Burns learns the winning way

By Jared Smith

Levin's Andy Burns reversed his fortune from the previous week's duathlon to take out the triathlon at the New Zealand Masters Games on Saturday evening.

The 35-year-old won the race to the finish line at the Wanganui Multisport Club, having completed the 750m swim down stream to the bike transition, then 20km cycling in two laps heading out to Upokongaro, then the 5km run heading south towards Dublin Bridge.

Burns had finished second in the duathlon, but would not be headed in the added discipline version of multisport.

He had to fight hard to overtake Wanganui's Rob Gemmell, as the 47-year-old was leading coming out of the water and at the transition onto the run.

"I caught him just after we turned around for the second lap of the run," said Burns. "I just went straight past him, I wanted to put a gap on."

Burns remembered his body cramping during the duathlon on the second leg of the run so wanted as much breathing space as possible.

At his second Masters, it was a step up on 2011 when he was fourth overall while winning his age group.

Burns said he had picked up a few tricks when it came to making quicker transitions, even passing someone during that phase on Saturday.

A regular competitor at triathlons around Wellington, the Contact Series, and veteran of three half ironmans, Burns will be back in 2015.

And he plans to enter other events during the week allowing him to stay in Wanganui as opposed to just being here during the weekends.

It was a one-two finish for Wanganui in the women's event as Laurika Hazelhurst, 40, led the way followed by Margaret Tyson, 47.

The first team home was Mike Boobyer, Bob Spooner and Bill Armstrong.

Just over 70 athletes registered to enter.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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