Inaugural undie ride to hit Tauranga


Photo by Jamie TroughtonDscribe Media Services
Tauranga cyclists gear up for this weekend’s Sundee Undee Hundee ride. Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media Services

What do you get when you invite a bunch of boxers and jockeys to a cycling event?  You get this weekend’s Sundee Undee Hundee, of course.

Throw in a mangy collection of gruds, knickers and panties and the inaugural charity bike ride, from Tauranga to Maketu and back, is catching on as the kit comes off.

Organisers and passionate cycling enthusiasts Willie Bos and Matthew Ward-Johnson conceived the idea as a fundraiser, with proceeds going towards the purchase of bikes for deserving Merivale Primary students.

“It would be great to be a part of having a good cyclist come out of Merivale but it would be just as nice to make Christmas special for a couple of kids,” Bos said.  “The staff are all very excited and are really looking forward to rewarding some of their wonderful pupils with a fabulous prize at the end of the year and we’re really looking forward to making it happen.”

The ride will start from near Maxwell’s Rd, taking cyclists over the harbor bridge, through Mount Maunganui and along the coastline to Papamoa.  Riders will then link up with the cycle trail on the new eastern arterial highway, before diverting to the Maketu Surf Club.

It’s a popular ride for Bos and his regular Sunday cycling group but this weekend will be a chance to open the experience up far wider.

“We’re a pretty friendly bunch and have a no-dropping rule on our rides, with a compulsory coffee and a catch-up at the end but this will also be a way of showcasing some of the amazing cycling that’s to be had in our area and to encourage people to get out and give it a go.”

And local businesses are leading the charge.  Maketu Pies has donated 50 of their ‘world famous’ steak and cheese pies, to be consumed at the surf club, while R-Line Sports Drinks will handle refreshments at the turnaround point.  Printing company Ricoh and Tauranga lawyers Holland Beckett have each donated $200, while Ride Bikes and Specialized are contributing to the cycles.

And as for the undies?  That’s completely up to each participant – though Bos has dug out his “lucky gruds”, a tattered pair of jockeys his mum gave him for his birthday 17 years ago.

For information on how to enter, see the group’s Facebook page here or contact Willie Bos on 021 756 286.



Voyce takes home NZ multisport title

Nelson's Trevor Voyce (left) leads Richard Ussher during the 9km kayak leg of the New Zealand multisport championships in Rotorua today.  Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media Services
Nelson’s Trevor Voyce (left) leads Richard Ussher during the 9km kayak leg of the New Zealand multisport championships in Rotorua today. Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media Services

Trevor Voyce capped a remarkable multisport progression by breaking through and winning the New Zealand championship in Rotorua today.
Three days after his 35th birthday, the Nelson athlete won the 50km feature race of the ThermaTech 3D Rotorua multisport festival, heading home Whakatane’s Sam Clark and two-time winner Richard Ussher.
Having finished fourth, third and second in previous editions of the race, it may have been preordained that Voyce should triumph this time around but he was taking nothing for granted.
“I guess you could say I’m consistent,” Voyce quipped. “It’s a really tough race right to the wire and you never know when someone’s going to put a burst in and overtake you like I experienced last year.
You’ve just got to go for it the whole way.”
Voyce crossed in 2hrs 43mins and 29secs, 2mins clear of Clark, with a strong 30km mountain biking leg through Whakarewarewa Forest proving crucial as he reeled in the runaway Whakatane star.
Last year, Voyce also had a chance to win before Australian Jarad Kohlar out-kicked him over the last kilometre but that wasn’t going to happen again today.
“Last year’s finish gave me plenty of motivation and also the nous that you’ve got to dig it in right to the end and you can’t be complacent at any stage.  That definitely helped me this year – I got onto the run and just thought I’d give it death.”
Clark, who is focusing more on ironman racing this year, was philosophical about the result. The pair also fought it out at the Coast to Coast this year, with Clark finishing second and Voyce third.
“He’s obviously been putting some serious work into his mountain biking and he’s been chasing a win here for a long time so I’m pretty happy for him to take it out,” Clark said.  “It’s also given me a bit more incentive to come back and win it as well though.”
It proved a vintage day for Nelson athletes, with Elina Ussher taking out her third title in the women’s division, beating 2013 winner Simone Maier (Wanaka) by 35secs.
“I had a pretty good paddle and was leading after the kayak and then I just went as hard as I could for as long as I could,” Ussher said. “I knew that the young, fast, pretty girls were chasing me pretty hard!”
Ussher crossed in 3:07:52, with Maier clocking 3:08:27 and Emily Wilson (Cambridge) third in 3:20:09.
Clark wasn’t the only Whakatane athlete to feature, meanwhile, with 17-year-old Hayden Wilde nearly claiming the biggest scalp of his fledgling career.  He finished fourth in the men’s race – winning the under-19 division – and was just 20secs adrift of five-time Coast to Coast winner Richard Ussher.

