Nelson athletes squeeze out Aust
Story by: JOSH REICH - Photo by: Nelson Mail
Three of Nelson's best multisport athletes have brought home victory for New Zealand at the Anaconda Adventure Race in Western Australia, which was held on Sunday.
Richard Ussher, Trevor Voyce and Fleur Lattimore won the Trans-Tasman Trophy, an annual battle between the top multisporters in New Zealand and Australia.
The trio qualified for the race following the Kaiteriteri Beach Adventure Race, which was officially sanctioned as the New Zealand multisport nationals.
Over 1700 athletes took part in the race in Augusta, Western Australia, with the Trans-Tasman winner decided by the cumulative times of each of the three individual racers representing their countries.
The race featured a 1.9km ocean swim, 13.5km trail run, 13km inlet and ocean paddle, 32km mountain bike ride and 2.5km run.
Ussher, winner of the Kaiteriteri event, won the overall race, crossing the line in 3hr 55min 5sec.
Western Australian Sean O'Neil was second overall and first Australian home in 4hr 37sec.
O'Neil was quicker in the trail run and ocean swim, but Ussher made inroads in the ocean paddle and mountainbike leg.
Another Kiwi, Braden Currie, was third, but not part of the competing team.
Voyce was fourth overall in 4hr 8min 2sec, while Lattimore – who, like Voyce, was competing in an Anaconda race for the first time – won the overall women's title, finishing in 4hr 43min 31sec.
She finished over 20 minutes ahead of Deanna Blegg, who was competing for the Australians and had never previously lost an Anaconda race. The pair were close during the swim leg, but Lattimore pulled away after that, with Blegg struggling in the mountainbike leg and dropping 15 minutes to the Ruby Bay resident.
In total, the Kiwis conquered the Australian team by 30 minutes and 17 seconds to win the trophy for the first time.
Ussher's win returns him to being the overall leader of the Anaconda Adventure Race National Series with only one round remaining.