Red Bull Defiance - Manson going solo

Published
27/08/2019

One of New Zealand’s most high profile multisporters Sam Manson has announced he will take on the grueling Red Bull Defiance in March competing in the new solo category.

 

The challenging two-day adventure race returns to Wanaka 28th– 29th March 2020 with Manson expected to dominate the solo racing category unveiled for the first time.

 

Currently competing in China at the Wulong Mountain Quest in Chongqing, Manson says he is ready to take a break from racing the Coast to Coast after finishing second to Dougal Allen in the longest day this year.

 

“Red Bull Defiance is an incredible challenge in a spectacular location in Wanaka that I am excited to take on in 2020," says Manson. "Racing at my level requires massive commitment and training full time over another summer block towards Coast to Coast is just not possible this year. I only want to get better, so I am saving that up for 2021.”

 

“Red Bull Defiance is much more desirable because I will not feel the same pressure but am certain I can still be in good form. I will be doing more adventurous training in the mountains during this summer, and this will suit the technically demanding RBD course.”

 

Having competed at Red Bull Defiance in Wanaka in 2016 Manson says he is prepared for what lies ahead and is looking forward to racing solo.

 

“I competed before with my good mate Hamish Fleming, and we finished 2nd Elite Males team. There I learned just how furious and demanding the race was – it’s a course that needs to be respected and managed or it will eat you up.”

 

“Solo racing is exciting. It puts sole responsibility on yourself to go at the best pace and present yourself as an individual performance. I enjoy team racing, and both have challenges, but at the end of the day, an individual race means you can really open up the throttle and only worry about yourself, which is an art in itself.”

 

The two day Red Bull Defiance 169km course presents seven challenging stages. The event traverses the high mountains that circumnavigate Wanaka and includes paddling sections on the Matukituki and Clutha rivers.

 

As one of New Zealand’s best paddlers, Manson says he is looking forward to the river sections and already planning how to tackle the demands of the event.

 

“I'm fizzing that the paddle section is mostly on the rivers and with a few rapids. River paddling is my strength, but it is hard to get time on the paddle stages unless they are really long. The long mountain climbs will suit me on the bike and run as I am not a big person, so hills are friendlier to me.”

 

“Red Bull Defiance is a tough course, and the pacing is essential as well as nutrition. The tough and technical weekend deserves the respect it's earnt, and you have to ensure you know how big some of those uphill sections are to compete at your best.”