Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Jo Lawn wins first race of the year on ISM Racing

Jo Lawn and Michael Poole victorious in Whangamata

3/01/2010 2:53:10 p.m.


Whangamata turned on a searing hot day for round two of the Contact Tri Series and it was a case of an athlete of the present and an athlete of the future standing out with Ironman legend Jo Lawn winning the women’s race and teenage rising star Michael Poole the men’s.

Lawn won from rising star and winner of round one of the Contact Series in Rotorua Maddy Brunton while Poole managed to hold out a fast finishing Ryan Sissons.

Lawn made a late decision to race Whangamata, treating it as a great lead in to next weekend’s Port of Tauranga Half Ironman. It turned out to be a great decision.

“I just went as hard as I possibly could today. I guess being an Ironman I knew I would have the endurance but certainly wasn’t sure about the speed against some of the younger girls, they are just fantastic.

“Once off the bike this run is so tough running on the sand, you have to be strong so that maybe suited me today. To be honest though training hasn’t been great for the past month with mum in hospital I’ve just had to be very positive and take each day as it comes.”

Lawn now focuses on the Port of Tauranga Half Ironman next week, a race she traditionally races well in.

“I’ll just keep ticking away this week and look to have a positive day in Tauranga next week, this has been a great hit out and a great start to the year.”

Brunton worked hard knowing she was up against a triathlon superstar.

“The heat was so hard out there today, the heat and the sand got to me, I’m absolutely exhausted and couldn’t have given any more today and that is all I can ask against someone like Jo and in these conditions.”

Rebecca Kingsford finished in third place.

Meanwhile 19 year old Poole is enjoying a stellar summer and has marked his name as one to watch for the future. For now though he is a comfortable leader in the Contact Tri Series with two wins from two races.

“I am really thrilled given I have been doing plenty of base and endurance work and not much speed so to win two from two is fantastic. I was more worried about Ryan chasing me down but Stephen was also racing well after suffering some injury problems and it wasn’t until halfway on the run that I caught him.”

Pre-race favourite Ryan Sissons was fast closing on Poole throughout the run but ran out of real estate as the heavy training mileage took a toll against the younger Poole.

“Got on to the bike and the legs were just flat, I couldn’t find a rhythm and tried to stay as close as I could to Mike and Stephen because I knew I was running really well. It came down to a close finish and maybe with another two hundred metres I might have had him but well done to Michael, he raced really well.”

Sheldrake held on for third, a great result for the 36 year old given he wasn’t sure if he would even finish today as he returns from major knee surgery and a busy schedule as Assistant National Coach with Tri NZ.

The day was a huge success for the sport with close to 500 competitors continuing the strong growth the sport experienced in 2009. Significantly on the day the Contact 1:2:1 for children proved extremely popular with close to 100 turning out to the cheers of mums and dads and family supporters and there were a great many participants in the Contact 3:9:3 for entry level triathletes.

Those children included Joshua and Braeden Brown with proud Dad Cameron amongst the family support crew cheering the boys to the finish line. Brown was unable to race due to a nagging calf injury but is on the road to recovery as he contemplates defending his Ironman NZ title in March.

Contact Tri Series

Contact Trophy – Female
1500m swim; 40km bike; 10km run

1 Jo Lawn Auckland 2:07:55
2 Maddy Brunton Waikato 2:10:56
3 Rebecca Kingsford Tirau 2:12:58
4 Janine Simpson Auckland 2:16:45
5 Teresa Adam Auckland 2:17:45

Contact Trophy – Male

1 Michael Poole Auckland 1:58:02
2 Ryan Sissons Auckland 1:58:12
3 Stephen Sheldrake Gisborne 1:59:09
4 Edward Rawles Inglewood 1:59:20
5 Cameron Goldsmid Wellington 2:02:03

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