After a solid half ironman season to date, Tauranga's Hannah Wells is now gearing up for a challenge outside her comfort zone.

Just over a week after the professional athlete produced the breakthrough performance of her half ironman career, scoring her first big win at the Tauranga Half on January 12, she has been asked to join an all women's relay team that will run from Los Angeles to Las Vegas at the end of March.

"I'm teaming up with a group of good girls, really good runners and so we'll be making our way across part of America really, which will be pretty interesting," Wells said.

The relay event is called The Speed Project - a 550km running race that started in 2014 with six runners wanting to see if they could cover the distance from Los Angeles to Las Vegas over 41 consecutive hours. It skipped 2015 but since 2016, athletes from around the world have taken part.


Wells said she was approached by marathon runner Lydia O'Donnell to see if she would join her in a team with "a solid group of girls" from Australian to make their mark. Their biggest competition is a team from America, she believed.

"We're actually going to go and try to break the record for that run," Wells said.

"I'd say the record will be broken. It just depends if its them or us who does it quicker."

"When she approached me I thought well, like it's not what i would usually do but I've had a pretty solid half ironman season so it could be something quite cool and kind of like a life experience I guess to do."

She said the event would involve each runner taking turns at covering the distance. As one team member runs, the rest are in a following RV, also having a support crew with them too.

This will be her first race in the United States and she is looking forward to having a look around before doing half Ironman races there in the future.

The Speed Project is just one event Wells has planned for coming months, with the athlete heading south next month for her first race since the Tauranga Half.

She has entered Challenge Wanaka - New Zealand's largest triathlon festival and one of the world's toughest triathlon courses - on February 16.


Then, after the American race, Wells says she'll be heading to Melbourne for another half Ironman in April.

From there she is looking at another couple of races in Asia before taking some time out ahead of her first Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Nice, France in September.

"This is the race season as such, so just a few more months of pretty consistent racing then I'll probably have a bit of a season before the build up towards Nice in September."

Wells qualified for the world champs in her second race of the season at the Ironman 70.3 Western Sydney, finishing the half Ironman course of a 1.9km swim, 90km bike and a 21.1km run in second place with a time of four hours, 16 minutes and 44 seconds.

Since it is her first world champs, Wells wants to use it to gain experience and learn from it to work towards improvement in 2020, when the Ironman 70.3 World Championship is hosted in Taupō.

"I'm not really going into it with a huge expectation other than to do my best and learn ahead of the 2020 world champs in NZ.

"I think there's still a lot I can learn."

In her career, Wells wants to win more races around the Asia Pacific region and be consistent with her podium finishes, with an ultimate goal of claiming a top 10 finish at the 2020 world champs.

"To get close to the top 10 in the world would be pretty cool."