3D Rotorua 50km race (9km kayak, 30km mtb, 11km run)
Men: Trevor Voyce (Nelson) 2hrs 43mins 29secs 1, Sam Clark (Whakatane) 2:45:37 2, Richard Ussher (Nelson) 2:51:03 3, Hayden Wilde (Whakatane) 2:51:23 4, Marcel Hagener (Ohakune) 2:53:02.
Women: Elina Ussher (Nelson) 3:07:52 1, Simone Maier (Wanaka) 3:08:27 2, Emily Wilson (Cambridge) 3:20:09 3.

Photo by Jamie Troughton Dscribe Media Services
Photo by Jamie Troughton
Dscribe Media Services
Photo by Jamie Troughton Dscribe Media Services
Photo by Jamie Troughton
Dscribe Media Services
Photo by Jamie Troughton Dscribe Media Services
Photo by Jamie Troughton
Dscribe Media Services
Photo by Jamie Troughton Dscribe Media Services
Photo by Jamie Troughton
Dscribe Media Services
Photo by Jamie Troughton Dscribe Media Services
Photo by Jamie Troughton
Dscribe Media Services
Photo by Jamie Troughton Dscribe Media Services
Photo by Jamie Troughton
Dscribe Media Services

Hometown Leary wins NZ multisport title

Photo by Jamie Troughton Dscribe Media Services

Nobody knows the single-track trails of Rotorua like Nic Leary, although the hometown favourite needed every bit of her nous to claim today’s New Zealand multisport championships.
The 30-year-old became the first-ever local winner of the 50km feature race at the Thermatech 3D Rotorua Multisport Festival, with the Rotorua physiotherapist out-dueling two-time winner Elina Ussher to finish in 3hrs 10mins 12secs.
With surf lifesaver Danielle McKenzie blowing the field away in the opening 9km kayak on Tikitapu, Leary relied heavily on her mountain biking experience to claw back the deficit, before out-gunning Nelson’s Ussher on the run.
“Danielle smoked it at the start and I didn’t even get a glimpse of her,” Leary said.  “When I jumped out of the boat and they said I was seven and half minutes down, I thought she was gone. I could see Elina ahead of me but I knew I had a lot of work to do. I was catching a lot of guys on the bike but didn’t know if I was going well or not until I caught up with Elina. We hit the run together and I’ve never out-run her before but today I felt really good.”
So good, in fact, that by the end of the 11km run, she’d put more than 3mins on Ussher, who couldn’t add to the titles she won at the 2011 and 2012 editions of the event.
Auckland’s Emma McCosh cruised home comfortably in third, posting 3:20:41, while 19-year-old McKenzie – though she couldn’t maintain her valiant early charge – was still good enough to hold onto fourth in 3:26:47.
The men’s race was far closer, with Australian Jarad Kohlar needing a last-kilometre kick to get in front of Nelson’s Trevor Voyce.
Kohlar had a memorable day, falling out of his kayak near the end of the first leg and losing a drink bottle on the mountain bike but he held his composure and had enough to withstand Voyce’s challenge.
“I was running a bit dry at the end but sat on Trevor’s heels for the last lap and put the pressure on up the final little hill,” Kohlar, who was third in the 2011 race, said.  “I’m pretty happy to win because the standard is so high on this side of the Tasman.”
The 31-year-old crossed in 2:46:08, with Voyce finishing just 27secs back, keeping his streak going after finishing fourth in 2012 and third last year.  With Kohlar ineligible, Voyce also claimed the New Zealand multisport title.
