The Colour Burst is back in Queenstown for 2018. If the idea of a 5km run, jog or walk around a fantastic course set alongside beautiful river trails and mountain …
The Good Friday event always the last race of the season and between the Christmas race and Easter one it has always gathered a great field of Otago and Southland athletes. Over the years and a number of world and New Zealand champions have raced this race. I haven’t been able to race every year since 1992 but have done most years over 5 different course changes at both times of year. It’s great to see the organiser and his team have the course back to one of the best bike courses in my opinion. Two laps of Mackintyres hill, Malaghans Road, Hunters Road and Ladies Mile block being my firm favorite.
On the 3rd of April I wasn’t in a position to complete the entire event solo but I had two friends keen and I didn’t want to miss out so we joined forces to compete in the teams section. The swimmer in our team was Ruth Pay who also swam in a team with me for this years Challenge Wanaka Ironman distance event. Our runner was her partner and Wanaka Football club forward Paul Hodgson. Both the Christmas and Easter events usually managed to pour on the weather and this race day was no different. Barely a breath of wind, stunning blue sky and some of the best scenery anywhere always makes for good racing. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve said to someone “pretty amazing place to be racing eh” or similar. I hope I never take the stunning scenery for granted. Paul and I watched as Ruth took off in the swim and made her way towards the front of the field. While we were waiting for Ruth I was trying to watch for other teams coming in and team cyclists heading out to know how we were going.
With holding the Sprint Tri, Duathlon, and Olympic Tri together I really didn’t know how we were placed other than that we were going pretty well. Ruth swam well putting us in a good position and then ran up the steep track and around to the where I was waiting with my bike and I was off. 40 km on the bike is just enough to ride hard the whole way without too much pacing so I did. I passed a few cyclists but wasn’t counting but I wanted to give our runner the best start I could. The bike course here is a fantastic mix of flats and solid climbs (Up Macintyre’s Hill twice to really get the lungs screaming) and undulating terrain. It’s a very real course compared to many. A strong rider will love the fact that the hammer has to stay down the whole time but it’s not too hard that someone who is new to the sport will find it putting them off. The course is never boring and I hardly took any time to look at the scenery other than a few quick glances. Being chased is not my favourite place to be. I knew there would be someone behind me trying to chase me down and I don’t like being overtaken so had no intention of giving up my place easily. I knew I was going ok when I rode to a point where I couldn’t see another rider in front or behind. I knew there were at least a couple of the fastest individuals in front of me but no idea who else. When I pulled in to tag Paul I was starting to fade slightly so blessed the race organisers that there wasn’t another lap on the bike. Paul was off like a shot out of a gun. The run course is around the perimeter of Lake Hayes with an approximately km dog leg to make it 10 km run. Its no easy run with plenty of ups and downs most of the way. It is a stunning run so if an athlete needed to stop and tie his shoes he would be blessed with lovely views pretty much the whole run course. Ruth told me she thought we were 4th overall and possibly first team. I was stoked that I hadn’t let anyone past and had given Paul the best start I could. We sat in the sun and soaked up the atmosphere and watched the athletes coming in to finish. There were some Sprint triathlon or Duathlon athletes finishing while we waited for the first of the Olympic Tri competitors. Paul had a great run and overtook one of the individual competitors leaving us third overall and first team. It’s such a relaxed event with people lying around on the grass chatting about how they went and what a stunning place it is to race. Some of them regulars and for some this is their first. Who wouldn’t want to come back I say.
Once again the Lake Hayes Triathlon has left me wanting to come back for more. Well done to the Race organiser and all of his team who put on a very professional event as always. ActiveQT have always run great quality event and this one is one of the best. Keep it up I say and next year I hope to be lining up as an individual again. I hope Paul and Ruth are racing as individuals also. Who knows how that race is going to go but one thing is for sure, it will be a great day of racing in one of the most beautiful locations I have ever raced. Bring it on and see you there.”
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