DRYSDALE AND COHEN TAKE OUT TEAM RACE AT MACPAC MOTATAPU

4 March 2017


DRYSDALE AND COHEN TAKE OUT TEAM RACE AT MACPAC MOTATAPU

Over 3,500 competitors were treated to a perfect Queenstown Lakes District day for the 13th hosting of the Macpac Motatapu, New Zealand’s iconic one day multi-sport race with walkers, runners, triathletes and mountain bikers competing in a variety of races from the 15km Miners Trail, to the 51km Ultra-Run.

In the feature SKODA Mountain Bike race, Kate Fluker (Queenstown) was imperious as the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games hopeful won for a 6th time in succession, backing up her runner-up finish at the Mountain Bike Nationals a week ago, while Tim Rush (Oamaru) emerged quickest in a fiercely fought men’s race, just edging road professional Hayden McCormick (Te Awamutu) and Pioneer winner James Williamson (Alexandra).

Fluker was delighted with her performance on a course that she loves.

“That was awesome, I didn’t know what to expect this year after a hard week last week at Nationals but I am just so happy to be back on one of my favourite trails. It was fun, early on everyone went around the river and I knew there was a track around the side, and everyone behind me was shouting ‘thanks Kate’ for taking them the quickest way!

“It is amazing though, I love this atmosphere here and this was my introduction to mountain biking, this is what it is all about, everyone sharing in a great race and encouraging each other along the way, I love it.”

The men’s race was a much closer affair, with Rush only going clear of his main rivals in the closing kilometres.

“That was close early on, Jimmy ripped it up early on and then Hayden came over and we rode together through the valley into a tough headwind. I was lucky with the river crossings and managed to ride most of them, my boss put me up while we are here and he said to commit and go full gas and see how you go. But it was a bit of the luck of the draw, I think we were all as strong as each other out there and it was great to ride with those guys, they are great pro’s.”

Multiple world and Olympic medal winning rowers Mahe Drysdale and Nathan Cohen might have entered for fun, but they showed just how competitive they are with a win in the new team category in the SKODA Mountain Bike, covering the 47km in an impressive 2:50:59.

“We probably did well, unexpectedly so,” said Cohen. “We got a pretty good rhythm, with the teams off at the front we had the course on our own for bit, we probably got in the way of the elite guys for a while, but it was nice to get out there and enjoy it.”

“We suffered across the top a little and I was pleased to get to the descent I was pretty happy,” said Drysdale. “But some of those rivers the legs were pretty much done and I struggled to get through. The last bit on the flat was our meat and bread, we pumped it along and I followed behind Nathan which was great.

“Cohen said to me at the start ‘this is your first session with Tokyo in mind’, so it was a good way to start and good to go in that hurt zone again and feel what it is like. I don’t mind going there though which is a good sign with Tokyo about three and a half years away.”

The Ultra-Run was taken out by Majell Backhausen (Australia), who for some time was threatening Charlie Sharpe’s 2016 race record of 6:15:15, before crossing the line just under 12 minutes outside that time. The women’s record was smashed though, with Australian star Lucy Bartholomew cutting over an hour off the previous record held by Ayako Nakazawa (Japan).

Backhausen was glowing in his praise of the race and the course as he finished a month-long visit to New Zealand.

“I had a really fun day, a great morning – every morning is good if you are having twelve gels for breakfast! This course is really really good, it is beautiful, very scenic and great mountain terrain. It forms an important part of an important track in New Zealand and to be able run it supported is really special, to cover that 51km with that support in this part of the world is something everyone should be a part of at some point in their life. It is a challenge, the course has some tough terrain but at the same time the scenery and the environment you are in make it that much more attainable, you can take the mind off the pain in the legs by looking up and taking in the views.”

20-year-old Bartholomew was thrilled with her day and like Backhausen, high in her praise of the race and course.

“I loved every minute of it, it was spectacular, I can’t wait to come back. It is rare to have a single track that runs for so long, the river crossings were nice and it was a lot of fun to join the mountain bike riders at the end, they were cheering me and so supportive, so it was fun.

“I have run all around the world, I thought this was just amazing, well organized, beautiful course, very challenging and definitely a reason to come here.”

Olympic Triathlon gold medalist Hamish Carter and his team mate Alistair Grigg completed the Ultra course in a tick over ten hours.

Dougal Allan showed that he had well and truly overcome the effects of his record breaking performance at Challenge Wanaka a fortnight ago, taking out the UDC Finance XTERRA Triathlon in a time of 4:09:27

“It was tough, I am not conditioned to the mountains at the moment. But I came here because I wanted a good adventure and this is what I used to do, and I still love it. Last week I still couldn’t really walk so I didn’t think I would race, but on about Wednesday I loosened up and knew I would be okay. Today was about having fun though and the win is a bonus. I had a cushion into the final descent over Olly, and thought I could run it softly, but there is no such thing as running an event like this softly!

Former Nelson Girls High student Josie Wilcox was a surprising but impressive winner of the women’s race, usurping pre-ace favourites Julia Grant and Martina Fellman to take out the win on her first attempt at the iconic event, finishing almost five minutes in front of Mary Gray.

Having returned from a running scholarship in the States in 2014, Wilcox has spent some time on the mountain bike and might have found her niche after an impressive showing.

“This is my first time here so I am very pleased. I started towards the middle of the field in the swim and gave up about five minutes in the technical area on the bike but made up ground on the hills and then on the run – I knew I could do that on the run, that is my strength.”

