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The start of something extraordinary

Paralympic Swim Star Enjoys Another Tri

Two of New Zealand’s leading paratri athletes took part in the sprint race at the Craigs Investment Partners Tinman at Mount Maunganui on Sunday, the first event in the .kiwi Tri Series for the summer. Mary Fisher and Andrew Hughes enjoyed strong races, with Hughes starting a busy triathlon season while swim star Fisher was dabbling in some cross-training.

Fisher competed with local guide Sandy Boubee for the first time and coped well in the windy conditions on the bike. Fisher was as expected quick in the 750m swim, emerging in just over 13 minutes.

For Fisher it was another enjoyable experience in just her second triathlon.

“The race was fun and is nice cross training for me, to be in the New Zealand summer and enjoying the outdoors. The whole Mount area is a cool place, to be able to run around the base and swim in Pilot Bay was cool to be in such a lovely part of New Zealand.

“I got off lightly on the back of the bike, Sandy took the brunt of the wind, I was doing my best to keep us moving forward, but racing on a tandem actually built for racing for the first time felt great.” 

Fisher and guide Sandy Boubee did incredibly well, given they only met hours before the race.

“I only met Sandy on Friday at the Aquathlon, she did a great job of guiding me on the day, the run around the Mount is on a nice surface but being blind it was a little scary, a little up and down and some people on their Sunday walk might not have realised we were coming! 

“Sandy and I had a couple of small rides on Saturday and a jog on the course, there is a lot of trust required, just building up those commands and the information I need. But also just having fun with the guide on the race track is important and it worked out really well, you do put a lot of faith in that person as they are moving your body through space as fast as you both can go, it is cool when you get that right. 

“I think she had a lot of fun, it is a lot of responsibility but she said she had fun so that was great by me. 

“For me now it is back to the pool, but I’m also looking to get the Paratri event in Wellington in March. It will be cool to do some others but I will have to check with my swim coach first!” 

Hughes (Hamilton) was simply superb on a course that did not favour him, with wind on the bike testing the above knee amputee and then the undulating run around the base of The Mount again not ideal as Hughes took to the course on crutches, in the process clocking an impressive 37 minutes for the 5km course.

The .kiwi Tri Series now moves to Whangamata on January 3rd for the next event in the series, with the popular holiday spot set to attract another large field of participants across a wide range of events from the children’s 1:2:1 to the beginners 3:9:3 and the testing standard distance race that takes athletes in and around the holiday town and onto the beautiful beach for parts of the 10km run.