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Karen Hanlen – wanting for more than a hat trick

Karen Hanlen – wanting for more than a hat trick

The Contact Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge team is thrilled to welcome back champion New Zealand mountain biker, Karen Hanlen who’ll be in Taupō on 29th November looking for a hat trick at this month’s women’s Contact Huka XL elite mountain bike event.

It’s one of the events most challenging rides and only open to licensed riders – a significant achievement for Karen, a working mother of two based in Whakatane who started her mountain biking on a second hand bike in 2011 and has become a NZ champion.

“The XL is a good honest 85km ride on a great track,” she says. “And it’s a really good build up to the coming season”.

“I love the atmosphere, the organisation of the event – it’s all wonderful and is a perfect fit for a long big ride.”

Diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma in March and following surgery to treat diseased blood vessels Karen says she’s fit, focused and looking forward to the Contact Huka XL ride as well as to holding on to her winning podium finish.

After cycle challenge Karen hopes to do well in the forthcoming nationals and Oceania games before competing in cross country and mountain biking events in Australia and the USA.

Her advice to anyone wanting to start is to just get out and do it – even though she’s a busy person, she’s adjusted her lifestyle to fit in training as well as work and important family time.

This year, Karen’s two children aged five and seven are entering the 5km Kids Heart Ride event for the first time.

“Karen is another inspiring athlete and it’s wonderful that she’s returning this year. We wish her the best on event day” says Contact Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge Event Director, Kay Brake.

You can find out all you need to know about the Contact Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge at

About Contact Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge
The Contact Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge is NZ’s largest cycling event. More than 8,000 riders from New Zealand and 20 countries across the globe take part each year.

The Contact Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge is best known for its 160-km Bike Barn Solo, the one-lap circumnavigation of Lake Taupo, although this is just one of 20 categories on offer, with both road cycling and mountain bike options for individuals and teams, catering to all levels of cycling and fitness abilities.


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