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Whatever happened to... the 1994 World Champs team?
As the Queenstown Worlds loom large on the horizon, many have wondered what happened to the 199-strong team that raced for New Zealand in 1994’s Wellington Worlds.
Jim Cornish* (9th in Wellington) was NZ’s oldest team-member. Despite two hip replacements he still exercises and, under John Hellemans’ guidance, will represent NZ for the seventh time in Queenstown.
Olympian Bill Baillie (Bronze) hasn’t competed seriously since his 65th year when he did IMNZ and IM Europe, finishing the Roth race in 12-15. He is currently “ticking over” while waiting for his 70th year to again chase age-group medals.
Michael Dalton (9th) and Gilbert Cole (29th) have both developed arthritic knees in recent years, curtailing their running but not their exercise habits. Gilbert coaches and competes in a kayak, while Michael swims and also cycles over Auckland’s Waitakere Hills to keep fit.
Alan McGregor (20th) competed at three more Worlds before a knee replacement halted his running. He still swims and cycles, and is looking at getting competitive this winter with the Whakatane cycle club.
Dave Blackie (17th) has concentrated on Ironman racing since Wellington, finishing IMNZ in 1997 and 2000 (where he was “tail-end Charlie”) and IMOZ in 1998, while pulling out of 1999’s IM Canada on the run. Despite heart problems Dave is still looking to add to his 8 IMNZ finishes and eventually make the “Ten Club”.
Former TriNZ Secretary Robin Foubister (23rd) has also had heart problems, but still looks back fondly on his triathlon days as he walks his dog near his Muriwai home.
NZ’s oldest female competitor in Wellington, North Harbour Tri Club committee member Judy Barfoot* (4th) has not eased off, racing IMNZ twice, Kona once, and winning the 60-64 age-group at 1999’s Long Distance Worlds in Sweden.
Bob Goddard* (Gold) has four other golds in his collection of seven Worlds medals, the most recent being silver from Edmonton in 2001. Bob has found injuries more difficult to recover from in recent years, but still looks forward to each new season with keen anticipation.
Keith Pearce (6th) now lives in Forster, NSW, home of IMOZ. In 2002 he won the 65-69 age group in his ‘home’ race and then finished fourth in Kona. Keith hopes to return across the Tasman to race his third IMNZ soon.
Despite struggling with motivation in recent years Tony Jackson (15th) is one of only two people to have completed every IMNZ. Also involved in coaching marathon and Ironman athletes, Tony is keenly anticipating the 20th IMNZ in 2004.
Another IMNZ regular is Laurie Wesley (31st), who has raced four times since 1997 including winning the 65-69 age-group in 2002. A talented runner, Laurie counts age-group silver at the 2002 Rotorua Marathon among his proudest achievements.
After Wellington, Colin Jarvis (19th) swapped triathlon for mountain-biking where his favourite achievement was “finishing the Karapoti Challenge despite breaking a hip several kilometres from the end”. An Auckland motelier, Colin runs as often as his “old man’s shuffle” will allow.
Mike Walker (dnf) has finished four Taupo rides and three Rotorua marathons since 1994, and is a regular competitor at Bay of Plenty triathlons.
Jeremy Griffiths (13th) remains active in all three tri-sports, despite a nasty horse-riding accident a couple of years ago, while Ron Idema (24th) still swims three times a week and mountain bikes whenever he can.
Having won IMNZ age-group gold last year Jacky Tasker* (13th) repeated the win in Kona by over an hour, despite an arthritic ankle making the run difficult. Jacky is also a veteran of the 1997 Perth Worlds and will again compete alongside son Glen in Queenstown.
Tom Bricklebank (Bronze) has focused on cycling in recent years, spending a month in Belgium last European summer training for and then competing at the UCI World Vets Champs in Austria. In his age-group of over 100 riders Tom, who recorded a 4-09 Taupo ride aged 59, finished third in the time trial and eighth in the road race.
Allan Bridge (22nd) moved into officiating after Wellington, refereeing four Ironman races and the 1997 Auckland ITU race. Two knee operations have slowed his running, but Vets cycling, race-walking, sprint triathlons and tramping keep him fit.
Another to enjoy tramping is Max Clark* (9th) who annually tramps between Easter and October, returning to triathlon for the summer. A national champion at sprint, standard and Half Ironman distances, Max lists his greatest achievement as “finishing a half Ironman without walking”.
Chairman of Wellington’s organising committee Eddie Bright (24th) has remained in sports administration with his current role being General Manager of the Central Region Academy of Sport. Eddie still cycles and also coaches several triathletes and cyclists.
The 95/6 summer saw Jon Freeland-Smith (12th) hold national titles at all four distances from Sprint to Ironman. Jon has helped organise the Motu Challenge and has a long association with the juniors in Whakatane where he still completes the annual sprint triathlon.
Having survived hepatitis in 1997, popular Blenheim athlete Noel Hawkins (23rd) died of a heart attack while on a training run in 1999.
Heart problems also curtailed the competitive career of Gaye Alexander (24th), but triathlon has still helped her see the world as traveling companion for daughter and elite triathlete, Heidi.
