the lead on the bike and had an approximately a five-and-a-half-minute lead over defending champ Daniela Ryf (CHE), Sarah Crowley (AUS) and Annabel Luxford (AUS). This pace remained consistent down the Queen Ka`ahumanu Highway until Ryf attacked, making up over five minutes over the final 25 miles of the bike, which positioned her at the front of the pack. Ryf then greatly extended her lead on the run, with Charles, Crowley and Heather Jackson (USA), fighting for the remaining podium positions.

Lucy Charles of Great Britain cools down during the IRONMAN World Championship on October 14, 2017 in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Ryf took first at 8:50:47, almost exactly four minutes off of her own 2016 course record time of 8:46:46. Calling on her epic running abilities, the Swiss star claimed her third successive IRONMAN World Championship victory.

Charles, a Kona rookie, maintained her second-place position throughout most of the run and ultimately to the finish. Crowley rounded out the top three in her second-ever appearance at the IRONMAN World Championship, finishing her race exactly two minutes behind Charles. Jackson and Kaisa Sali (FIN) rounded out the top five women.

 

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Ironman World Championship: The Best Run Images from Kona 2017

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It’s never an easy day out when racing any Ironman race let alone the World Championship. Then add in some hot and humid weather and you really have a very tough set of conditions.

Here are some of the amazing images that were captured during today’s race.

Lucy Charles trying to remain as cool as possible during the run leg. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Lionel Sanders of Canada runs through an aid station and takes on extra fluids and also trying to cool himself. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Patrick Lange of Germany celebrates before crossing the finish line to win the IRONMAN World Championship and setting a course record of 8:01.39 beating Craig Alexander’s 2011 record of 8:03.56. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Age group athletes out on the run course. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

John Joseph McGowan of the United States showing us his guns and ink work. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Unfortunately Jan Frodeno of Germany wasn’t able to really defend his title today due to an injury. He eventually finishes 35th. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

The sun sets on Kailua Kona, Hawaii and competitors continue their journey for their personal success. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Daniela Ryf nearly the final few kilometres during the Ironman World Championship 2017, (Photo: Jesper Gronnemark/Red Bull Content Pool)

Kaisa Sali of Finland celebrates in the finish chute after finishing fifth during the IRONMAN World Championship. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Patrick Lange of Germany putting the hurt on as he runs to victory and a new course record during the IRONMAN World Championship. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Runners compete as the sun sets in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Lucy Charles of Great Britain runs through the barren landscape and eventually to coming 2nd. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

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Ironman World Championship: The Best Bike Images from Kona 2017

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With the backdrop of the most infamous course in the world, the Ironman World Championship bike course never misses by the providing the most amazing landscapes for the bike course. This year was nothing short of spectacular.

Igor Amorelli of Brazil on the bike during the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Martin Fredriksson of Sweden leads a pack on the bike during the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Michael Weiss of Austria feeling the hurt during the bike leg. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Jocelyn Mccauley of the United States competes on the bike during the IRONMAN World Championship on October 14, 2017 in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

A cyclist leaves the transition area with her bike during the IRONMAN World Championship on October 14, 2017 in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Maxx Wolfson/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

KAILUA KONA, HI – OCTOBER 14: A cyclist competes during the IRONMAN World Championship on October 14, 2017 in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Lucy Charles of Great Britain showed how strong her bike leg was during today’s Ironman World Championship. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Thomas Gentry McGrath of the United States cools down with water during today’s World Championship in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Michelle Alexander from Denver holds up an ‘IRONMAN are sexy’ sign as athletes cycle past. She certainly brought some smiles. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Cameron Wurf of Australia cycles ahead of Lionel Sanders of Canada during the bike leg of today’s IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. Cameron would go on to set a new bike course record. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

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Ironman World Championship: Patrick Lange Beats Sanders by a Hair for the Win & New Record

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Patrick Lange of Germany celebrates afer winning the IRONMAN World Championship and setting a course record of 8:01.39. (Photo by Maxx Wolfson/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

The results are in. The 2015 and 2016 winner of the Ironman World Championship triathlon in Kona, Hawaii, Jan Frodeno, suffered an injury early in the run today. This is when the world turned its eyes to Lionel Sanders of Canada, who led most of the race. That is, until the final few kilometres, when Germany’s Patrick Lange took the lead, setting a new world record of 8:01:39.