“I had a good ride with Jarad and felt pretty consistent on the run,” Voyce said.  “I didn’t do anything special and it was my strongest performance at 3D, although I’m definitely gutted I couldn’t get Jarad near the end.  He had a great burst of speed and deserved to win.”
Whakatane’s Sam Clark made all the early pace with a slick kayak and a solid mountain bike but a niggling groin injury returned to haunt him on the run.  He eventually finished fifth, behind young guns Sam Manson (Hawke’s Bay) and Rotorua triathlete Ollie Shaw.
Bay of Plenty pair Lewis Ryan and Lydia Hale, meanwhile, wrapped up the titles in the 25km grassroots multisport race.
See images from the event at the Dscribe Media Services Facebook page:
For full results, visit
Men: Jarad Kohlar (Australia) 2hrs 46mins 8secs 1, Trevor Voyce (Nelson) 2:46:35 2, Sam Manson (Hawke’s Bay) 2:52:47 3, Ollie Shaw (Rotorua) 2:54:14 4, Sam Clark (Whakatane) 2:58:42 5, Hamish Fleming (Wellington) 2:58:52 6, Rob Creasy (Cambridge) 3:01:57 7, David Blundell (Auckland) 3:03:41 8, Peter O’Sullivan (Palmerston North) 3:05:36 9, Travis Mitchell (Mairangi Bay) 3:06:41 10.
Women: Nic Leary (Rotorua) 3:10:12 1, Elina Ussher (Nelson) 3:13:11 2, Emma McCosh (Auckland) 3:20:41 3, Danielle McKenzie (Mairangi Bay) 3:26:47 4, Sia Svendsen (Christchurch) 3:41:12 5.

Photo by Jamie Troughton Dscribe Media Services

Double winner becomes outsider



Danielle McKenzie is already a double winner at the Thermatech 3D Rotorua Multisport Festival but the odds of her adding a third title next week are decidedly slim.

The reason isn’t because of ambition or ability – more the fact the 19-year-old surf lifesaving star will be competing in multisport’s open ranks for the first time.

McKenzie’s previous wins at the 3D Festival have come in the 25km race against the top juniors in the country. She won twice, in 2011 and 2012, nearly heading off all her male secondary school rivals as well the second time.

But next week she’ll step up in distance to the 50km feature race, which doubles as the New Zealand senior multisport championship. She will be the underdog in a field that includes seasoned competitors Elina Ussher, Rotorua local Nic Leary and Christchurch-based Dane Sia Svendsen.

“I loved the 25km grassroots race,” said the former Rangitoto College student.

“Especially with the stunning mountain bike leg but I’ve always wanted to come back and race the main event. It fits well with my schedule this year although I may not have done a lot of race-specific training, I had another good surf season and I’m hoping that will at least get me through.”

The talented Mairangi Bay lifeguard captured the open board title at the New Zealand surf lifesaving championships. She also proved longer distances are to her liking by winning December’s inaugural Mount Monster, a 25km ocean-based ironman race along the Mount Maunganui coast.

And while her main upcoming focus will be on September’s world surf lifesaving championships in France, she is buzzing about getting back on to the 3D start-line.

“I’ve got no expectations this year because my last multisport race was while I was at school and this will definitely be the longest race I’ve done so far but I’m super-keen for it, especially going up against the likes of Elina Ussher and Nic Leary,” she said. “I love multi-discipline racing, whether it be in the surf or in this kind of thing, and it’s definitely something I want to focus more on in future.”


