Two-time world triathlon champion Chris McCormack will
compete for the first time in Challenge Wanaka, on January 19.
And the 29-year-old Sydney-born athlete says he is out not
only to win, but to set a course record.
McCormack grew up in New Zealand and still has family here.
"New Zealand holds a special place in my heart as it is the
home of my mother.
"I lost my mother [Theresa] to breast cancer in 1999, and
Wanaka was where my mother and father had their honeymoon.
" It is a special part of the world for me. I would really
like to do something special at this race for these very
Challenge race director Victoria Murray-Orr said McCormack
was regarded as the most successful triathlete.
"McCormack has won over 200 international races since 1993
across a range of distances and is the only athlete to break
the magic eight-hour iron distance barrier more than twice.
"He has broken it four times."
McCormack is the current International Triathlon Union
long-distance world champion and has also claimed the ITU
world series championship title over the Olympic distance.
Defending champion, and fellow Australian, Aaron Farlow is
also returning for the Challenge, as is 2011 champion Jamie
Whyte, of New Zealand.
The women's field is once again likely to be dominated by
four-time winner and 10-time iron distance champion Gina
Crawford, of Wanaka.
The Challenge event is part of New Zealand's largest
triathlon festival, involving over 2000 participants.