Up for the Challenge

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Queens­town ironmen and women have been putting in the hard yards for Saturday’s Challenge Wanaka triathlon.
They’ll join some 470 athletes from New Zealand and around the world in the ironman distance race comprising a 3.8km swim, 180km cycle and 42.2km run.

Local receptionist Rachel Watson’s looking forward to her first major cycle race after recently losing 15kg in a fitness challenge.

Feeling “a little bit nervous”, Watson’s keen to finish in good time after doing 300-350km in training each week.

Local runner, 41-year-old Chris “Flying Bone” Dagg (right) set the marathon record of 2hr 25min last year.

Despite doing 166km in training last week he says he’s not as fit as last year: “A lot depends on the day – a windy day puts your time out by 10 minutes.”

Local accountant Louisa Davis, 28, is doing the whole race by herself and plans to take it as it comes.

She says it can be easy to do too much training – but it’s about quality, not quantity. “I’ll have my head down and tail up.”

Local runner Adrian Bailey’s feeling quietly nervous and just wants to get on the start line and race: “You can be the fittest person in the world and anything can happen,” he says.

Challenge Wanaka is part of the global Team Challenge Series that includes six events in Germany, Spain, France and NZ.