For 19 years the HuttValleyNZ.com Crazyman has been a highlight on New Zealand’s multisport calendar. Previous winners have included multisport and adventure racing world champions such as Steve Gurney, Jill Westenra, Gordon Walker, Emily Miazga and Richard and Elina Ussher. But in 2009 the 66k kayak, running and mountain biking race unearthed some new stars for the national scene.
This year’s 19th HuttValleyNZ.com Crazyman was meant to be another husband and wife field day for Richard and Elina Ussher. But when both failed to start following a late return from racing in China, the race appeared wide open.
Among men, local standout Glenn Muirhead, a former top 10 placegetter at the Coast to Coast world title race, took over the favourites tag. And the former Hurricanes Super 14 physiotherapist, who was renowned for being fitter than the team he looked after, certainly looked every bit the winner in the opening kilometres.
On a glassy Wellington Harbour the 40 year old was first to finish the 13k kayak from Petone to Eastbourne, hitting the beach just over a minute ahead of Wellington rep runner-turned-multisporter James Coubrough, and Napier standout Rick Martin. But Muirhead faltered on the 18k run over Mt Lowry to Wainuiomata.
James Coubrough wasted no time in capitalising on Muirhead’s demise. The former Wellington champion runner and recreational kayaker has been meddling with multisport over summer and when he finished the run with a 10min lead the race looked over.
But someone forgot to tell Hamilton’s Neil Parkinson. Once into the final 36k mountain bike section the 27 year old totally dominated the race, riding nine minutes faster than Muirhead and a massive eighteen minutes faster than Coubrough to claim his first big win on the national multisport scene.
Parkinson crossed the Lower Hutt Town Hall finish line eight minutes clear of Coubrough, stopping the clock in 4hrs 32min 03secs. For his part, the humble Hamiltonian thanked the absent Richard Ussher for giving others a chance, but with a winning time just a few minutes slower than Ussher recorded the previous year, Parkinson has announced his arrival on the national scene.
In third place Glen Muirhead couldn’t quite make up what he lost on the run, finishing three further back in third place. But the 40-year took consolation in smashing the veteran men’s record, clocking 4hrs 43min 43secs to win by a massive 46min.
The other big win of the day was the women’s race when Nelson’s Helen Chittenden surprised even herself to clock the first major win of her career.
With Elina Ussher scratching the day before, recent Xterra winner Nic Leary was expected to romp away with the win. But it was Chittenden who showed out first, finishing the kayak section just over two minutes ahead of Leary.
As expected, Leary took control on the run. But only just. Unbeknown to her rivals, the Palmerston North mountain bike specialist was suffering the affects of a virus and while she eventually caught Chittenden to finish the run with more than a minute in hand, the exhausted leader declined to mount her mountain bike for the final 36k to the finish line.
This left Chittenden with an automatic lead, and the 33 year old cruised the final mountain bike for a comfortable 18-minute win in 5hrs 33min 36secs. Nelson enjoyed a successful day in the Capital City, with Irene Minchin claiming third behind Wellington’s Megan Lowen, while father and son pairing Ben and Rob Davidson took out the corporate team section in the associated duathlon.
In other categories Wellingtonians Steven Reid, Ian McFarlane and Matt Farrah claimed the multisport veteran men’s section in the fastest time of the day of 4hrs 29min 28secs. The top team performance of the day, however, belonged to the only female team entry of Marianne Archer, and twins Sally and Helen Anderson.
Archer, in fact, had one of the standout performances of the entire race when she was claimed first place overall on the kayak section in a women’s kayak record of 1hr 03min 20secs. Sally Anderson then put up the fastest female run of the day, which left sister Helen backed up on the mountain bike to give their all-women team the overall ninth fastest time of the day.
The most impressive performance of the day, however, may well have been duathlon winner Scott Thorne. The recent runner up at Xterra had only teams for company when he romped over the course in a duathlon race record 3hrs 07min 03secs, which sparked comments of what might happen if Thorne got himself a kayak.
Almost 350 people turned out in ideal conditions. The 66k tour around Lower Hutt’s icon outdoor elements celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2010.
Lower Hutt, May 2
Multisport Individual – Kayak 13k, Mountain Run 13k, Mountain Bike 36k.
1, Neil Parkinson, Hamilton, 4:32:03;
2, James Coubrough, Wellington, 4:40:13;
3, Rick Martin, Napier, 5:08:50;
4, Matt Ellery, Nelson, 5:15:14;
5, Jono Humphries, Wanganui, 5:15:20.
1, Helen Chittenden, Nelson, 5:33:36;
2, Megan Lowen, Wellington, 5:51:34;
3, Irene Minchin, Nelson, 6:48:28.
1, Glen Muirhead, Wellington, 4:43:43;
2, Paul Healey, Wellington, 5:25:09;
3, Juan Warner, Wellington, 5:25:12.