Steve Bowker (Silver) ended a run of five consecutive Worlds (including three silvers) at Cancun in 1995. More recently he has completed some entry-level multisport events near his Whangarei home.
Bruce Tyrrell (6th) is keen to stay in the sport but, as he puts it, “old triathletes don’t give up, they just get more injuries”.
Neither Bob Andrew (26th) nor Wayne Hamilton (37th) have been involved in triathlon or any form of organised exercise for several years. Completing the 50-54 team was Roger Dickson (21st).
A veteran of 34 Ironman races including eight top-five finishes in Kona, Tiare Lund* (10th) is a New Zealand triathlon legend. In Queenstown Tiare will be chasing her ninth medal from 13 starts at standard-distance Worlds.
Another habitual Ironman, Peter Elbourn (18th) has competed in 15 of the last 16 IMNZ races, while the most recent of Sue Newell’s (18th) six Ironman finishes was a fourth in 2000 despite riding 130km with only one pedal. Sue dreams of a third visit to Kona but is currently concentrating on final exams for her IT degree.
Ross Allen* (42nd) won seven age-group medals at 2002’s World Firefighter Games including a triathlon gold to go with his gold at 2001’s World Services Games (for all emergency and armed services). A veteran of three triathlon Worlds, Ross has also competed at three yachting world champs.
Lynn Cameron (21st) is an international weight-lifting referee who has officiated at the Sydney Olympics, Manchester Commonwealths, and Worlds in Thailand, South Africa, Finland and the States. Lynn received the Award for Refereeing at the 2001 Maori Sports Awards.
Queensland-based Jenny Tanner (6th) and Adelaide’s Hillary Wheeler (25th), now Hillary Hazell, both represented Australia at the 2002 Cancun Worlds, finishing 2nd in the 55-59 and 32nd in the 50-54 age-groups respectively. Jenny raced Kona three times in the mid-1990’s, while Hillary ran last year’s Honolulu marathon.
Ray Hewlett (31st) has completed IMNZ three times since 1994 and in 1998 also raced Kona. He runs the Rotorua marathon each year and has enjoyed podium finishes in the three-day cycle race at the Wanganui Masters Games.
Ray’s wife Judy Hewlett (17th), a former national roller skating rep, has foregone triathlon’s competitive side but still cycles and runs for fitness with the occasional masters cycle race thrown in.
Since Wellington, George Hilgeholt* (12th) has won Ironman, Half-Ironman, and standard races in NZ, Australia, Switzerland and the States. He harbours dreams of IM Lanzarote and a return to Kona.
Sue Gebbie* (11th) remains highly competitive with an age-group second at the Tauranga Half Ironman this season and a win at Tinman. A North Harbour Triathlon Club committee member, Sue also found time to win her age-group at IMNZ 2001.
Carol Lightfoot* (37th) survived a nasty “bike versus Rottweiller” training accident to win bronze at the 1998 Gay Games in Amsterdam, a result she repeated at the 2002 version in Sydney.
An arthritic hip forced Malcolm McAlpine (7th) to stop running soon after his third IMNZ in 1998. He still swims and cycles but regrets not taking any of his three chances to race Kona.
Swapping endurance for speed, Doug Anderson (37th) now trains for the 100m, 200m and 400m on the track. He runs 100m “in the low 12 seconds” and last year won the 50-54 age-group national 400m title.
Gary Picard (13th) is a veteran of the Auckland-Wellington cycle race and has also done the 2 lap, 3 lap and 6½ lap (1000 km) events at Taupo. Gary hopes to complete the 1200km Paris-Brest-Paris race in the future.
Another Taupo veteran is Dianne Rutene (15th) who has completed the single loop at least eight times. Diane still occasionally cycles in multisport teams, but for the last four years has mainly kept fit by belly dancing at shows and parties around Masterton.
John Smart (15th) won his age-group at IMNZ in 1999 and still runs the odd relay for Auckland University’s Harriers club.
Multisport specialist Stella Sweney (Bronze) competed in Wellington to “test myself against the swimmers”. The only individual woman to compete in 1987’s inaugural one day Coast-to-Coast, Timaru-based Stella still swims, runs, cycles, paddles, and skis.
Wellington was the swansong for Ken Parker (27th), bringing an end to a competitive career that had included five Ironman races including one Kona finish. Meanwhile, after an absence of six years Peter Gibbs (41st) returned to triathlon last year, finishing fifth at the Nelson selection race and 16th at Nationals.
Murray O’Donnell (Silver) was fifth at the 1997 Perth Worlds but apart from a few small events in Tauranga hasn’t competed seriously since. A new father, Murray and his family are now living in Oxford while Julie Warren (20th) is nearby in London where she “enjoys running recreationally without the pressure of serious competition”.
Completing the 45-49 team was Paul Smith (dnf) who is believed to now be living in Australia.
Five-time World Champion and all-round multisport legend John Hellemans* (Gold) will be looking to add a sixth title in Queenstown. In between coaching many of this country’s best athletes, John completed 2001’s Mizone length-of-NZ race and then wrote a book about his experiences.
Another keen multisporter, Ron Wastney (45th) teaches 8-day Coast-to-Coast kayak courses, is the Kahurangi Mountain Classic race director, and is a Nelson triathlon club committee member.
