Crazyman Turns 21 On Saturday
Crazyman Turns 21 On Saturday
Almost 400 endurance junkies will line up on Petone Foreshore on Saturday morning for the 21st birthday of Wellington’s premier multisport event, the Hutt City Crazyman.
Established in 1991 the annual kayaking, mountain biking and mountain running epic is one of New Zealand’s longest running multisport events. Past winners reads like a who’s-who of multisport: world champions such as Richard Ussher, Jill Westenra, Gordon Walker, Emily Miazga, Elina Ussher, Kristina Anglem, Alex Stewart and Steve Gurney have all won the annual Lower Hutt event.
On a course that is as spectacular as it is challenging, competitors from all ends of New Zealand will open up with a 13k kayak leg along Petone Foreshore and around the eastern bays of Wellington Harbour to Eastbourne. They then swap kayaks for running shoes for an 18k mountain run over the Eastern Harbour Regional Park and Mt Lowry to Wainuiomata. The final leg is a 39k mountain bike through Wainuiomata Mountain Bike Park, along the Hutt Hills Skyline and down the Hutt River Trail to finish at the Lower Hutt Town Hall.
Favourite for the 21st birthday is Nelson’s Richard Ussher, the current multisport world champion and four-time Speight’s Coast to Coast champion. Ussher cut his teeth on the Crazyman event, taking his first major multisport win here in the year 2000. The former Wellingtonian also won the Crazyman in 2006, 2007 and 2008, and this year is looking to become the first person to win the race five times.
The 21st birthday Crazyman promises to be something of an Ussher family party, will wife Elina also the favourite for the women’s race. The Finnish-born athlete won the 2010 Speight’s Coast to Coast and was second this year. She won the Crazyman in 2006 and 2007 to be the only woman to have won more than once. This year she will be looking this year to be the first woman to win the race three times.
The most likely to challenge the Ussher family include Lower Hutt’s own Lee Campbell, who finished second last year to Nelson’s Nathan Fa’avae. Among women, Wellington up-and-comer Annabel Ramsey could surprise after an 11th place in the recent Speight’s Coast to Coast.
Others expected to shine include Marianne Archer and Sally and Helen Anderson, who are racing for their fourth consecutive win in the women’s team race. Similarly brothers Bruce, Gordon and Gary Moller will be looking to add the multisport veteran mens team title to the duathlon veteran men teams title they won last year.
Organisers are expecting close to 400 competitors for the 66km tour through the icon outdoor elements of Wellington’s Hutt City. The event includes the full kayak, run and mountain bike for teams and individuals, and also a run and mountain bike duathlon option for non-kayakers. Favourites for the duathlon include Christchurch’s Jacob Roberts and Wellington’s Kim Hamer-Hurst.
The 21st birthday Hutt City Crazyman starts at 8:00am on Saturday morning on Petone Foreshore, and entries will be taken up to 7:00pm on Friday at VIC Cycles in Lower Hutt. For further details visit www.crazyman.co.nz.