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Brunton Shows Her Class With Race Record

28th November 2010

For immediate release from Triathlon New Zealand, for further information visit

Brunton Shows Her Class With Race Record In Opening Contact Series Race

Promising young triathlete Maddy Brunton further underlined her potential with an emphatic win in the opening round of the Contact Tri Series at the spectacular Blue Lake in Rotorua today as the 19 year old successfully defended her title in race record time under brilliant blue skies while in the men’s former ITU World Cup triathlete Callum Millward won the men’s.

Brunton brushed aside a tough course and great challenge from Megan Blackett (Auckland) to cross the line in 2 hours 29 minutes and 37 seconds, smashing the race record she set when winning last year.

“Wow, that was hard, what a tough course”, said Brunton. “The bike is so testing even with the changes to the course and Megan made it even tougher with her performance, she certainly didn’t make it easy for me; she had a great race.”

After giving up almost one minute on the swim, Brunton closed on the bike and headed out onto the 11km two lap run around Blue Lake shoulder to shoulder with Blackett, and it wasn’t long before the defending champion made a move that 19 year old Blackett had no response to.

“I moved at around 2.5k into the first lap and immediately got a gap on Megan and from then it was pretty much a case of holding it together. But I am really pleased with that, a hard workout on that sort of course is just the thing at this early stage of the season.”

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Sam Warriner was on hand to witness Brunton’s victory, as the former Olympic and multiple World Cup winner watched some of her SWEAT 7 athletes participate and helped encourage the children in the Contact 1:2:1 race. Warriner was impressed.

“There is no doubt Maddy has it all, she can go a long way in the sport and today showed she can put a great race together but importantly she showed she can run away from the opposition. ITU racing these days is very much about running and Maddy has all the physical attributes to do well, today was a great race with Megan also racing superbly.”

In the men’s race it was Callum Millward who chased down Mark Bowstead just 500m from the finish line after the Glenbrook man had led throughout the entire race. Millward paced his race perfectly with few time splits available on the bush run around the Blue Lake.

“I thought I could catch Mark on the second lap but was running on instinct as the only split I got was after one lap when Sam (Warriner) shouted out the time difference, I knew then I was gaining and had every chance of catching him. I wasn’t surprised Mark had that lead off the bike though; he is an underrated cyclist and had a great day today, working especially well on the hills. I did back myself to catch him on the run though, thinking he might have dipped into the energy jar a little too much on the bike.

“That was a tough course though, good fun but tough in the right way. At this stage of the season it’s a case of trying to get some speed in my legs and this course was perfect for that.”

Bowstead emptied the tank but ultimately came up just short of victory.

“I looked at the GPS when Callum went by on the run and it showed 10.5k and I thought ‘bugger, why couldn’t it have been a 10k run’, but I am happy with that performance and gave all I had today.”

Brunton and Millward along with most of the elites racing today will now turn their attention to Tinman next week, with Brunton again defending her title but admitting she won’t be quite the ‘unknown’ she was last year.

“I’m hoping to go well next week but I guess I can’t quietly slip into the race now, I’ll have a few people looking out for me. I’ll just keep doing my thing though, working hard and racing plenty this summer, all the time learning and picking up little bits of information to help me in the future.”

Janine Simpson (Tauranga) finished third while one of the pre-race favourites Sarah Bryant withdrew after the swim leg while young Sam Franklin came home third in the men’s race.

Over 300 participants enjoyed the stunning conditions, with the water temperature in the Blue Lake a temperate 17 degrees and overhead temperatures nudging into the high twenties with little or no wind.

Participants of all backgrounds, ages and abilities took part in events on much easier and flatter courses around the Blue Lake over distances from the Contact 1:2:1 for kids to the 3:9:3 for beginners and a sprint race over 750m swim, 20km bike and 5.5km run.

Contact Tri Series
Standard Distance Trophy Race

1500m swim, 40km bike, 11km run

Elite Women
1 Maddy Brunton Waikato 2:29:37
2 Megan Blackett Auckland 2:31:45
3 Janine Simpson Tauranga 2:35:19
Elite Men
1 Callum Millward Auckland 2:11:14
2 Mark Bowstead Glenbrook 2:11:32
3 Sam Franklin Auckland 2:15:18

Complete results for all events, including 1:2:1, 3:9:3, sprint and Duathlon National Selection race at

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