Triathlon: Blokefree win for McNatty

Mel Aitken
Mel Aitken
Shannon McNatty held off a late challenge from Stephanie Miller to win the Mosgiel Blokefree Triathlon yesterday.

McNatty held an early lead over the 5km run until overtaken on the way into the cycling transition by Prue Orchiston.

McNatty regained the lead with a speedy transition followed by a strong 15km cycling stage where she held off a strong challenge from Stephanie Miller, who had come through the transition 52sec down on the leaders.

McNatty complemented her run and bike stages by not yielding any ground on the 150m swim, to finish in 1hr 25sec, and 1min 4sec clear of pursuing Miller. Orchiston was third in 1hr 3min 38sec.

McNatty (41) was prominent as an age-group triathlete in the late 1980s and early 1990s and contested two Coast to Coast events, finishing the 1994 two-day individual section in a creditable 14hr 39min 40sec and returning in 2000 to finish sixth in the teams section with Kathryn Boreham.

An outdoor education teacher at Queen's High School until she left to study for her masters in outdoor education four years ago, McNatty is specialising in getting young women into outdoor pursuits and becoming more active.

Despite missing a vital turn in the initial run, Dunedin marathon champion Mel Aitken still made it all one-way traffic in the associated duathlon held over a 5km run, 15km bike and 2.5km run course from the Mosgiel Pool venue.

The mistake on the run added around 600m to Aitken's 5km run, but she still left the field in her wake as she took a substantial 4min lead into the bike stage, where she continued to extend her advantage, eventually completing the course in 1hr 40sec. Sheree Campbell was second in 1hr 13min 52sec and Danni Zhang-Pattison third in 1hr 21min 32sec.

Lisa Williams overcame some confusion with course marking to win the associated 10km run in 48min 48sec.

A large group of children took part in the Christmas Cracker Kids Triathlon that followed, most using the event to test themselves as a warm-up for the Weet-Bix event early next year.