Teen sensation beats Motatapu record (slideshow)


Rising mountain biking star, 16-year-old Anton Cooper from Christchurch, blitzed the record in today’s Motatapu event, held in perfect conditions. 

Cooper, who finished second last year, completed the 47km mountain bike race from Wanaka to Arrowtown in 1hr 48min 43sec. 

The previous record of 1:57.47sec was held by Marcus Roy, who’s won the race five times. Roy’s record was also overtaken by the second, third and fourth placegetters – Brent Miller in 1:54.02sec, Brad Hudson in 1:54.53sec and Queenstowner Mark Williams in 1:55.56. 

The first female was Kath Kelly in 2:20.50sec. 

The 42.2km off-road Motatapu marathon, also from Wanaka to Arrowtown, was won by Vajin Armstrong of Christchurch. 

Armstrong, 30, who also won the 60km Kepler Challenge mountain run in Fiordland last December, finished in 2:51.41sec. Armstrong finished about 10 minutes ahead of second placegetter Graeme Taylor. 

He’s glad he wasn’t pushed too hard as he’s tackling the 100km Tarawera Ultra marathon in the North Island next Saturday. 

He ran the first 12km with Jason Cameron, who finished third in 3:02.30sec. 

Armstrong’s wife, Prasata, also competed, finishing just over five hours. 

The first woman home was Queenstowner Sarah Coghlan, in 3:19.48sec. 

Coghlan, 26, who was third woman home in the last Kepler, was formerly a champion short-distance runner. 

She came third in the New Zealand cross-country champs when she was 17 and went to the States on a running scholarship. 

The inaugural Motatapu Half-Ironman-length triathlon – comprising a 2km swim in Lake Wanaka, the 47km mountain bike leg and the 15km Miner’s Trail run – was won by Axel Reiser of Christchurch in 4:16.23sec. 

Reiser, 42, originally from Switzerland, took the lead in the last leg. 

“That run is awesome, I think the run is heaps better than the marathon.” 

Twenty-four males and three females competed in the invitation-only triathlon. 

The race was started by former Olympic gold medal triathlete, Kiwi Hamish Carter, who competed in today’s mountain bike event. 

The stand-alone Miner’s Trail run, which started and finished in Arrowtown, was won by Alan Funnell in 1:21.42sec. 

The first female was Louisa Andrew in 1:35.09sec. 

The epic Motatapu 49km team adventure run was won by locals Chris Dagg, 43, and Darren Blackhurst, 44, in about seven and a half hours. 

They also won the inaugural adventure run, held between Wanaka and Arrowtown, last year. 

“It was really hot this year, it was the most suffering I’ve done in a while,” Dagg says. 

Today’s Motatapu was followed by a free Christchurch quake fundraising gig at the Arrowtown finish line, at Butler’s Green.
In the line-up was Julia Deans from Fur Patrol, Flip Grater, Andrew Keoghan and The Unfaithful Ways.