Hutt Multisports Club founding member Marguerite Christophers (14th) is still heavily involved at club level but restricts her own exercise to hill and mountain running. Meanwhile, 1991’s age-group World Champ Ray Edwards (Silver) now gets his sporting kicks “hooning on a mountain bike” in the central North Island.
In 1996 Bruce Dellow (8th) won age-group gold in Noosa, but within weeks was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Despite surgery and radiotherapy Bruce remained physically active until his death in November 1997.
Deputy Chief Judge of the Waitangi Tribunal Wilson Isaac (23rd) hasn’t completed a triathlon since 1996 but keeps fit through cycling, completing the 2002 Taupo ride in 5hrs 17mins.
Finding time to train is difficult for full-time teacher Alison McQueen* (15th) but this hasn’t stopped her racing to top five positions at Worlds in Montreal in 1999 and Edmonton in 2001. More recently she finished second at the Nationals.
Ashburton athletes Nola Smitheram* (Bronze) and Julie Rooney* (8th) are Worlds regulars. Since 1993 Julie has missed only Cleveland in 1996, while Nola repeated bronze at Lausanne in 1998 and added a top-ten finish at Edmonton in 2001. When away from triathlon, Nola cross-trains by tramping, mountain biking and skiing.
Former North Harbour Triathlon Club president Jo Stallard (25th) stopped competing in 1997 but returned to Worlds in the management team in 1997, 1998 and 1999. Jo also served for three years on the TriNZ executive until 1999.
Lorene Smith (4th) and Maggie Ward* (9th) are Auckland triathlon stalwarts with Maggie counting the Perth worlds, IMNZ and Kona appearances as highlights of a distinguished career, while Lorene is a two-time age-group winner at IMNZ. However, arguably Lorene’s greatest sporting feat came in May 2002 when she set the lightweight 50-59 indoor rowing 2000m world record.
IMNZ regular Cor Story (32nd) has finished 14 events including an age-group win in 2001. Every 4 or 5 years Cor returns to Holland for a season’s short-course racing, a trip he is contemplating for 2004 when he changes age-group.
Self-confessed “recovering Ironman addict” Rod Hibbert (16th) is now focused on paddling waka ama boats. With his Gisborne-based team, he will be competing at next year’s waka-Worlds in Hawaii.
Mike Summerlee* (17th) is a Canterbury running, duathlon and triathlon regular, comfortably qualifying for Queenstown. Fellow Cantab Kevin Pyne* (15th) was plagued by injuries after qualifying for the 2000 Perth Worlds, but has bounced back to also qualify for Queenstown.
Garry (25th) and Corrina Turner (17th : 35-39) spent last winter cycling 10,000km from Napier to Darwin before settling in Cairns to manage a tourist park. Both still compete, with Corrina finishing third at IMOZ last year.
Dian Bell* (6th) completed five consecutive Worlds culminating in a silver medal in Perth in 1997. These days she is part of Wellington’s strong vet cycling scene.
Geoff Keenan (14th) and Bev Dickie (30th) have also focused on cycling in recent years, with both describing themselves as ‘competitive’ on the vets scene. Bev lists gold at 2001’s Wanganui Masters Games 3-day tour as a highlight alongside her recent Outward Bound experience.
Maureen Lawson (19th) now lives in Te Puke and hasn’t competed for many years after becoming “burnt out” following Wellington.
Terry Clough (47th) completed the 40-44 team.
Karen Williams* (Bronze) is an ever-present at the Tauranga Half Ironman, has completed 21 Ironman races and has a list of age-group victories and placings as long as the proverbial arm. Recent form includes age-group wins at the Tauranga Half and in Auckland’s Peoples Series.
After first switching to mountain biking, Jo Holden (8th) is now focused on adventure racing, competing in both the 2001 and 2002 Southern Traverses among other races.
Andrea (20th) and Greg Eden (29th) no longer compete, but both run and cycle socially near their Taranaki home. Raewyn Flitcroft. (16th) also says that her competitive days are behind her, but in recent years has won North Island and National masters swim titles. She also runs for the Wellington Harriers.
Apart from a team entry in the 2001 Queenstown Half Ironman, Glenys Henshaw (21st) has left triathlon. Glenys lists “learning to snow ski” as her greatest recent sporting achievement.
Tony Hood (26th) has completed IMNZ five times with a best of 10-03 in 1999. He has also completed the 67km Kepler Challenge.
Duathlon specialist Graeme Pearson (10th) has completed the last two IMNZ races but has now “sworn off races over 6 hours”. A team-member during both the 2001 Mizone race and 2003 Coast-to-Coast, Graeme finished fourth at the recent Xterra race and is keen to race more of the same format overseas.
After winning his age-group at the 2002 Nationals, “general wear and tear” forced Gerard Maarhuis (22nd) into a knee operation and a “hopefully just temporary” break in his triathlon career.
Judith Saxton* (11th), now Judith Taylor, raced the 1997 Perth Worlds before qualifying for Hawaii at 1999’s IMNZ. After a two year break, Christchurch-based Taylor won this year’s Nelson qualifier and finished fourth at Nationals.