Lange came in 3rd place in the 2016 championship, following Frodeno and Sebastian Kienle, both from Germany.

As of this writing, 2015 and 2016 women’s winner Daniela Ryf is leading the women with 14km to go with Britain’s Lucy Charles behind her. This is Charles’ first Kona championship as a professional.

Sanders came in 14th and 29th place in the 2015 and 2016 races, respectively. Today was his first time making the top 10 in Kona. Earlier this year, Sanders announced that he would not compete in Kona. Later, he had a change of heart.

2017 has been a good year for Sanders. He competed in August’s International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championship, and a few Ironman 70.3’s. He won every race except the St. George 70.3, where he came in 2nd place.

Trizone predicted that Sanders would do well this year. After losing Kona in 2016, he decided to take this year’s championship very seriously. Sanders has been the wild card of the race.

Congratulations to Lange and Ryf, and to Sanders for his unexpected near-win.

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Ironman World Championship: Are We Stuck with Jan Frodeno & Daniela Ryf in Hawaii Again?

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Daniela Ryf performs at the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona Hawaii, USA on October 8, 2016

It’s time again for another Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. The triathletes have already arrived on the Big Island, and sports news sites are speculating about who’s going to interrupt the winning streaks of Germany’s Jan Frodeno and Switzerland’s Daniela Ryf.

Frodeno & Ryf Are Each Going for their 3rd Consecutive Kona Win

Both Frodeno and Ryf were the winners of the 2015 and 2016 races. Frodeno pulled ahead of Germany’s Sebastian Kienle by 3:32 in 2016 and Andreas Raelert, also from Germany, by 3:03 in 2015. In the 2016 women’s race, Ryf led Australia’s Mirinda Carfrae by 23:44. She beat Britain’s Rachel Joyce by 13:02 in 2015.

Most of Ryf’s Rivals Dropped Out

Many of Ryf’s past competitors are not competing this year. Carfrae has a newborn baby. Canada’s Heather Wurtele, who opted out of this race, came in 3rd place in the 2016 Ironman 70.3 World Championship, leaving Ryf in 4th. The winner of that race was Holly Lawrence of Britain, who is also not competing this year.

Ryf’s Competition Could Still Be Fierce

The three rivals for Ryf to look out for are Heather Jackson of the USA, Rachel Joyce of Britain, and Melissa Hauschildt of Australia. Hauschildt made 2nd place in the 2016 Ironman 70.3 World Championship, and Ryf finished behind her by 3:00 to land 4th Place.

In the 2013 70.3, Jackson won 2nd place, losing to Hauschildt by 5:12. Ryf came in 6th, finishing 3:27 behind Jackson.

Who Should Frodeno Be Afraid Of?

The conversation around Jan Frodeno centres around two other German guys, Sebastian Kienle and Patrick Lange. Kienle won the 2014 Hawaii championship. Frodeno settled for 3rd place and followed behind Kienle with 8:20:32 vs 8:14:18. USA’s Ben Hoffman came in 2nd place.

These are the guys Frodeno has to worry about most.

Frodeno’s Possible Wild Card Nemesis

Another contender who could give Frodeno a run for his money is Lionel Sanders of Canada. He won 11 out of 11 races in 2013 and has won a lot of them since. Sanders, who almost skipped this year in favour of the 70.3 World Championship, missed the top 10 in Kona for the past two years in a row. He said he did not take the championship seriously in 2016, and he vows to do better this year.

Sanders is known for rapid improvement and the ability to surprise people with wins in the races he truly sets his mind to winning. He’s also known for performing below expectations now and then. Rest assured, he’s serious about Kona this time. He would not have signed up otherwise.

This May Not Be Totally Boring After All

Well, this is the data. We can leave it up to the reader to decide who will win Hawaii’s Ironman.

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