Simone Maier rides through bubbles released by supporters
as she climbs the hill into Hawea during Challenge Wanaka
on Saturday. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
If Challenge Wanaka had a prize for the most unlucky
triathlete at the weekend, it might have gone to Wanaka hopeful
One of the 10 women in the elite section, Maier punctured on
the cycle leg at Albert Town, having made up about eight of
the 13 minutes she was down on the second and third
place-getters after a ''terrible'' swim time.
While she had a spare tube, it was not fitted with the right
extension valve for the rims on her bike and she needed tools
she was not carrying.
Unable to be assisted by onlookers, it took her eight minutes
to get her bike back on the road.
By then she had ''lost the plot'' in terms of her race
''It was a very mind-draining thing,'' Maier said yesterday,
although ironically - puncture aside - she had her ''best
She followed that up with her fastest Challenge Wanaka run,
taking just one minute more than winner Gina Crawford to
complete the marathon.
She finished fourth overall, about seven minutes behind
third-placed Jo Lawn and about 27 minutes behind Crawford.
Maier has an adventure run coming up in Queenstown, but is
now eyeing the Taupo Ironman in March.