Motherhood saw Dorothy McPhail* (10th) swap triathlon competition for administration in 1997. Secretary of the Canterbury triathlon club since then, Dorothy has also successfully returned to competition this season.
After a third place at IMNZ in 1996, Ross Thompson* (Silver) had contented himself with ‘dabbling’ in the Christchurch scene, racing two or three times a year. However, he is another for whom Queenstown has generated renewed enthusiasm.
Neils Madsen* (Bronze) spent three years in Canada in the late 1990’s where training with the likes of Olympic champion Simon Whitfield, and Ironman world champions Lori Bowden and Peter Reid led to a 2nd overall placing in the Canadian national champs (and an age-group win by five minutes). Neils has also been to two other Worlds (Cleveland in 1996 and Perth in 2000), won IMNZ 2002, and won the 2003 nationals.
When contacted, Graham Singer (12th) was planning a move to England, bringing an end to his run of having completed every standard distance triathlon held in Wellington. Graham was still hoping to qualify for Queenstown and fly back.
Tony Stretch (18th) returned to the Worlds at Perth in 1997 and then again in 2000 when he had the thrill of competing alongside sons Sam and Nathan.
Debbie Waldin (27th) took a break after the 1995 Cancun Worlds and then turned to swimming. In the last year she has competed at the World Masters swim meet in Christchurch and the World Masters Games in Melbourne.
Geoff Prebble (4th) left the triathlon scene after Wellington but still swims, road cycles and mountain bikes for general fitness.
Having returned to Worlds action in Cancun in 1995, Karen Warren (5th) retired from competitive sport in 1998 and now just concentrates on keeping ‘reasonably fit’ by swimming, running and gym-work.
Denis Cooper* (15th) didn’t enter a triathlon between 1994 and this year’s Nelson qualifier. He cycles and trail runs regularly and is interested in more adventure races following his introduction at this year’s Rollo’s 24-hour race.
After completing his tenth Ironman including four at Kona, Colin Salisbury (7th) retired from triathlon in 1995. Colin keeps fit by running and up to four gym visits per week.
Tony Griffiths (21st) completed the 35-39 team.
In the days before Cameron Brown turned up, Stephen Farrell* (4th) was regularly the first New Zealander to finish IMNZ. More recently, he confirmed his enduring class with a podium finish at IM Malaysia in 2000. Stephen is also coach to many athletes via his ‘Fit For Fun’ business.
Retiring from triathlon after Wellington, Catherine Dunn (4th) successfully switched to mountain-biking, representing NZ at world champs in Australia (1996) and Canada (1998). Catherine is now an artist having completed a three-year course, a transition which she found hard but which is softened by still swimming, cycling and running for recreation.
Mark Sherlock (9th) also retired after Wellington, principally to concentrate on his career. Mark continues to run for fitness and fun. Another to call it quits after Wellington was Sue Wylie (17th) who now describes her triathlon career as “BC”, before children. A Phys Ed teacher in Hamilton, Sue also still runs to keep fit.
Wellington’s Helen Willis (27th) has also not found much time for triathlon since having her first child in 1998 but does run two or three times a week with a local Harriers club to stay fit.
Having qualified for the 1997 Worlds team, Wendy Hall (6th) has only done one triathlon since moving north to Kerikeri in June 1998. Wendy still runs, principally for general fitness but fast enough to place in the top five at the Kerikeri half marathon each year for the past five, including a victory in 1998.
Suzanne Foster* (18th) finished sixth at IMNZ in 1995 and won the Vet Women’s category at 2002’s Coast-to-Coast. In between she has mixed periods of semi-retirement, with a trip to Kona and two national multisport champs.
Hazel Shuttleworth (22nd) did IMNZ in 1996 before also withdrawing from competitive sport to concentrate on work matters. Hazel was a team member in 2000’s Coast-to-Coast and enjoyed the run so much that she now regularly runs off-road in Auckland’s Waitakere Hills.
Second at IMNZ in 1998, seventh at Zofingen the same year, and a 15th place finish at Kona are three highlights for Fiona McKee (30th) since 1994. In the last couple of years Dunedin-based Fiona has concentrated on running but also competed in last month’s World Duathlon Champs in Switzerland.
After completing approximately twenty Ironman races, including a couple at Kona, Bill Boersma (12th) retired in 2000 to concentrate on family and business matters. However, when contacted he hadn’t ruled out a return to Ironman racing, possibly in 2004.
After 13 competitive years, Ken Hight (20th) also retired in 2000. He still competes in a few road races and hasn’t abandoned a return to triathlon in the future; “never say never” he warns.
Wellington was the last of four consecutive Worlds appearances for Brenda Crean-Curtis (37th). After racing the Fiji Half Ironman a couple of times in the mid-1990’s, triathlon has taken a back seat while Brenda raises her three children.
Former TriNZ employee Jo Moysey (41st), now Jo Wolfe, is living in London and has turned her attentions to running in recent years, including the London Marathon in 2000 and 2001.
A few years after Wellington Sonya Whittington (44th), now Sonya Van Golstein, swapped triathlon for various forms of paddling including dragon boat racing and outrigger racing for NZ. She still runs and competes in multisport races, mainly in teams.