Ryan Carr and Tania McWilliams were popular winners of the Miners Trail, with Carr in particular typifying the Kiwi spirit on this event as the Queenstown Shepherd highlighted at prize giving that the 15km run was only part of an exciting day.

“That was great, I am a Shepherd by day, so I guess I am used to the conditions, that is almost like a normal day’s work for me, only a little faster than I might usually move. I am heading away this afternoon now for a bit of pig hunting.”

The Off-Road Marathon titles were won by Robert Rawles (New Plymouth) and Tanya Copeland (Tuatapere), both taking line honours by comfortable margins in the increasing heat of the day at Arrowtown. 

Macpac Motatapu 
Glendu Bay to Arrowtown 
Results (full results CLICK HERE) 

SKODA Mountain Bike, 47km 

Men 

  1.  Tim Rush (Oamaru), 02:07:16  
  2. Hayden McCormick (Te Awamutu) 02:07:29  
  3. James Williamson (Alexandra) 02:07:52  

 Women 

  1.  Kate Fluker (Queenstown) 02:24:03  
  2. Jeanette Gerrie (Christchurch) 02:38:45  
  3. Shannon Hope (Dunedin) 02:43:08 

 Miners Trail, 15km 

Men 

  1.  Ryan Carr (Queenstown), 1:09:10 (new race record) 
  2. James Kuegler (Auckland), 1:16:06 
  3. Richard Ford (Cromwell)1:16:17 

 Women 

  1.  Tania McWilliams (Christchurch) 1:24:13 
  2. Laurie Greenberg (USA), 1:35:31 
  3. Kate Rea (Lower Hutt) 1:36:08 

 Ultra-Run, 51km 

Men 

  1.  Majell Backhausen Australia) 06:27:07  
  2. Martin Kern (Auckland) 06:55:22  
  3. Ryan Kunz (USA) 8:11:26 

Women 

  1.  Lucy Bartholomew (Australia) 07:03:09 (new race record) 
  2. Meg Buddle (Dunedin) 8:54:59 
  3. Karen Muller (Christchurch) 8:57:25 

 UDC Finance XTERRA Triathlon, 2km swim, 47km mountain bike, 15km run 

Men 

  1.  Dougal Allan (Oamaru) 04:09:27  
  2. Olly Shaw (Rotorua) 04:10:48  
  3. Adam Wilson (Queenstown) 04:23:24  

 Women 

  1.  Josie Wilcox (Palmerston North) 04:54:06  
  2. Mary Gray (Dunedin) 04:58:59  
  3. Kristy Jennings (Wanaka) 05:05:11  

Off-Road Marathon, 42km 

Men 

  1.  Robert Rawles (New Plymouth) 03:01:27  
  2. James Greenslade-Yeats (Wanaka) 03:14:16  
  3. Tom Patchett (Christchurch) 03:16:12  

Women 

  1.  Tanya Copeland (Tuatapere) 03:59:12  
  2. Hannah Lynch (Christchurch) 04:06:28  
  3. Sally MacMillan Armstrong (unknown) 04:14:41 

 MOTATAPU BY THE NUMBERS: 

  • SKODA Mountain Bike – 1,914 
  • Off Road Marathon – 437 
  • Miners Trail – 688 
  • XTERRA UDC Finance Triathlon Individual – 124 (37 teams, 101 competitors) 
  • Ultra-Run - 96 (Solo - 60) (Teams - 18, 36 competitors) 

TOTAL = 3,360 

PARTICIPANT INFO 

  •  Average age: 43  
  • Gender split: 65% Male 35% Female  
  • Oldest Competitor: Barry Gardiner, 79yrs old from Christchurch, Skoda MTB 
  • Youngest Competitor: Oscar Gallagher, 16yrs old from Brisbane, Miners trail   

REGION STATS 

Biggest representation from a region - Canterbury = 39% (1,338) 

  •  Otago region 16% (577) 
  • Southland 5% (180) 
  • Auckland 5% (177) 

 Overseas representation = 11.5% (378) from 23 countries  

  • Aussie = 8% (270) 

NEW THIS YEAR:  

  •  Official Macpac Merchandise 
  • New MTB Rolling Start Process 
  • New MTB Teams Division 
  • Earlier Marathon Start Time  
  • Triathlon selected as the Cross-World Triathlon Champs NZ qualifier. 

For further information and interviews, contact: 

Andrew Dewhurst 
Media Manager 
Macpac Motatapu 
021 535501 

About IRONMAN 
A Wanda Sports Holdings company, IRONMAN operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, Iron Girl®, IRONKIDS®, six of nine International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Series races, road cycling events including the UCI Velothon Majors Series, mountain bike races, premier marathons and other multisport races. IRONMAN’s events, together with all other Wanda Sports Holdings events, provide more than 680,000 participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. The iconic IRONMAN® Series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Since the inception of the IRONMAN® brand in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines at the world’s most challenging endurance races. Beginning as a single race, IRONMAN has grown to become a global sensation with more than 260 events across 42 countries. For more information, visit www.ironman.com 

About Wanda Sports Holding 
Wanda Sports Holding is the world’s leading sports business entity, founded to capture the opportunities in the global sports industry and to contribute to the prosperous international sports landscape – in three key areas: 1) Spectator Sports (media & marketing business), 2) Participation Sports (active lifestyle business), 3) Services (digital, production and service business). Led by President & CEO Philippe Blatter, Wanda Sports Holding incorporates the international sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media, the iconic endurance brand IRONMAN, and Wanda Sports China. The headquarters are in Guangzhou, China.