Belinda Granger winning Challenge Wanaka 2011Belinda Granger winning Challenge Wanaka 2011
(Photo: Challenge Wanaka; click to enlarge)

With just one week to go until entries close, Challenge Wanaka has announced its largest pro field in the six year history of the event featuring multiple iron distance champions in both the men's and women's fields.

Leading the men's field is 2011 defending champion, Jamie Whyte (NZL) who had a breakthrough race this year. He is joined by four of New Zealand's top athletes, three times Ironman champion Bryan Rhodes, Ironman champion Kieran Doe and rising star Keegan Williams, as well as New Zealand's iron distance record holder and Challenge Wanaka 2010 champion, Richard Ussher.

The Kiwis take on a strong international field that include the sports most prolific iron distance triathlete and Challenge Henley-on-Thames champion Petr Vabrousek (CZE) along with former world duathlon champion, Leon Griffin (AUS), Challenge Wanaka 2008 and seven time Inferno winner, Marc Pschebizin (GER) together with Australians, Courtney Ogden who finished in second in 2011, Aaron Farlow and Justin Granger.

The women's field is equally strong led by world record breaker and multiple iron distance champion, Rebekah Keat (AUS) and New Zealand's own record holder and multiple iron distance champion, Gina Crawford who returns to the sport just months after giving birth to her first child. Two times half iron distance champion, Christie Sym provides some strong competition on the back of her podium finish at Wanaka in 2011, as does Belinda Harper (NZL) former age group world champion, and former Australian Long Course Champion, Nicole Ward.

The pro field will join over 1,200 age group athletes racing across both the full and half iron distance in teams and individuals on race day on 21 January 2012. Challenge Wanaka is part of New Zealand's largest triathlon festival, the Challenge Wanaka Triathlon Festival that features events for all ages and abilities for over 2,000 participants. The festival runs from 15-21 January 2012. For further information, visit