After spells in Tauranga, Portugal and England, Kristina Banner (24th) has settled in Oamaru where she combines massage therapy with teaching personalised yoga classes. Triathlon has given way to tramping, horse riding and running.
Bruce Baxter* (8th) has competed in four World Champs, two Ironman races, and three Coast-to-Coasts. In his role as a podiatrist, Bruce has also worked with TriNZ, Cycling NZ and Athletics NZ.
Damaged knees mean that Peter O’Sullivan (18th) no longer runs, but this simply means there is more time available to cycle and kayak. Peter is a regular team member at major multisport events and has also completed two Southern Traverses where the tramping is easier on his knees than running.
Bruce Odams (26th) has competed every year since 1994, including at the 1997 Perth Worlds, and is also a very competitive vet runner.
Geoff Matthews (39th) placed 13th at IMNZ 1996 and completed a couple of years on the TriNZ board before the demands of study, business and family forced him to call a halt. Now based in Queenstown, in March this year Geoff became only the sixth person to swim across Lake Wakatipu (TriNZ President Tom Pryde is one of the others).
By 1997 Murray Healey (44th) had largely foregone competing for coaching, a focus-shift that included a spell as Programme Co-ordinator at the Triathlon Academy. Now running a bike shop in Whangarei, Murray completed the Coast-to-Coast for the first time in 2003.
John Alderman (46th) hasn’t completed a triathlon since 1994 but instead is an active competitive cyclist. Since moving to the UK, John has targeted the classic European rides including L’etape du Tour (featuring the famous Tourmalet in the Pyrenees), the second half of the Tour of Flanders, and the Eddy Merckx classic which includes the imposing gradient of Le Stockeu.
Jane Grofski (4th), now Jane Edmond, and husband Ian Edmond (29th) are now living in England where Jane has resorted to running, with or without the baby buggy. Meanwhile 1995 Coast-to-Coast winner Ian has mixed multisport with adventure racing in recent years, including multiple Eco-Challenges and Southern Traverses, and is still winning multisport races in the UK.
Marisa Pentecost (5th), now Marisa Carter, competes every year in Auckland’s Stroke and Stride series, winning the series twice. Now a mum and TVNZ marketing executive, Marissa’s sporting career plays second to that of husband Hamish.
Jackie Allen, now Cowan, (21st) has tried track cycling and mountain biking since Wellington, but arguably her greatest result came without the aid of a bike: age-group silver at 1998’s World Aquathon Champs. Jackie coached the Canterbury Junior Triathlon Team for six years and is still involved with TriNZ’s junior programme.
After Wellington Tracy Wilson (24th) moved first to multisport, culminating in the 1997 Coast-to-Coast, and then to surf lifesaving where she has competed in world champs in Auckland and Daytona Beach, Florida.
Roxanne (26th) and Warren Benney (43rd) worked in London and cycle-toured through France, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Norway and Morocco in the late 1980’s before returning to NZ. Both still exercise regularly, targeting multisport races and the Christchurch marathon.
After eight years in Central Queensland, Grant Schofield (14th) and Louise Soper (21st : 20-24), now Louise Schofield, have moved back to Auckland. Louise won the 1999 Queensland Open Champs, competed for NZ at elite level and raced ITU, ETU and World Cup races before starting a family in 2001. Grant finished 14th at IMNZ in 2001, the best of his 11 Ironman finishes. He also helped found a triathlon club in Rockhampton, Queensland.
After a few years away from the sport during which time she ran a 3-12 debut marathon and “broke a few NZ masters swim records”, Tanya Lee Parker (30th) returned to triathlon in 2000. A regular on the Bay of Plenty scene, Tanya finished her first Ironman earlier this year.
Inspirational Auckland personal trainer Stephanie Mills (31st) lists a diverse series of coaching and training experiences over recent years that include the Cancun Worlds in 1996, a year recovering from a bike versus car collision, the Great Wall of China half marathon, and IMNZ 2002. Future goals include “taking New Zealanders to various destinations around the globe to achieve extraordinary goals”.
Miranda Stacey* (36th) has focused on Ironman since 1994, racing a total of 19 times including three in Kona with a best overall finish of 30th. This season she finished IMNZ in 8th place overall and four weeks later finished IMOZ 10th in 10-05.
Wellington was the last competitive race for Bernadette Cole (37th), now Bernadette Brokenshire. Bernadette has three children, co-runs a plumbing business and a farm, works part-time as a pharmacist and teaches at the Polytech. Needless to say, there isn’t much time for training.
Natalee Burkhardt (46th) went to live and race in Holland, “the safest place in the world to cycle” but unfortunately was bowled by a moped (in a cycle lane). Her helmet saved her life, but the head and neck injuries she suffered resulted in two years in rehab “learning to read and write again”. Now recovered, she is studying dentistry in Dunedin.
Former elite duathlete Rodney Gordon (Bronze) competed in Australia, the Pacific and Japan before drawing his top-level career to a halt with an eleventh place finish at IMNZ 1999. He now coaches and keeps fit doing a few aquathons.
