LAKE WANAKA, New Zealand (December 17, 2009) -- A late entry from one of the world's top female triathletes, Rebekah Keat (AUS) promises an exciting day of racing on 16 January with the strongest women's field in the history of Challenge Wanaka.
Keat broke the world record this year by over six minutes at Challenge Roth with a time of 8:39:24 and clocked the fastest women's run time of the day in 2:55:27, two minutes faster than Chrissie Wellington (GBR) who also broke the world record that day with 8:31:59.
Keat joins an already strong women's field that features defending champion and current New Zealand record holder, Gina Crawford, former European champion and ITU world champion, Lisbeth Kristensen (DEN) and regular top 10 iron distance finishers Irene Kinnegim (NED) and Rebecca Preston (AUS).
Challenge Wanaka race director, Victoria Murray-Orr, said there was a very real chance the $10k Western Pacific Performance Bonus could be paid out this year with such a strong field.
"We have reduced the times from 2009 to make them more achievable and the times to beat are now 9:15 for women and 8:20 for men," she said. "It's going to be a very exciting race in both the men's and women's fields and when you combine the thrill of the race with the spectacular scenery here in New Zealand's South Island, it's going to be an event not to miss!”
Challenge Wanaka takes place on Saturday 16 January 2010 and is part of the global Challenge series of long distance triathlons that features races in Germany, France, Spain, Denmark, and Austria, as well as New Zealand. For further information, visit /www.challenge-wanaka.com.