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Nelsonians Dominate Crazyman’s Quarter Century

Nelsonians Dominate Crazyman’s Quarter Century

Nelsonians took the spoils at Wellington’s premier multisport race as more than 300 participants from all ends of the country took on the 25th Hutt City Crazyman.

On a brilliantly blue and windless day everyone agreed that you’d have been crazy to miss out on 2015’s 25th Hutt City Crazyman.

Finnish-born multisport star, Elina Ussher, certainly thought so. Ussher raced to her fifth Crazyman title in 10 years. The Nelson-based professional won here in 2006, 2007, 2011 and 2014. But her return in 2015 was especially impressive because the 39 year old smashed the race record by some 15 minutes.

On a course that is as spectacular as it is challenging, competitors from as far afield as Wanaka and Melbourne lined up for the 13k kayak, 30k mountain bike and 13k trail run.

A year ago Ussher had narrowly missed the race record held by current multisport world champion Jess Simson. But taking advantage of superb conditions, the defending champion led from start to finish to win in 4hrs 25min 43secs.

In second place, Wanaka’s Ailsa Rollinson also broke the old record. After trailing by eight minutes off the water, Rollinson was fastest of the individual women on the testing mountain bike course through Belmont Regional Park. But on the spectacular run through the Korokoro Dam area she lost another two minutes to Ussher and eventually finished 10min down in 4hrs 36min 25secs.

Another Nelsonian, Naomi Whitehead, was never far behind and eventually nabbed third in 4hrs 42min 44secs, some 10min clear of first Wellingtonian Lizzy Bunckenberg.

The men’s race also saw Nelsonians filling first and third, but only after a torrid battle created by mechanical problems on the mountain bike section.

If it wasn’t for breaking his chain not once but twice, Trevor Voyce would be the new record holder. After finishing the kayak section 37secs behind Nelson’s Dan Busch, the chain on Voyce’ mountain bike snapped in the first few pedal strokes. He lost five minutes, which as it happened was exactly the gap to 2013 Hutt City Crazyman winner Luke Osborne (Hastings).

The two started the mountain bike within a few seconds, with Osborne pushing the pace up the 452m high Boulder Hill when Voyce broke his chain yet again. Meanwhile, still leading by a minute at the end of the mountain bike section Dan Busch was looking like he might nab an upset win. Osbourne would eventually pass him midway through the 13k run. But Trevor Voyce came from nowhere to pass them both with a storming run to win in 3hrs 54min 18secs.

In a race that has something for everyone the 25th anniversary was personified by Les Morris, who has participated in the Hutt City Crazyman in very one of those 25 years. At the other end of the spectrum Nelson’s 14 year old Cameron Jones was the youngest ever finisher. Wellington Peter Sutton was the eldest finish at 64.

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