Justin Bishop (4th) has “devoted a large part of the last 6 or 7 years to surfing”, mostly at Kaikoura. Justin also does a bit of running and orienteering in the Blenheim/Nelson area.
Glen Tasker (6th) repeated his Worlds appearance in Perth (1997) and has also completed three Ironman races. More recently, Glen won the 2002 National Champs in Queenstown.
Old motorcross injuries mean that Trevor Woodward (8th) no longer runs, but he’s far from inactive. A strong adventure racer, he power walks during the ‘run’ section and then makes back any time he has given up by hammering the mountain bike section.
Austin Parker (15th) has won age-group gold at the long-course Worlds (1996, Muncie, Indiana) and at IMNZ in 2000. Now based in Melbourne, Austin remains active and, in his words, “competitive(ish)”, including a top ten finish at 2002’s Tauranga Half Ironman.
Paul Anderson (16th) completed 5 Ironman races culminating with a 10th overall finish at IMNZ in 1998. Paul then met and married a Swede and now lives in Stockholm where he maintains his record of doing at least one triathlon every year since 1985.
In 1998 Grenville Hirst (22nd) completed the last of his eleven Ironman races (including two in Kona). He has completed the Auckland-Wellington cycle race twice and has featured in podium-finishing teams at Auckland’s Carson Challenge four times.
Jianni Koustos (27th) finished 14th at IMNZ (2000) and again at IM Canada (2001), but it is the shorter distances that he is now focused on. Jianni will be racing in Queenstown for the Greek team as part of his quest to secure the special wild card spot on the Greek Olympic team for Athens 2004.
Darragh Walshe* (35th) went to two more Worlds before turning his sights to Ironman. A top 30 overall finish and a subsequent sub-ten hour performance in Kona was followed by semi-retirement to concentrate on family matters. Darraghe returned to win his age-group at the 2002 Nationals.
Leanne Parsons (20th) completed the 25-29 team.
Karyn Mills (4th), now Karyn Ballance, won IMNZ in 2002, breaking a run of three consecutive second place finishes. This season she again finished second in Taupo and then finished fourth at the Ironman-distance Quelle Challenge in Roth, Germany. Unusually for a world-ranked Ironman, Karyn has a ‘real’ job as a podiatrist with the Canterbury Health Board.
Taupo’s Bryan Rhodes (42nd) also maintains a strong presence on the international Ironman scene, winning in Malaysia in 2001 and 2002 and regularly featuring at the sharp end of major races.
For several years Evelyn Williamson (7th) has been NZ’s top female standard-distance triathlete. Bronze at 1998’s Lausanne Worlds, competing at the Olympics, and top ten finishes at the 2001 Worlds and 2002 Commonwealth Games are particular highlights.
The 1997/98 season saw Heidi Alexander (9th) win national sprint and standard titles, Tinman and the Tauranga Half, as well as finishing third at IMNZ. Heidi is now a personal trainer, competes as a body sculptor, and runs for fitness and pleasure.
Alexandre Stewart (10th) won 1998’s Coast to Coast and has two other top-four finishes to her credit. Now London-based and specialising in mountain biking, Alex’s involvement in adventure racing includes competing in 2001’s inaugural Adventure Race World Champs in Switzerland.
After a career that included winning Wellington’s Crazyman and completing both the Kepler Challenge and Ironman, Brigitte Nimmo (12th) retired in 2000. She now teaches aerobics, plays regional-level tennis and is part of Wellington’s off-road running scene.
Sarah Rodgers (18th), now Sarah Saunders, lives in Brisbane where she trains for Ironman. She has completed 3 versions of IMOZ, including an age-group third in 2003, and in 2002 completed her first IMNZ.
Karyn Stanton (26th), now Robertson, moved into road cycling and then mountain biking, placing fifth in the expert section of the 2000 national series.
After completing IMNZ in 1995, Deidre Lack (34th) “cruised for a while” in the mid- to late-1990’s. Regaining her triathlon focus, Queenstown will be her third Worlds after also racing Cancun 2002.
Career demands have halted the triathlon life of orthopaedic registrar Andrew Vane (8th) after seven years of national and international competition that included racing in Germany, France, the U.S., Canada and in the Caribbean.
Aaron Baker (12th) has raced the Ironman distance 12 times since 1994, including twice in Kona, with a best of 9th overall at IMNZ 1997. Having experienced “a shift in focus in life to being normal” Aaron has competed less in recent years. Aaron raced a season in Germany at the same club as James Beech (5th) who also raced in France before leaving the sport to focus on work. James mostly runs 1500 metres, but can still clock around 31 minutes for 10k.
Glen Hurley (Bronze) is another to have raced in France in the late 1990’s. With a young family, Glen’s sporting pursuits currently extend to playing club cricket in Sydney.
Another who is still overseas is Eric Wattez (35th) who has been living in Holland since 1999. Married with a young daughter, Eric no long competes as a triathlete but does play soccer for his village and is training for a marathon early in 2004.
Paul Gunn (21st) retired after the 1996 World Long Course Champs in Indiana. Now living in London, Paul describes himself as “an avid skateboarder and snowboarder”. Aaron Davis (13th) retired after Wellington and now runs the nation-wide “Swimsation” swim school franchise.
