Nelson's Cameron Jones and Whakatāne's Corrinne O'Donnell displayed their multisport talent last year when they dominated Wellington's Fine Signs Crazyman.
This year they proved it was no fluke, showing an ability to shrug off pressure as they each defended their title.
The Crazyman was established in 1991 and a look through the Hall of Fame shows it has long been a proven ground for future champions.
World champions Steve Gurney, Kristina Anglem, Jill Westenra, Emily Miazga, Fleur Pawsey, Gordon Walker, Jesse Simson and Richard and Elina Ussher have all won the annual Hutt City event.
Some won the Crazyman after their world titles, but for many it was part of their journey to becoming world champions, and both Jones and O'Donnell look well-equipped to do the same.
Last year Jones became the youngest winner of a major multisport race. Still only 18, he was even more impressive at the weekend as he led from almost start to finish.
Wellington Harbour was picture-perfect for the 13km kayak from Eastbourne to Petone.
Jones came off the water tracked closely by Edgecumbe's Thomas O'Donnell, the husband of eventual women's winner Corrine.
However, the Nelson teenager opened up a 10 minute gap on O'Donnell during the 28km mountain bike up the Hutt River Trail and over Belmont Regional Park.
New Plymouth teenager Calum Sutherland also stormed through the ride to pass O'Donnell, but could not catch Jones, who added to his lead during the 13km trail run down Korokoro Stream to eventually win in 3h 46m 15s.
The women's race took a similar tack, with Corrinne O'Donnell closely tracked by Wellington veteran Vicki Vertongen during the kayak.
But once on the bike, the 28-year-old rode away to a 10-minute lead which she extended on the run to win by 19 minutes, in 4h 45m 21s.
The race for runner-up was closer as Vertongen moved into second with a strong ride only to have Wellington's Kathryn Bunckenberg storm through the run to claim second place, three minutes clear of Vertongen.
The Crazyman is one of New Zealand's longest-running multisport races. More than 200 lined up for the Lower Hutt event, including athletes from as far afield as Taipei.
Local stalwart Les Morris, who has done all 29 Crazymans to date, was racing again and hopes to have at least one more year in him.
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