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30th Anniversary Turns On The Weather

A year ago the 30th anniversary Fine Signs Crazyman was cancelled two hours before the start due to the worst December storm ever seen in Wellington. Twelve months later the 30th event finally got under way with arguably the best conditions in the event’s 30 years.

Les Morris would know. The Wairarapa multisport enthusiast is the only person to have done every single Crazyman since the first in 1991. He was back again in 2020, helping his team take third place among veteran men.

The winner, however, was a Crazyman rookie. Hamish Elliot came all the way from Gore to tackle the Capital’s longest running multisport event. He trailed Cantabrian, Dayne McKnight through the 13k kayak across Wellington Harbour, with locals Blair Simpson and Dean Ford right behind him. But Elliot hit the front after 10k of the 28k mountain section up the Hutt River Trail and over Belmont Regional Park.

Hamish Elliot | Photo Credit: Michael Jacques

This didn’t bode well for the competition, because the run is Elliot’s strength and he duly cantered away during the final 13k down Korokoro Stream, winning ahead of Simpson and Ford in 3hrs 38min 39secs.

“That was tougher than I was expecting,” said the winner of the demanding Hutt Valley terrain. “I was really struggling at times, especially on the run.

Women’s winner, Ruth Cornelius,” had a similar experience to win the women’s race. The 42-year-old Mum trailed fellow Wellingtonian, Bailee Stratton out of the kayak, but made short work of the mountain bike to open up a 26min lead over multisport rookie, Amanda Rowe.

Ruth Cornelius | Photo Credit: Michael Jacques

Rowe, who had been only sixth out of the water, managed to claw back 13min on the run but Cornelius was a comfortable winner by 13min in 4hrs 33min 01secs. Lower Hutt’s Jo Clark was third.

Until this year’s 30th anniversary event no woman over 50 years of age had finished the full 54k kayak, mountain bike and run event. This year there were four, with Dunedin’s Lisa Thompson taking line honours in 5hrs 53min 43secs.

Indeed, females 50 and older stole the limelight in 2020. Whanganui’s 62-year-old Maura Skilton was the eldest finisher among men or women, while Blenheim’s Karen O’Brien shrugged off a cancer scare to finish her first multisport race in more than 10 years.

Karen O’Brien | Photo Credit: Michael Jacques

The Hutt City Crazyman is one of New Zealand’s longest-running multisport races. More than 200 athletes from as far afield as Southland and Auckland lined up for the Lower Hutt event. Race day in 2021 is scheduled for Sunday December 5th.

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