Mountain biking: Two minutes shaved off record

John Williamson, of Alexandra, and son Nick, of Dunedin, complete the Bannockburn gutbuster...
John Williamson, of Alexandra, and son Nick, of Dunedin, complete the Bannockburn gutbuster mountain bike ride on a tandem bike. Photo by Sarah Marquet.
Mark Williams, of Queenstown, finished the Bannockburn gutbuster on Saturday in a record time of 2hr 49min - two minutes faster than the previous record of 2hr 51min, set last year by Brent Miller, of Christchurch.

Thirty-seven seconds behind Williams, but still beating Miller's record, was Gavin Mason, of Wanaka.

Nicky Samuels, of Wanaka, was the first woman home in a time of 3hr 25min. She was 35th overall.

The first and only tandem team, of John Williamson, of Alexandra, and his son, Nick, of Dunedin, finished the race in a time of 4hr 08min, in 108th position.

While neither Williamson is a stranger to the event, it was the first time they had done it together and both suspected they were the only tandem team.

"I had to draw a box [on the entry form] and tick that," Nick said.

Their top speed was 71kmh and John said at one point, on a steep downhill section, the brakes were overheating.

While neither trained specifically for the event, both said the steep downhill took a lot of concentration, but it was the last hill that was psychologically the hardest.

"There's so many false summits," Nick said.

The 11th annual 75.4km race from Garston Township to the Bannockburn Hotel, organised by the Cromwell and Districts Promotions Group, attracted 207 entries this year, slightly down on last year's numbers.

"But I blame that on Elton John," timekeeper Barbara Emmitt said.



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