21 Mar 2012"Winners: Cameron Todd and Simone Ackermann"

  • Mission Bay
  • |
  • Swim: 1000 metre
  • |
  • Run: 4 kilometre
2012 Champs Nick Berry Simone Ackermann Cameron Todd

Sometimes an event stands out from the others and will long be remembered by all that took part. Race #8 doubles as the 2012 New Zealand Swimrun Championships however being memorable can be due to a number of reasons and for the final event in this dubious summer’s 2XU Stroke & Stride it will be the water that sticks in the mind. And not those close to perfect conditions experienced for the 1000 metre swim, we will long remember the water that was everywhere else. The rain that fell steadily in Auckland all afternoon soaking everyone and everything. The puddles that turned the entire run course into a splashing good time and the water that had our transition area resembling more a swimming pool.

So Auckland was being worked over by the tropical low passing through town right on race time and Mission Bay certainly received all the heavy rain forecast. Fortunately the also forecast gale warning was a no show. It was mostly still conditions with never more than a slight breeze and only worth noting was the 180 degree change in direction occurring while the race was in progress.

That one kilometre swim was over a large triangular course and while the water was warm and the sea state excellent it was the visibility that could have impaired some. All that heavy cloud and rain falling didn’t leave us with the brightest of days for sighting on distant swim buoys. Reigning New Zealand Swimrun Champion Cameron Todd was looking very comfortable as he swam alone at the head of the field clocking 12 minutes and 25 seconds when he hit the beach. This gave him a half minute lead over James Bowstead and Jared Bowden and importantly a 40 second advantage over the dangerous Nick Berry.

Leading the women’s field around the cans was Simone Ackermann also determinedly defending her New Zealand title and starting well with a 12 minute 54 second swim and close to a 60 second lead half way through the event.

Once that transition was navigated and apart from being as wet as when swimming and negotiating the puddles on the course the runners could now focus on putting down a good time. The 4 kilometre course was out to St Heliers Bay and back to Mission Bay. The Cameron Todd and Simone Ackermann double act continued as they both just made it look easy backing up splendid swims with solid run splits to take the New Zealand Swimrun titles home again. Cameron has now taken back-to-back titles while super Simone has scored herself a three-peat.

Nick Berry raced through his run to grab himself second place and the big improver this season Jared Bowden got himself on the podium this time with another best ever result. His best result of the season saw James Bowstead home in fourth holding off fast finishing Liam Scopes.

Elise Salt’s spectacular form continues scoring an outstanding second placing and banking those valuable points. Alana Lythe saved her best result of the season for the final running herself up into third position while Jessica Lawson capped her season with fourth just ahead of Belinda Harper.

The Grand Prix decides the Stroke & Stride Champions each season and has done so for decades. It has been a number of years since our Champions have been so convincing with their victories and we have never before awarded points to such a large number of athletes in a single season.

Back in 2010 he did his first Stroke & Stride race, last summer he finished in 8th place in the Series Grand Prix. Now just two years after his debut Nick Berry claims the title of Stroke & Stride Champion in ultra convincing style. Cameron Todd claims second place and Liam Scopes fills the podium heading home Cooper Rand and Jared Bowden in this competition.

There is nothing wrong with repetition when it comes to winning and the Stroke & Stride serial offender title goes to Simone Ackermann. Simone winning the championship this season recognises her as the best athlete of the summer. Simone’s victory four seasons in a row elevates her to being one of the best ever – never before has a female won the Stroke & Stride back to back to back to back.

Backing up her runner up position last season Elise Salt again show she is the most consistent of athletes claiming second once again. All those races and points over a entire summer should be enough to separate a couple of competitors but not so when it comes to Rebecca Clarke and Maddie Dillon as they finish tied on 73 points and share third place with Jessica Lawson nipping at their heals just two points adrift.

Male

1

Cameron Todd

26m 41s

2

Nick Berry

27m 31s

3

Jared Bowden

27m 37s

4

James Bowstead

27m 48s

5

Liam Scopes

27m 56s

6

Cooper Rand

27m 59s

7

Darragh Walshe

29m 20s

8

Stephen Farrell

29m 26s

9

Andrew Walker

28m 44s

10

Matt Jordan

29m 53s

11

Ryan Helg

29m 56s

12

Chris Rathbone

30m 00s

13

Hamish Gawith

30m 09s

14

Geoff Hawksworth

30m 17s

15

Naoki Toyomura

30m 30s

Female

1

Simone Ackermann

29m 06s

2

Elise Salt

29m 30s

3

Alana Lythe

30m 04s

4

Jessica Lawson

30m 36s

5

Belinda Harper

30m 47s

6

Lizzie Orchard

31m 17s

7

Sarah Cushing

32m 12s

8

Claire Macky

32m 18s

9

Danielle Parkinson

32m 22s

10

Martina Fellmann

32m 24s

11

Emma Rathbone

32m 26s

12

Hannah Williams

32m 49s

13

Amelia Watkinson

32m 54s

14

Rachel Penny

32m 55s

15

Nikki Hill

32m 56s

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