Sunday, May 2
This year’s Rarotonga International Triathlon was a huge success with the biggest ever field of both local and overseas competitors.
We were lucky with the weather too. It rained beforehand for about ten days almost non-stop; mud everywhere, the roads dissolving into potholes linked by the occasional piece of tarmac (their usual state I might add); the poor tourists must have wondered what they’d come for. But then the day before the race the skies cleared, the sun appeared and the puddles started drying out.
Cook Islands News put out their usual supplement (you’ll be able to check it out with the story and results when the website is updated on Wednesday).
About 120 individuals took part with over 90 from overseas, mainly New Zealanders with a couple of Australians and one German according to the paper. We also had 24 teams of two or three people.
The Girl Guides turned out in numbers to man the water stations and cheer on the athletes and there were plenty of spectators both at Ngatangiia and along the road.
Last year’s winner, Josh White from Australia, made it three in a row in about 2 hours 8 minutes (outside the race record of 1:58:18 which has stood since 1998). Josh also won in 2008. Michelle Bremer was first woman home in this her first Raro Tri. Phil Washbourn, a newcomer to triathlon, was first local male and Kelly Pick also made it a double, coming in first local woman for the second year in what I think is a new local record time of around 2 hours 19 minutes.
This video is longer than usual at just over 4 minutes but everyone was putting in so much effort it seemed a shame to cut it short!