Multisport athletes often peak later in life but a young contingent from Waitaki bucked that trend at Challenge Wanaka over the weekend.
Waitaki Boys’ High School pupil Taz Selfe (17) and former pupils Kaleb (18) and Micah Hayes (17) came together to win the open men’s teams event.
They finished the half-ironman – a 1.9km swim (Michah), 90km bike ride (Taz) and 21.1km run (Kaleb) – in 4hr 23min.
Overall, they team placed second out of 186 entries, finishing behind former Oamaru resident Dougal Allan’s mixed team (4hr 7min 48sec).
Another former Waitaki Boys’ High School pupil, Jake Gawn, finished 157th out of 358 competitors in the individual half-ironman event.
He took part in the event to challenge himself and raise money for Cystic Fibrosis NZ and awareness of the condition he and his twin sister, Emma, have been living with since birth.
By Wednesday, he had raised $7176 through a Givealittle page, well ahead of his $5000 goal.
“It all went reasonably well. I was quite happy with it,” Gawn said.
“The first couple of kilometres of the run were pretty tough, just getting the feeling back into my legs.
“I got the hydration and the nutrition pretty right. It went as well as I could of hoped for.”
Gawn finished the race in 5hr 44min, about 15 minutes faster than he had aimed to finish in.
As one of only nine competitors in the 18-24 age group, the 21-year-old is an early starter in long-distance multisport and plans to keep going.
“I’ll maybe look at doing Taurunga next year, but it kind of depends what it’s cheapest to actually get to.
“I’ll definitely be back to Wanaka next year.”