Defending Champions Flemming and Williams Take the Win in the Te Anau Enduro
Numbers were up from last year’s inaugral event and the atmosphere was electric for the 2nd edition of the Te Anau Enduro, held on Saturday 11th March in the town of Te Anau, Southland. Last year’s winners Hamish Flemming and Joanna Williams fronted up again to defend their titles against a strong field of athletes from across the South Island.
The Te Anau Enduro is a new style of multisport endurance racing which involves laps of either running, mountain biking or kayaking over a period of either 4 hrs or 8 hrs. Athletes can choose which discipline they want to complete, in what ever order they wish. Each lap earns 1 point and the competitor or team with the most points at the end of the respective time limit wins.
105 athletes took on the challenge as either solo competitors or in teams. The race organising committee had made a few changes from last year to each course, making them slightly shorter, allowing for faster lap times. The introduction of a new Youth category saw entries from high school teams who were keen to get amonst it and challenge themselves against other schools.
Hamish Flemming from Queenstown won the Open Male Solo 8 Hour Enduro with 19 laps, completed in a time of 7:44:01. Joanna Williams from Wanaka won the Open Female Solo 8 Hour Enduro with 18 laps, finishing in a time of 7:54:02.
Austin Leith took out top honours in the Open Male Solo 4 Hour Enduro with 9 laps and a finish time of 3:38:02. Alex Martin won the open Female Solo 4 Hour Enduro with 8 laps completed in a time of 3:49:27.
Winners had to work hard all day with a field of top athletes nipping at their heals for much of the race. The 8 hour race was largly dominated by Hamish Flemming who held a consistent pace from start to finish. He was followed closely by Winton multisport athlete Rikki Griffin who finished in 2nd place with 18 laps, in 7:46:38. Rounding off the podium in the male event was local Te Anau athlete Neville Thorne who was 3rd with 17 laps in a time of 7:35:17.
In the female event, Joanna Williams took an early lead and extended this throughout the day, showing why she is one of New Zealand’s top female multisport athletes. Joanna was strong across all three disciplines and finished 2 laps clear of Shannon Edgar who was 2nd place with 16 laps completed in 7:57:52. Sarah Lyttle finished in 3rd place with 15 laps in 7:49:45.
The 4 hour male enduro was a tight tussle between Austin Leith and Lawrie Quibell who were neck and neck for the first 3 hours of the event, with a matter of 15sec separting them both. Austin opted to exchange his bike for running shoes and pushed hard for the last two laps where he nudged in front of Lawrie, winning by 10 minutes in the end.
Team Go Orange (Adam Wilson, Paul Preston and Kat Bulk) showed pure class and speed by completing the most laps of any team or indivual throughout the day with an impressive 21 laps completed. They won the mixed team in the 8 hour enduro category.
Race Director Rob Rush said that he was absolutely thrilled with how the event transpired. “From a race organisers point of view, I couldn’t be happier. The weather allowed for some fast racing in calm conditions and the competitors kept smiling until the very end”, he said.
Full race results can be viewed at http://www.teanauevents.co.nz/content/te-anau-enduro-results