Triathlon: Warriner returns to her winning ways

By Cameron Leslie

Northland's Olympic triathlete Samantha Warriner has continued her return to sport in style.

Warriner, who took time away from triathlon to start a family, cleared away from a large field of entrants to comfortably win the women's section of the Avantiplus Mangawhai Triathlon.

Sunday's result, where Warriner won by more than 11 minutes ahead of Auckland's Sally Jackson, capped off a strong weekend for Warriner who placed third in Auckland's "Stroke and Stride" event.

In the men's section at the Mangawhai Triathlon, Matt Taylor, of Auckland, was first out of the water following the 500m swim and continued on to be first male home in 49.26 minutes, just under two minutes ahead of Warriner.

A big contingent of triathletes ventured north from Auckland, which swelled the numbers for the annual event organised by Sport Northland.

Perfect conditions greeted the competitors which catered for a swim or kayak option, along with the bike and run legs in open, veteran, team and under-20 categories.

During Auckland's "Stroke and Stride", Warriner was beaten by 20 seconds by fellow Northlander, and four-time series winner, Simone Ackermann.

Warriner sits third overall in the "Stroke and Stride"series, 48 points shy of first place. With only two races remaining in the series, it is impossible for her to win the event but nevertheless her journey back into competitive racing has begun. Full results from the Mangawhai Triathlon will be in tomorrow's Northern Advocate.

Triathletes young and old have the opportunity to compete in two further Northland triathlons this season, with the Ray White Allens Kids Tri in Whangarei on March 17 and the AvantiPlus Kumara Triathlon at Kai Iwi Lakes on April 6. More information is available at www.northlandtri.co.nz.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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