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The Usshers Sweep 21st Birthday Crazyman

The Usshers Sweep 21st Birthday Crazyman

Husband and wife duo Richard and Elina Ussher swept all before them when winning one of the longest running multisport events on the calendar in Lower Hutt on Saturday.

Almost 400 endurance junkies from all ends of New Zealand lined up in Lower Hutt this weekend for the 21st Hutt City Crazyman. Established in 1991, the list of past winners is like a who’s-who of the sport: world champions such as Ussher, Jill Westenra, Gordon Walker, Emily Miazga, Kristina Anglem, Alex Stewart and Steve Gurney have all won the annual Lower Hutt event. The Usshers, world champions both, dominated from start to finish.

Richard Ussher first burst on to the scene in 2000 when the retired Olympic skier won the Crazyman after less than six months in the sport. Since then he has gone on to be one of the world’s best multisporters and adventure racers, winning five world titles.

Wellington threw up a blustery southerly squall on race morning, which forced organisers to implement an alternative kayak section for safety reasons. On the opening 18k mountain run over Lower Hutt’s Mt Lowry, Ussher trailed only the fastest team runner, James Richardson from Canada, and led individuals by a massive 15 minute over last year’s Crazyman runner-up, Lee Campbell.

On the 39k mountain bike through Wainuiomata mountain bike park and along the Eastern Hutt Skyline and back down the Hutt River Trail, Ussher shrugged off a heavy crash caused by a puncture as he approached a steep drop-off and started the final 10k on the Hutt River with 30min in hand.

While Ussher’s fifth win in the Hutt City Crazyman was never in doubt, his total domination of the field was. He crossed the Lower Hutt Town Hall finish line in 4hrs 06min 29secs and 32min ticked by before Lower Hutt’s Lee Campbell claimed second for the second year in a row. Third place among men went to Porirua’s Martin Leighton, but the third place individual overall was cause for surprise.

Elina Ussher put up one of her best efforts since moving from cross-country skiing to multisport six years ago. The Finnish-born former world champion won her third Crazyman title, but did so by claiming third overall in a fast 4hrs 46min 18secs to finish 35min clear of Lower Hutt up-and-comer Annabel Ramsey, and only 40min behind husband Richard.

In other racing, team standouts included sisters Helen and Sally Anderson once again teaming with Marianne Archer to win the women’s team section for the fourth straight year. Similarly dominant were brothers Gordon, Gary and Bruce Moller, who defended their veteran team title. The fastest team was Capital Sports Med of Tina Harris, Glen Muirhead and Trevor Woodward, who won their mixed team category in 4hrs 08min 36secs.

Full results at

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