Rising NZ Star set for huge 2018 Port of Tauranga Half
Rising NZ Star set for huge 2018 Port of Tauranga Half this
The rising star of long distance triathlon in New Zealand, Mike Phillips is heading north this Saturday to take part in the Port of Tauranga Half, presented by Compressport, aiming to continuing his current run of impressive form.
Mike Phillips make the triathlon community take notice on 30 September last year when he came a close second at IRONMAN Barcelona, with the world’s quickest IRONMAN debut time of 7:52:50. This was also the second fastest Kiwi Ironman time ever recorded, and gave Mike valuable points to qualify for Hawaii Ironman World Championships 2018.
He backed up this performance with a victory in the Taupo 70.3 event in December, establishing him as the favourite for this year’s Port of Tauranga Half.
His entry into Saturday’s race sets up an intriguing battle against the country’s long-distance legend – Cameron Brown, as well as two-time champion Graham O’Grady, 2010 winner Michael Poole, Australian Alexander Polizzi, and well-performed NZ triathletes Simon Cochrane and Dylan McNeice.
Despite his favourite tag, Mike Phillips believes the race is wide open saying - “I haven’t raced a lot of the guys on the list as I have normally been competing in the South Island at this time of year. Cameron Brown has a stellar track record up there, and a lot of the other guys are more than capable of winning, so it should be an exciting race. “
Phillips went on to say – “Graham O’Grady and Michael Poole have won in Tauranga before. Dylan McNeice has been putting in some big miles lately and is very experienced. But if Cameron is there on the run he will be the man to beat.”
Mike Phillips is looking to make amends for his previous entry into the Port of Tauranga, saying – “I had a shocking swim and then had a flat tire I couldn’t fix, so I was keen to come back and try and put in a good performance in one of NZs iconic long course races. It is also good timing for me in the lead up to Ironman NZ in March.”
Phillips is pleased with his recent training which bodes well for a strong performance this Saturday, saying – “I have had a good block of training since Taupo 70.3 in December”
He spends his summers in Christchurch NZ, where he is coached by the highly regarded John Hellemans. In between training he also works part time as Structural Engineer at BAT Structures working on the Canterbury re-build. During New Zealand winters Mike heads overseas to Europe for 3 months of intensive training & racing.
He starts as favourite in
the men’s division of this year’s Port of Tauranga Half,
presented by Compressport, in an intriguing battle between
this rising star and long distance legend – Cameron Brown
and a host of other former winners. The event starts at
7:30am on Saturday, 20 January at Pilot Bay, Mt