Oamaru multisporter Dougal Allan may have had a little trouble walking this week, but reckons it’s all worth it.
Allan, competing in the elite men’s full ironman section, won his second consecutive Challenge Wanaka title on Saturday in a time of 8hr 9min 38sec – breaking his own course record by about nine minutes.
The gruelling event featured a 3.8km swim, 180km bike ride and 42.2km run.
He completed the swim in 54 minutes, the bike in just under four and a-half hours and the run in three hours, crossing the finishing line more than five minutes ahead of Christchurch’s Mike Phillips.
Allan said the result was hugely satisfying and one to savour.
“It’s probably more relief than anything. A lot went into the preparation side of it this year.”
That included months of training in Oamaru, followed by a five-week stint in Wanaka to “sharpen the pencil”.
With that came substantial sacrifices.
“As a father and a husband, you have to make some selfish decisions. To win it makes it a bit more justifiable, so it’s a relief.”
Allan felt conditions during this year’s race were a lot calmer than in 2016, when strong winds buffeted the field.
“You’re always having to take yourself to some pretty uncomfortable places to win races like that. The biggest difference was the really good conditions this year. Last year was really windy, which made things tough.”
Allan celebrated his win with “a lie down with a cold beer”, followed by a barbecue with close friends and family.
“I just sat back and reflected – it was awesome.”
Speaking to the Oamaru Mailon Tuesday, he said he could “barely walk”, and expected the pain to linger for a few more days.
“I was walking around like an old man, but it shows how far you have to go to push yourself to win a race like this.”
The pain has done little to deter Allan from entering Challenge Wanaka again next year. He replied with an emphatic “absolutely” when asked if he would line up again in 2018.
In other local results, Benedict Yanzick won the 18-24 years half ironman section, while Alex McLeod finished third in the 20-29 years men’s section and Hayden Williams came 10th in the 40-49 years section.
Nicky and Kevin Kirkman were third in the mixed team category. Hannah McCulloch was seventh in the 18-24 women’s half ironman and Pam Browne was ninth in the 55-59 age bracket.