Lanky Queenstown triathlete Thijs Hubber could be a dark horse in his first Challenge Wanaka full-distance ironman this Sunday.
Hubber, 33, who’ll race in the pro field, hopes for a podium finish, “if not top five”.
He’s up against guys sponsored for equipment and some even receive appearance fees.
“But I’m just as good as them, I believe.”
He’s hoping to go under nine hours – the race record is 8hr 34min 41sec.
Hubber, who’s won two national road relay running titles and has competed in three half-ironmans including the Challenge Wanaka half, has put everything on the line in his training, he says.
“It’s a challenge to do an ironman but it might be my distance.”
He’s particularly focused on the 180km cycle leg as it’s such a big component of the race, which starts with a 3.8km swim and finishes with a marathon.
“I’ve ridden about 4000km since about December 24.”
However he’s also done three 40km runs in under three hours.
Other Queenstowners competing in the full ironman include Adam Wilson and Andie Lowry (30-39) and Chris Hankin (40-49).