Natasja Hilgeholt (Gold) competed at Worlds in 1995, 1997 and 1998 (as an elite) before bowing out of the sport. Natasja, who recently moved back to Auckland after several years in Christchurch, still runs regularly but hasn’t cycled for years.
After a career that included the 1997 Worlds, an Auckland ITU race, and racing in Australia and Japan, Tauranga’s Naomi Calder (6th) has focused on swimming, running and surf-lifesaving in recent years.
Chris Andrews (54th) raced in Australia for four years in the late 1990’s, including a third at Mooloolaba’s World Aquathon Champs. Now back in Auckland, Chris hasn’t competed seriously for a few years.
Completing the 20-24 team were Andrew Parkin (4th) and Simon MacGibbon (57th). Simon is now based in Seattle and who has foregone triathlon for mountain-biking.
Fourth at Manchester’s Commonwealth Games is the highlight for Heather Evans (41st) in a career that has also included age-group silver at 2000’s Perth Worlds, the Oceania elite title in 2002, and top ten finishes in ITU races. Heather’s older sister Megan Evans (9th), now Megan Hall, races at elite level for South Africa. Megan won age-group gold at the 2001 Edmonton Worlds, and for the past two years has been second in the All Africa champs. Both sisters live in Sydney.
Will Smith (18th) is also overseas, living in the States (Madison, Wisconsin) where he races professionally though he returned home briefly to compete in IMNZ this year. Will is a former winner of the Tour De Raro triathlon in Rarotonga, a title that Shanelle Barrett (22nd) won in 2002. Shanelle is also a mentor for the Weetbix Kiwikids Tryathlon, which saw her photographed sharing a tandem with Prime Minister Helen Clark to launch the 2003 series.
As well as several more Worlds, including age-group silver at Edmonton in 2001, Adi Ngawati (32nd) also took time out to try outrigger canoeing and body sculpting. Now focused on Ironman racing, recent highlights include fifth woman at IMNZ 2002 and seventh at last year’s IM Florida. Meanwhile, after a twelfth overall at IMNZ 2000, Jeremy Boyd (39th) is still aiming for the top ten. Jeremy is another to have raced overseas in the mid-1990’s.
Mark O’Donnell (11th) raced as an elite at the 1996, 1997 and 1998 Worlds before returning to varsity to add a law degree to his earlier psychology degree. Mark also raced for two years in France at the same club as John Newsom (65th) who recently retired after a triathlon career that also involved coaching in Hong Kong, a few World Cup races and a second at the Laguna Plunket triathlon. John now coaches at the NZ Multisport Training Centre alongside John Hellemans.
Sydney-based Matt Clarke (16th) found the “all consuming” nature of triathlon eventually became too much. He now lists social tennis, squash, mountain-biking and surfing as his sporting pursuits.
Leighton Matheson (42nd) is an investment banker in Singapore while Michael Sexton (17th) is currently living in Boston. Neither has been involved in triathlon for several years. Another athlete now overseas is Jennifer Hamilton (26th) who is believed to be living in the UK.
Exercise physiologist Glen Harkness (45th) spent three years studying in Australia but, with his young family, is now back in Hawkes Bay. He cycles and runs for general fitness and at the time of contact was contemplating IMNZ 2004.
David Trafford (66th) moved first into duathlon and then into running, finishing sixth on his first attempt at the marathon on New Year’s Day 2000. In recent times work commitments have curtailed further marathon ambitions.
Vanessa Chamberlain (19th) has just returned from three years in London where she didn’t find the same enthusiasm for triathlon as in NZ. Instead she became a keen cycle-tourist, skier, mountain biker and top-level hockey player. Now back in Tauranga, Vanessa doesn’t rule out a return to triathlon in the near future.
Both Heather Peal (28th) and Ian Scott (33rd) competed at the 1995 and 1996 Worlds but neither have competed in the last two or three years. Heather is currently travelling in Ireland where she keeps fit enough to think of maybe one day doing Ironman, while Christchurch-based Ian stays close to the sport through his job distributing bike equipment and wetsuits.
After five years in England, Geraldine Whittle* (30th), now Geraldine Dainty, won age-group silver and gold at IMNZ 2001 and 2002, before finishing 9th pro this year in 10-17. Geraldine also raced Kona in 2001.
After being hit by a car, Joanne Walker (44th) took three years to recover, only for a knee injury to then require another year off. Now on the road to full fitness, Joanne loves mountain-biking.
Auckland physio Louise James (dnf) describes herself as “the classically overtrained youngster” and cautions others about getting too involved too early. She enjoys off-road running and mountain biking, and has entered several multisport races in teams.
Matthew Tolhurst (57th) and Sean Thornton (62nd) rounded out the junior men, while Jodey Bayliss (27th) and Rachel Ball (47th) completed the junior women’s team.
Three IMNZ victories and consecutive podium finishes in Hawaii and Germany mark Cameron Brown (46th) among the top two or three Ironman athletes in the world. In February 2002 Cameron also won the Supreme Halberg Award.
