Former Black Cap keen to finish in top 10 in age group in Auckland Triathlon.

A date with pain will keep Mark Richardson from the pleasure of working in the commentary box for Sky TV at the Cricket World Cup final tomorrow.

"I'd love to be commenting onthe cricket but I turned it down to compete in the Auckland Triathlon that day," said the former Black Cap, who is also host of the Radio Sport Breakfast Show, Crowd Goes Wild television show and The Block reality show.

"I would be letting too many people down who helped me ... when you say you will do it, you owe it to them."

Richardson, 43, has struggled to fit in 90 minutes' daily training for the swim, bike and run parts of the national championship event, with such a busy schedule with cricket.


But he has his heart set on competing - and beating - 50 others in his group of 40- to 44-year-olds who will do a 1.5km swim, 40km bike and 10km run.

The best of the age groups in the standard distance get a place on the New Zealand age group team to the World Championships in Chicago in September.

"I came 12th in my age group when I tried last year and so my goal is to get in the top 10 this time."

Richardson played 38 tests for New Zealand from 2000 to his retirement in December 2004.

A crowd favourite opening batsman, he earned the nickname "Rigor" for his slow running style.

However, Richardson took up running after work to keep fit, did trail runs and marathons, and says he was on track for a sub-3 hour ASB Auckland Marathon in 2013 until a cramp attack interfered.

Triathlon New Zealand asked him to be an ambassador and he accepted, which has meant starting a new sport as a "total novice".

"Fortunately, I've had wonderful swim coaching from Andrew Mackay, of Boost, while Rob Dallimore, of Foot Traffic, is my main coach and writes training programmes for me."


Richardson's Sunday will be filled with sport: He competes in the age group races from 7.30am and plans to go to watch the Warriors play the Broncos at Mt Smart Stadium at 2pm, and head back into the city to Queens Wharf to watch the Elite Men world championship starting from 4.40pm.

"And then I'll watch the cricket and have a big Sunday."