Hello finish line

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Bye-bye bad luck – local enduro up to Challenge.

Queenstown accountant Louisa Davis’s bad luck finally turned last Saturday as she blitzed her first iron-distance triathlon at Challenge Wanaka.

Davis, 28, was first amateur woman home – and fourth overall – coming first in the 20-29 years age group by completing the 3.8km swim, 180km bike and 42.2km run in 11hr 4min.

It’s a case of third-time-lucky for Davis, who’s been forced out of iron-distance events due to reasons beyond her control.

“I tried to do the Taupo Ironman a few years ago but they had some really bad weather so they cancelled half of it.

“[Then] I went to do the one-day Coast to Coast once and that was the year it was rained out and I got
helicoptered off.”

Davis’s parents, who’d been to those two events dogged by bad luck, suggested they might be the bad omen and weren’t going to watch her in Wanaka. But Davis insisted they come.

“I was stoked. I had quite a good run – I ran a 3hr 28min, which was probably my best leg out of the three.”

Davis, who began taking triathlons seriously in 2004, had a stellar multisport year last year – winning Queens­town’s Peak to Peak and Wanaka’s Mountain 2 Mountain races.

Local long-distance runner Adrian Bailey’s Ionized team stormed home to win the team event in just 8hr 8min.

Swimmer Bryn Murphy smashed the competition record with a 45min 4sec swim and cyclist Shane Melrose shaved minutes off his 2008 time by clocking in a 4hr 43min effort.

Remarkably, Bailey ran exactly the same time as competitor and fellow local runner Chris Dagg – both charged in at 2hr 29min 54sec.

Challenge Wanaka’s men’s category was won by Aussie Chris McDonald (8:37.41) and Kiwi Gina Ferguson won the women’s event in 9:28.27.