Melanie BurkeMelanie Burke on the podium at Powerman 2011
(Photo: Powerman 2011; click to enlarge)

Last year she came more or less out of the dark and stepped into the spotlight. The victorious Melanie Burke from New Zealand was in 7:11:43.6 after 10km running, 150km bike and 30km running, more than three minutes faster than Eva Nyström from Sweden and eleven minutes ahead of Erika Csomor from Hungary.

On the 2nd of September this year Burke will be the one who's chased by everybody. The 32-year-old knows this and arrives in Zofingen earlier than everybody else, to be prepared for everything.

Melanie Burke, the reigning queen of the ITU Powerman Long Distance Duathlon World Championships, will, in Zofingen, compete in her first duathlon of the year. "There aren't any Duathlons in New Zealand until after Zofingen, but I've done three triathlons, the best result was 2nd - I'm fairly new to swimming." She likes the race in Zofingn very much. "Yes it's amazing, I love the atmosphere and the support oft he crowd, and the event is very well organised. The course is also very tough and challenging."

The 32-year-old athlete from New Zealand already arrives on the 26th of August in Zofingen at her homestay family. "I want to step on the podium again, though I know it will be much harder this year with everyone aiming to beat me!" She hopes that she can be even faster this year than last year. "My cycling training has been going well but I have had a running injury which hasn't allowed me to do quite as much."

Burke is prepared for a tough race. "Lucy Gossage from Great Britain went well in the European Champs, and I'm sure I'll need to watch Eva Nyström from Sweden and Erika Csomor from Hungary again." In the latest PowerWOMAN World Rankings, Burke with her 1,650 points is just 350 points behind the leader Eva Nyström. In 3rd place, with 1,550 points, is May Kerstens from the Netherlands, followed by Susanne Svendsen from Denmark (1,450), Erika Csomor from Hungary (1,250) and the European Champion Lucy Gossage from Great Britain (1,000).

You can still sign in for the Powerman Zofingen (over the Long Distance only in the age groups), at