New Zealand’s premier Olympic distance triathlete over the last decade, Hamish Carter (dnf) rates his 1998 Auckland ITU World Cup victory ahead of silver at the 1997 Perth Worlds and bronze at 2002’s Commonwealth Games because “winning is always better than second”.
Fellow full-time pro Craig Watson (51st) finished 13th at the Sydney Olympics, third at the 2001 Worlds, 8th at the 2002 Commonwealth Games and in May 2002 was ranked number one in the world.
Jenny Rose (7th) continued to race as an elite until 2000 including an 8th at Olympic distance Worlds (1996) and a long-distance worlds title in 1995. More recently she has been a member of the TriNZ board, is involved in coaching, and has competed in adventure racing and orienteering.
Greg Fraine* (49th) won age-group medals at both 1997 and 2000 Perth Worlds. Greg has raced the last three IMNZ races, wining the 35-39 age-group in 2002 while finishing 10th overall. Greg has also helped coach the national road cycling squad.
In the late 1990’s David Lee (43rd) swapped triathlon for cycling winning national titles, racing overseas with the NZ road team, and racing professionally in Canada. David now coaches triathletes, while 1990 Commonwealth Games champion Rick Wells (dnf) now runs the Hilton Brown swim school at the Newmarket Pool in Auckland.
Sarah Harrow (Bronze) retired from triathlon in 1998 to “pursue other aspirations and a more sedentary lifestyle”. That lifestyle has included a spell living and working in France, but on a less sedentary note has also included mountain running with “some very mad, but equally wonderful, Wellingtonians”.
A “swimmer who could cycle”, Ann Keat (13th) credits the introduction of drafting for her withdrawal from the sport. Ironically, she now runs for fitness, especially “anything off-road and hilly”, including the 7+ hours of the Southern Crossing and famous Mt Holdsworth run.
The introduction of drafting also led Jill Westenra (19th) away from triathlon and into an enormously successful multisport career. Jill has won most of the main NZ multisport events, including the last four Coast-to-Coasts and in recent years has also excelled in adventure races such as the Eco-Challenge and this year’s Primal Quest.
At the time of first contact, 1995 IMNZ winner Sue Clark (29th) was working as an aerobics, fitness and nutrition instructor on cruise ships in the Caribbean and Mediterranean, interspersed with long periods holidaying in Ibiza, “the nightclubbing capital of the world”. Since then Sue has returned to NZ and intends returning to triathlon this summer.
After racing Ironman and an Auckland ITU race, Megan Dalton (40th) took a “leave of absence” from the sport to first join the police force and then raise a family. In a similar vein, Bruce Houghton (62nd) moved first to IM racing and then both multisport and adventure racing before fatherhood in 2001 restricted training and racing opportunities.
A few names to mention from other teams
As well as those in the NZ team, there were several other athletes who now have strong Kiwi connections, such as Fanny Lariviere who competed for the Canadian team in the Junior race, finishing 15th. Now living in Wellington, Fanny will race for New Zealand in the 25-29 age-group in Queenstown. Meanwhile, Udi Ann Delport (South Africa – 15th 25-29) and Frank Clarke (Canada – 23rd Elite) are now living in Auckland, while Scott Molina (U.S. – 9th Elite) and Ben Bright (Australia – Gold Junior) are both in Christchurch.
Other notable names racing in the age-group rather than elite fields in Wellington included Ironman World Champions Tim DeBoom (U.S. – Gold 20-24) and Lori Bowden (Canada – dnf 25-29), Ironman Florida champion Jamie Cleveland (Canada – 25th 20-24), former world number one ITU athlete Siri Lindley (U.S. – 7th 25-29), and legend of the Hawaii Ironman Sister Madonna Buder (U.S. – Gold 60-64).
Others with strong NZ connections in the elite races include Susanne Nielsen (Denmark – 4th) who won IMNZ in 1998 and Thomas Hellriegel (Germany – 15th) who won in 2000, the same year that Lisa Bentley (Canada – 20th) won the first of two consecutive IMNZ titles.
Of the 199 athletes who represented New Zealand at the 1994 World Champs, a vast majority are clearly still exercising regularly which confirms once again that triathletes never seem to totally retire.
At least 61 of the team went on to represent NZ at an Olympic-distance World Champs again with several more competing in long-distance, Ironman, or duathlon World Champs. Meanwhile, more than 70 of the 199 have completed at least one Ironman race since 1994, with many of the team now totally focused on the longer distance.
Reinforcing the belief that New Zealand is a country of travellers, and that the World is full of ex-pat Kiwis, at least 48 of the team (one in four) have spent a significant period of time living (and often racing) overseas. Of these, 27 are known to currently be living overseas, most in the U.S., U.K., and Australia, but with others as widespread as Holland, Singapore and Sweden.
What does this say to the 300-plus members of the 2003 World Champs team? Well it may say that in any group of a dozen athletes gathered in Queenstown, four will probably represent NZ (overseas) again in the near future, four will race Ironman sometime soon, three will live overseas for a lengthy period, and two will still be overseas in nine years time. Then again, it may have no bearing on what happens in the future at all. I guess we’ll only know in nine years time.
Jeremy Boase – September 2003
If you have any information about the members of the New Zealand team not covered by this article, please e-mail the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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