3 Nov 2010"Winners: Simone Ackermann and Michael Poole"

  • Mission Bay
  • |
  • Swim: 500 metre
  • |
  • Run: 5 kilometre
Simone Ackermann Michael Poole

Blue skies, sunshine and a gentle onshore breeze tickling the beach was laid on for the commencement of the new season. Auckland’s favourite after work race has now clocked up 163 events and is well into its third decade. But if anyone thought we must have seen everything by now then they were in for a BIG surprise at Race #1 of the 2XU Stroke & Stride Series.

The slight breeze didn’t chop up the swim to any great degree with only the cross chop on the short second leg being disruptive for some strokes. The final leg returning to the beach was helped along and we got some great swim times clocked for the 500 metre course. Simone Ackermann lead out the females with a flying six and a half minute swim which rewarded her with a 10 second lead over Sophie Corbidge, 20 seconds over Elise Salt, 40 seconds on Rebecca Anan and nearly a minute over the start of the sizeable elongated throng that contained all the other contenders.

The men’s field lined up on the beach awaiting their start were at first entertained and then growing apprehensive watching the women negotiate the tight little swim course before they themselves got underway diving into the lively waters of the Waitemata Harbour. Fastest of the guys was Cameron Todd with a slight lead over Sam Franklin and both going under 6 minutes which is outstanding for an open water swim. 10 seconds off the back was Owen Miller and chasing him up the beach was the horde of pursuers with Michael Poole and Sam Morreau to the fore.

Through her teenage years Simone Ackermann raced every Stroke & Stride going. For the past two seasons she has reigned supreme over the women’s field and heading into this summer she was going for the rarest of three peats for the Stroke & Stride Championship. If Race #1 was to be a warning shot over the bow for her competition then Simone may need to check her aim. Looked to us like she hit them amidships and sunk them with here resounding win first up. When you lead out of the water and then extend that lead on the run any wannabie challengers are left in the dust. Simone looked untroubled throughout and now already has the lead in the Grand Prix.

Sophie Corbidge is another young athlete who has experienced success at the Stroke & Stride at a young age. For this race she was certainly the best of the rest and starts the season with a very useful second placing. Joining the podium is talented newcomer Alana Lythe who makes the other two look old so we’ll be sure to watch this space over the coming months. Super swimmer Elise Salt held on for 4th and super runner Lizzie Orchard came through for the 5th place.

Comprehensive wins was what it was all about at Race #1. In the men’s field it was to be a motivated Michael Poole backing up his handy swim by smacking the 5 kilometre run course with the day’s fastest run taking him to his first ever victory at the Stroke & Stride. The out and back journey to St Heliers Bay saw him overtake the couple of men ahead of him and quickly destroy any illusions any of the chasers may have had of reeling him over that scenic stretch of road beside the sea. Cameron Todd was unbeaten at Stroke & Stride last season however he was forced to take a very respectable second place at this event. The fight for third place was very close with Sam Franklin just edging Elliot Frizelle as they ran up the beach while Sam Morreau was also in a tussle to the line to narrowly head off Cameron Burstall.

The all important Series Grand Prix is lead by Simone Ackermann and Michael Poole with everyone else now playing catch up. Fortunately we have seven events and the rest of the summer to see how it plays out at the races with more excitement and bigger audiences than you’d ever dream possible.



Michael Poole

23m 19s


Cameron Todd

23m 37s


Sam Franklin

24m 07s


Elliot Frizelle

24m 09s


Sam Morreau

24m 26s


Cameron Burstall

24m 27s


Sam Ward

24m 33s


Nick Berry

24m 48s


Cooper Rand

24m 50s


Matthew Morreau

25m 09s


Owen Miller

25m 21s


Jack Moody

25m 34s


Jared Bowden

25m 36s


Alexi Petrie

25m 40s


Jon Robinson

25m 41s



Simone Ackermann

25m 30s


Sophie Corbidge

26m 18s


Alana Lythe

27m 04s


Elise Salt

27m 17s


Lizzie Orchard

27m 42s


Ashleigh Williams

27m 50s


Amelia Watkinson

28m 14s


Rachel Bowie

28m 54s


Philippa Brown

28m 59s


Anna Ross

29m 05s


Nikki Hill

29m 13s


Steph Burstall

29m 19s


Pip Meo

29m 21s


Bex Burridge

29m 27s


Josie Sinclair

29m 38s

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