Wakatipu ex-Ironman’s hard yards

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A Queenstown multisport veteran is competing in three world championships in 12 days. 

Geoff Matthews – who founded the annual Motatapu mountain bike and marathon off-road event between Wanaka and Arrowtown – competed at the world aquathon championships in Auckland yesterday. 

This swim-run event is a prelude to the world triathlon championships where he’s competing in his 50-55 age group this coming Monday. Matthews, 50, then travels to Hawaii to compete in his age group at the Xterra world championship on October 26 – billed the world’s premier off-road triathlon. 

A former Ironman competitor, Matthews was once ranked 15th in the world and second in New Zealand only to Queenstowner John Knight. 

After 12 years’ retirement he resumed triathlons last Christmas and qualified for Hawaii at the Xterra Rotorua Festival in April. 

“Basically my swimming came back in about six weeks and my biking in about six months but my running still hasn’t come back.” 

Matthews says inspiration to compete in Hawaii was the fact his children, 11 and 9, had never seen him compete.
Also competing at the Auckland world triathlon championships, in the under-19 section, will be 16-year-old Queenstowner Fynn Thompson. 

Thompson – who won the national schools under-16 run/bike duathlon title last month – qualified for the worlds in Taupo in February in only his second competitive season. 

Meanwhile, Queenstowner Adam Wilson will also be competing in Hawaii. 

Wilson, 30, qualified through his then 20-29 age group at this year’s Xterra Motatapu triathlon. 

“Coming out of the cold Queenstown spring that we’ve had into competing in tropical weather I think will be the hardest issue to deal with,” he says. 

“I’ve trained pretty hard – I just want to go out there and give it as much as I can and see how I go,” Wilson says.