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Hockey Star & Bondi Lifeguard To Race Red Bull Defiance

Former Black Stick Gemma McCaw, who represented New Zealand at three summer Olympics, has joined forces with Bondi Lifeguard Andrew Reid to compete at the Red Bull Defiance in Wanaka this January.

The gruelling two-day Red Bull Defiance will be the first full-length multisport race the pair has competed in together. Gemma McCaw says they are both excited and nervous about the upcoming event.

“ The Red Bull Defiance is something that scares us both a little bit so it's a good challenge. We are always encouraging people in the work that we both do to push themselves and go that little bit further so for us its a personal challenge but one that we can join and hopefully accomplish together.”

The Red Bull Defiance course combines endurance disciplines including off road trail running, kayaking, mountain biking and abseiling through Wanaka’s high country stations, mountains, lakes and rivers.

“ I think our strength will be in the run sections and we are looking forward to learning new skills and improving our kayaking and mountain biking during training for the event,” says Gemma.

Andrew “Reidy’ Reid is best known for his work on the hit television show Bondi Rescue. As a lifeguard and versatile athlete he is well versed in going the distance to achieve his goals.

“ What I am looking forward to the most is getting to within the last 5km of the finish line and knowing that we are going to get there – its going to be a long and exciting journey and getting that sense of completion knowing that we have managed to get through everything that Red Bull Defiance can throw at us will be amazing.”

The pair recently had a training weekend in Wanaka where they spent time with Braden Currie and champion adventure racers Sarah Fairmaid and Bob McLachlan.

“ Training with champion athletes like Braden, Sarah and Bob is great and its good to have their guidance,” says Gemma. “We still have time to get some more practice in and improve our skills particularly on the bike and in the kayak.”

Richie McCaw will also be racing in the Red Bull Defiance after completing the first bike stage in last year’s event. Gemma says there could be some friendly rivalry along the way.

“Richie did the first bike leg last year and really enjoyed it– he’s only a little bit competitive so I think he was ready to have a go the whole race and really looking forward to the two day event.”

Defending champion and event brainchild Braden Currie has also been confirmed to be racing again with Dougal Allan at the 2018 event. Last years event was one of the most challenging with unseasonal snow forcing some course changes.


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