Back-to-basics Clark hunting 3D title

In the past year, Sam Clark has been a cyclist, marathon kayaker, ultra-marathoner and frustrated patient.
Next week, at one of his favourite races, the talented Whakatane athlete finally gets to be a multisporter again.
Clark is one of the more intriguing entries for next week’s Thermatech 3D Rotorua Multisport Festival, where the 23-year-old will line up in the feature 50km New Zealand multisport championship race against the likes of five-time Coast to Coast winner Richard Ussher.
Fourth in last year’s Coast to Coast and having pushed Ussher hard at the 2013 Motu Challenge, Clark went back to the multisport drawing board this year, rebuilding his running legs by joining the burgeoning stable of Tauranga coach and former Commonwealth Games marathoner Craig Kirkwood.
He led for 20km of March’s Tarawera Ultramarathon and finished the Rotorua Marathon earlier this month in 2hrs 39mins, good enough for 14th place, instilling confidence that he’s on the right track.
“Craig got me on track for the marathon and has organised a few really painful sessions,” Clark explained.  “It’s been a good start to my season getting some quality training under my belt, under the guidance of a quality coach.  He’s an old-school runner who knows it’s only going to pay dividends if it’s going to hurt. I’m really targeting a big performance at next year’s Coast to Coast and Braden Currie set the bar really, really high on the run leg this year and showed what needs to be done. Competing in the marathon is part of that, trying to raise my basic running speed to be able to get close to the likes of him.”
Though he hasn’t ridden a bike in anger since November’s Tour of Southland, Clark has also noticed the increased running focus has boosted his performance on two wheels, while he’s recently completed the King of the Harbour surf ski race and the New Zealand marathon kayaking championships at Karapiro.
The 3D race features a flat 9km kayak leg on Tikitapu (formerly the Blue Lakes), followed by a 30km mountain bike leg through the Whakarewarewa Forest and an 11km forest run to finish.
“It’s probably the most fun multisport course in New Zealand at the moment and the mountain bike leg would arguably be one of the best in the world.  The nasty, horrible, hilly run at the end to finish things gives it a little bit of everything and this race will be a good indicator of where I want to be for the next six months.”
Although defending champion Dougal Allan (Wanaka) will be missing next week’s race, Ussher, Clark, Nelson’s Trevor Voyce and Luke Osborne (Hastings) will ensure a quality battle at the pointy end of the field, while two-time winner Elina Ussher, Rotorua local Nic Leary and Christchurch-based Dane Sia Svendsen headline the strong women’s field.
The dark horse in the female ranks could be New Zealand surf lifesaving representative Danielle McKenzie, who won the 3D grassroots 25km multisport race as a schoolgirl two years ago and returns for her first crack at the longer distance.
She’s proved the longer distances are to her liking, having won December’s inaugural Mount Monster, a 25km ocean-based ironman race along the Mount Maunganui coast.
The annual Queen’s Birthday Weekend multisport festival, now in its fourth year, continues to expand, with nearly 1000 entries last year across the wide range of family-friendly events and boasting $75,000 in prizes and giveaways. Event director Neil Gellatly has also introduced a dedicated paddle-boarding division this year.
“Competitors have always been able to use any craft in the water stage but we’re keen to recognise the surge in SUP usage around the country,” Gellatly explained. “They’ve now got their own dedicated division in the 25km grassroots race and we’re keen to showcase our magnificent Rotorua playground to a new group of athletes.”
Gellatly has also noticed a strong family focus in entries this year, with multiple members of some clans – Mum, Dad and kids – all entering the festival.
People love all the options we have on offer and we warmly encourage whole families to come along and find a distance that takes their fancy and challenges them. The family that plays together, stays together and everyone who has been here knows there aren’t many better places to play as a family than in the heart of our giant Rotorua playground.”