The Challenge Wanaka Triathlon Festival features over 2,000 participants from juniors to sprint athletes to endurance triathletes from 20 nations and a highly competitive women and men’s pro field.
The field includes a number of high profile international professional male athletes, including four times world champion, current ITU long course world champion, Chris McCormack (AUS), 2011 Challenge Wanaka champion Jamie Whyte (NZL), former ITU Duathlon World Champion, Leon Griffin (AUS).
The women’s pro title will be hotly contested with ten times iron distance champion, Challenge Wanaka defending champion, Gina Crawford (NZL) up against Jo Lawn (NZL) ranked in the top 10 of greatest iron distance triathletes of all time and seven time winner of Ironman New Zealand. Also challenging for the women’s title is Kate Bevilaqua (AUS), multiple iron distance title holder and Julia Grant (NZL) frequent top-five finisher including Challenge Barcelona and Challenge Wanaka.
The Lake Wanaka Half field features a record 227 teams and 411 individuals, a fantastic increase in athlete numbers from the 2012 event. The oldest competitor is team cyclist and runner Ray Benett (79) with teammate Ross Allen (65) completing the swim, while Roy Gunner (77) is the oldest individual competitor.