1, Nicholas Green, Ashhurst, 6:06:22;
2, Dave Thorburn, Wellington, 6:10:35;
3, Ray Woodhouse, Upper Hutt, 5:56:42.
Multisport Teams – Kayak 13k, Mountain Run 13k, Mountain Bike 36k.
1, Jono Allsop, Daniel Lander, Mike Brough, Wellington, 4:43:45;
2, Sam Ingles, Josh Herron, John Kennedy, Wellington, 4:57:17;
3, Carterton, Terry Blackburn, Ian Bowie, Kevin Leevers, 5:04:21.
1, Marianne Avery, Sally Anderson, Helen Anderson, Porirua/Wellington, 4:58:33.
1, Steve Reid, Ian McFarlane, Matt Farrah, Wellington, 4:29:28;
2, Warren Shervey, Dave Norris, Dave Shanks, Wellington, 4:38:47;
3, Matt Archer, Eric Waterson, Thomo Nicholson, Wellington, 4:41:30.
1, Melanie Grant, Paul Helm, Nick Warring, Lower Hutt, 4:35:48;
2, Jacinta Gould, Rob Gould, Silas Cullen, Wellington, 5:13:38;
3, Jo Holden, Julie Gorson, Chris Sherwood, Wellington, Lower Hutt, 5:20:55.
1, Wellington Dental Practise, Jeff Booth, Jeff Annan, Warren Cho, Wellington, 5:00:34;
2, Cuttris Pro, Seager Mason, Tom O’Flaherty, Carl Wilson, Lower Hutt, 5:25:18;
3, Cuttris Plus, Rob Harvey, Kris Gough, Andy Hill, Lower Hutt, 5:43:26.
Duathlon Individual – Mountain Run 13k, Mountain Bike 36k.
1, Scott Thorn, Hamilton, 3:07:03;
2, Alex Revell, Wellington, 3:21:40;
3, Justin Bangma, Lower Hutt, 3:38:21;
4, Andrew McRae, Wellington, 3:46:06;
5, Nick Crocker, Wellington, 3:51:13.
1, Marjolein Ros, Wellington, 4:01:39;
2, Suzette Nicholson, Lower Hutt, 4:24:28;
3, Kris Jarvis, Wellington, 4:50:46.
1, Thomas Zink, Wellington, 3:58:12;
2, Dave DellaBarca, Lower Hutt, 4:12:02;
3, Tom Hirst, Upper Hutt, 4:20:12.
1, Deborah Archibald, Upper Hutt, 5:13:34.
1, Marco Renalli, Lower Hutt, 3:55:34;
2, John Gardiner, Wellington, 4:35:07;
3, Michael Roach, Wellington, 5:16:20.
1, James Robbin, Wellington, 4:06:37;
2, Rory Hart, Wellington, 4:17:24;
3, William McCormack, Wellington, 4:39:50.
Duathlon Teams – Mountain Run 18k, Mountain Bike 36k.
1, Daniel Clendon, Tony Keith, Wellington, 3:01:14;
2, Gavin McCarthy, Jodon Blake, Lower Hutt, 3:03:12;
3, Brendon Mai, Steve Kaiser, Wellington, 3:21:34.
1, Jo Badham, Vicki O’Conner, Wellington, 4:14:00;
2, Jacinta Swain, Michelle Duffy, Lower Hutt, 4:14:37;
3, Emma Peterson, Corin Verstegen, Wellington, 4:25:11.
1, Gordon Moller, Gary Moller, Wellington, 3:34:49;
2, Gordon Collier, Jonathan Halliwell, Wellington, 3:38:55;
3, Dave Banks, John Willmer, Wellington, 3:43:57.
1, Anna Tyler, Jaquita Bradshaw, Wellington, 4:37:58;
2, Siobhan Quayle, Kaylene Wilson, Wellington, 5:12:57.
1, Kirsty Berry, Rodney Wallace, Wellington, 3:45:28;
2, Megan Gallen, Craig Ready, Porirua, 3:55:39;
3, Lisa Irving, Brett Irving, Paraparaumu, 3:59:56.
1, Davidson Environmental, Ben Davidson, Rob Davidson, Nelson, 3:45:30;
2, Harris Stratex, John Justice, Richard Malley, Lower Hutt, 3:45:51;
3, Wellington City Council, Carline Thomas, Chris Cameron, Wellington, 4:01:05.
Fastest Kayak – 13k
Men, Glen Muirhead, Wellington, 1:03:20;
Women, Marianne Archer, Porirua, 1:03:20.
Fastest Run – 18k
Men, Daniel Clendon, Wellington, 1:19:39;
Women, Sally Anderson, Wellington, 1:38:59.
Fastest Mountain Biker – 36k
Men, Gavin McCarthy, Lower Hutt, 1:36:34;
Women, Lisa Morgan, Upper Hutt, 2:04:46.
Full provisional results attached. Event website here: http://www.crazyman.co.nz