Integrity Homes Challenge Wanaka - Star-studded Kiwi and International line-up
Challenge Wanaka is excited to announce a star-studded line up of professionals competing at the Asia Pacific Championships in Wanaka on the 15th of February 2020. The race has always been a highlight on the calendar for many Kiwi and International professional triathletes and this year is no different. The middle-distance race will be the third Challenge Family Asia Pacific Championship and the 14th Integrity Homes Challenge Wanaka event.
Challenge Wanaka / Jemma Wells Photography
The women’s field is arguably one of the deepest and most diverse Integrity Homes Challenge Wanaka has ever had. New Zealand professional triathlete Hannah Wells (Bay of Plenty) is the 2019 Integrity Homes Challenge Wanaka champion and will be vying to retain her crown in 2020. In 2019 Hannah became a professional triathlete and won every race she competed in, including the Ironman Taupo 70.3. Meredith Kessler (USA), 2019 Integrity Homes Challenge Wanaka silver medallist will be competing again this year. Meredith is one of the strongest women in the field with 11 full distance Ironman and 21 half distance Ironman first place podiums to her name.
Radka Kahlefeldt (Czech Republic) will be competing for the first time in Wanaka and is the 2019 Challenge World bonus winner. She is known on the triathlon circuit for her speed and endurance on course. Lisa Roberts (USA) is a six time iron-distance champion and has been a professional triathlete for 11 years. Rachel McBride (Canada) aka. the "Purple Tiger" is a three-time 70.3 Champion, Federica De Nicola (Italy) and Courtney Gilfillan (Australia) round out this diversely international field. “I am excited to come and race Integrity Homes Challenge Wanaka for my first time. I have heard incredible things about this race and its scenic swim bike and run course. I am excited for the off road running and the hills. This is an event I have always wanted to be a part of. I am eager to see the countryside and start my year racing in this beautiful place,” said Courtney Gilfillan.
New Zealand‘s Braden Currie (Wanaka) has confirmed he will be defending his 2019 title. Braden is one of the most respected names in the world of multisport, triathlon and adventure racing. Not only is he the 2019 Integrity Homes Challenge Wanaka Champion, he won the Ironman Asia Pacific Championship in 2019 and looks to repeat with the Challenge Asia Pacific Championship this year, as well as coming 7th in Kona at the 2019 Ironman World Championship.
Coming from across the ditch to battle it out with Currie are Australian professional triathletes Matt Burton (3rd in 2019), Steve Mckenna and Levi Maxwell. Matt Burton recently placed 2nd at Ironman Western Australia and is an athlete to keep your eye on. Matt has won the Age Group (18-24) Ironman World Championships and in his relatively short yet accomplished professional career has boasted an Ironman PB of 7hours 55 minutes (Ironman WA 2019) and a Half Distance PB of 3hours 42minutes (Challenge Malaysia 2018).
Steve Mckenna is coming off the back of an incredibly strong 2019, in which he won three of the Challenge Family Triathlon Events, Challenge Iskandar Puteri, Challenge Vietnam and Challenge Korea, as well as second place in Challenge Cape Town and Challenge Anhui.
Levi Maxwell has only been a professional triathlete for 15 months, but in that time has stood on 10 podiums, including four Challenge Family podiums. From further afield Joe Skipper (Great Britain) 2019 Florida Ironman record winner will be returning to Wanaka to compete in the Integrity Homes Challenge Wanaka. "I love being in Wanaka as it’s a great place, the race is a really honest course as well which suits a strongman where the best athlete on the day is sure to come out on top”, said Skipper.
Dylan McNeice (Christchurch) is another top Kiwi triathlete who will be competing on the 15th of February. Dylan was the winner of the 2013, 2014 and 2015 Integrity Homes Challenge Wanaka and has finished just off the podium every other time he has competed in the race. Rounding out the trio of male professional Kiwi Triathletes competing is Jack Moody (Auckland). Jack has been competing professionally in triathlon since 2018. Although he is the youngest of our Kiwi professional athletes competing, he is just as much of a podium contender as Currie and McNeice. Jack finished in fourth place at the 2019 Integrity Homes Challenge Wanaka and had the fastest run split of the day.