Ōtaki’s 15-year-old Mitchell Rutter was the best Kapiti Running and Tri Club athlete in the Contact National Duathlon Championships in Taupo.
Competing in the under-16 division with 29 starters, Mitchell showed his class in the 15km bike section to move from sixth to first after the first run.
However, in the final leg of the event last weekend, a 2.5 km run , he was unable to hold off a fast finishing Fynn Thompson who took the national title by a mere ten seconds. Mitchell won the silver medal in the impressive time of 45 minutes 33 seconds.
Coach delighted with Rutter
Coach Murray Ashley says he is was delighted.
” Mitchell’s event strategy was excellent and this, along with his well judged race tactics, resulted in a meritorious second placing in a high class field,” he says.
“He is a disciplined and dedicated trainer and this performance sets him up well for the forthcoming triathlon season.”
An ideal venue
The local Motorsport Park venue in Taupo was ideal for the duathlon nationals, with runners and cyclists replacing the usual racing cars and motorbikes circling the track.
More than two hundred competitors aged from 11 to 79 took part in events involving different distances. The longest race was the standard distance duathlon, consisting of 10km run, 40km cycle and 5km run. Weather conditions were generally favourable, but in places the cyclists had to ride into a brisk southerly.
Other club members perform well
Ten other Kapiti Running and Tri Club members took part, with John Wood and Peter Ellis winning gold and silver medals respectively in the 70-74 standard distance race. Daryl Rutter was seventh in the 50-54 division, and Roger Childs and Harold Robinson gained fifth and sixth places in the 65-69 age group.
Bruce Jenkins competed in the shorter sprint event and was seventh in the 50-54 category. Bronwyn Kettle and Bryn Kempthorne were the fastest finishers in the mixed team’s section over the standard distance.
Competing for the first time in this national event, Naomi Dyer and Lucy Fleming performed well, taking eighth and eleventh places in the under 14 girls’ event.