Multisport: Christchurch pair triumph in Challenge Wanaka

Gina Crawford celebrates her victory in Challenge Wanaka today. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
Gina Crawford celebrates her victory in Challenge Wanaka today. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
Christchurch triathletes Dylan McNeice and Gina Crawford are the 2013 Challenge Wanaka champions after setting commanding leads over the field in windy conditions today.

Crawford triumphed over a stomach bug she had earlier in the week to set a women's course record of 9hrs 24mins 31 secs, bettering her previous record by about four minutes, while McNeice had a breakthrough victory in his first long distance triathlon, after 10 years racing as a professional over the Olympic distance, finishing in 8hrs 51mins 18secs.

Jamie Whyte of Auckland (8hrs 55mins 43secs) and Chris McCormack of Australia (8hrs 58mins 05secs) were second and third men respectively, McCormack clawing his way into contention for the podium after a windy bike ride.

Candice Hammond of Cambridge (9hrs 44mins 22secs) ran down Joanna Lawn of Auckland (9hrs 44mins 30secs) in the final 2km to finish second in the women's race, Lawn collapsing with exhaustion on the finish line in third.

Race director Victoria Murray-Orr was delighted with the event, which attracted up to 1500 athletes competing in the full iron-distance race and the Lake Wanaka Half (1.9km swim, 90km swim, 21.1km run).

"A course record broken, record crowds, a career-changing victory for Dylan - what can I say? And it is always a privilege to watch someone of the Macca's calibre race,'' Mrs Murray-Orr said.