Challenge Wanaka will feature its largest pro field in the six-year history of the event featuring multiple iron distance champions in both the men’s and women’s field.
Leading the men’s field is 2011 defending champion, Jamie Whyte (NZL) who had a breakthrough race this year. He is joined by four of New Zealand’s top athletes, three times Ironman champion Bryan Rhodes, Ironman champion Kieran Doe and rising star Keegan Williams, as well as New Zealand’s iron distance record holder and Challenge Wanaka 2010 champion, Richard Ussher.
The Kiwis take on a strong international field that include the sports most prolific iron distance triathlete and Challenge Henley-on-Thames champion Petr Vabrousek (CZE) along with Challenge Wanaka 2008 and seven time Inferno winner, Marc Pschebizin (GER) together with Australians, Courtney Ogden who finished in second in 2011, Aaron Farlow and Justin Granger.
The women’s field is equally strong led by New Zealand’s own record holder and multiple iron distance champion, Gina Crawford who returns to the sport just months after giving birth to her first child. Two times half iron distance champion, Christie Sym provides some strong competition on the back of her podium finish at Wanaka in 2011, as does former Australian Long Course Champion, Nicole Ward.
The pro field will join over 1200 age group athletes racing across both the full and half iron distance in teams and individuals on race day on Saturday January 21, 2012. Challenge Wanaka is part of New Zealand’s largest triathlon festival, the Challenge Wanaka Triathlon Festival that features events for all ages and abilities for over 2000 participants. The festival runs from January 15-21, 2012.
Spectators around the globe can experience the world’s most scenic iron distance race with the same live coverage will be broadcast around the world through www.challengewanaka.com, accompanied by live timing updates. Virtual spectators can also access the new Challenge SmartPhone site at https://m.challengewanaka.com to receive live on-course updates, athlete trackers, results, images and course maps.