Tuesday, May 28
The Rarotonga International Triathlon took place a couple of weeks ago but I’ve been involved with FilmRaro, a film challenge in which six overseas teams came to Rarotonga and spent two weeks making and editing films; all six were shown last weekend. Fantastic! More about that in a future post.
Back to the tri. Seventy-nine individuals and 26 teams, mainly from the Cook Islands and New Zealand, took part in this, the nineteenth international, and for the first time in several years conditions were perfect; calm lagoon for the swimmers, very little wind to hamper the cyclists and clouds overhead to keep the runners (relatively) cool.
Katu Teiti got things underway with a stirring chant before the swimmers splashed out on their 1500m circuit of Muri lagoon. First out of the water was New Zealander Dave Vernon (19m 38s); he was almost two minutes ahead of last year’s winner Stephen Farrell then followed local girls Vanessa Woodger and Kelly Pick.
The 41km bike leg goes anticlockwise along the main road with a loop up Hospital Hill and around the airport on the back road. The interior of Rarotonga might be mountainous but Hospital Hill is the only section of road to provide any kind of climb. By the time he got back to the Ngatangiia sports field (Nukupure Park) Vernon had increased his lead to about 4 minutes before heading on to the 10km run.
Vernon led from start to finish and came home with a time of 2 hours 7 minutes 16 seconds. Stephen Farrell was second (2:10:13) with top local triathlete Roland Neururer third (2:12:51 – a local race record). Vanessa Woodger was first female and ninth overall (2:22:33 – a personal best).
See more at Cook Islands news here.