World Championship

The Port of Tauranga Half is a qualification race for the ITU Long Distance World Championships being held in Denmark.

Join #teamkiwi 2018 in Denmark to represent your age group at the world champs!  Check out the latest info here.

The 2018 Port of Tauranga Half will still be a qualification race for the ITU Long Distance World Championships. A new directive from Triathlon NZ will see the National Championships status alternate between the North and South Island.

How to qualify? Turn up at the POT Half, race hard and fast! As a secondary selection event, there are SIX spaces up for grabs in each age group (ages 18-90!)                 

Click here to see if you can represent NZ at the World Champs and complete your selection nomination form.

Attending a World Championship event as an age group athlete is an achievable goal and brings a sense of challenge, comradeship and pride!

Intrigued? Read about 2016 teams experiences here! 

The POT Half 2017 is proud to recognise those athletes who represented New Zealand at the 2016 World Championships by sharing their profile with you and providing them with a special “World Champion Representative” race bib for the coming race so all those supporting can recognise their efforts.

Our 2016 World Champion Representatives

The Port of Tauranga Half would like to congratulate the 2016 World Champion Athletes who represented New Zealand at the 2016 Long Distance World Championships in Oklahoma, USA.

We are proud to acknowledge the time and dedication they have put in to showcase New Zealand on the World Triathlon Stage and applaud their efforts!

*Athletes in alphabetical order by surname

Name: Garth Barfoot
Age Group: 80 – 84
POT Half Result: 2nd
World Champs Result: DNF

Highlights: It did not seem so at the time when I looked at my watch I found that I had taken one hour and a half to do the first leg of the 4 km swim instead of the sixty minutes I had hoped for. The wind had got up since we started and created that shallow lake chop that most swimmers find difficult. What was later to be revealed by those with GPS watches was that the wind had blown the turning buoys further out, making distance travelled by them 4.8 km rather than 4.0 km. Rather than continue and probably give work to the already over worked rescue services I voluntarily withdrew from the race. As it eventuated no one seventy or over completed the swim.

Unsurprisingly once I had warmed up and changed into dry clothes I had 8 hours of energy left.

What was I to do?  Visit a museum? Watch television? Read a book? Nay, just turned myself into a support crew for the others in the ITU World Long Distance Triathlon Championship at Oklahoma.

Name: Daniel Begley
Age category: 25-29
World Champs Result: 3rd

Highlights: My main World champs highlight was the bike course familiarisation. I ride to the course with one of the other NZ athletes Brett and we arrived to find a motorcade waiting for us. We got a police escort through the whole course, who stopped all traffic on the course as we came through. This included all of the 4 lane expressways we were on. A real American way of doing it.

The Other highlight was the race week build up, meeting all of the other guys on the NZ team.

Name: Phil Bilbrough
Age category: 45-49
POT Half Result: 27th
World Champs Result: 22nd

(could have been 21st but the guy just in front of me looked like a 30 year old, but turned out to be in my age-group. Dang Americans caring about their appearance.)

Highlights: Meeting other team members. I went to Motala, Sweden in 2015 and had a blast hanging with my NZ teammates. I can hardly remember the event. So a top tip is to buy the event photos. It was the same in Oklahoma – great people. I arrived in Oklahoma City from the ITU World Champs in Cozumel, Mexico and it took me more than a few days to get myself up for the long distance race. And I did it with a bit of help from my team mates. It was a hard race, but that’s the way it should be. It needs to be hard, so there is more to talk about and thump the bar about, “I was robbed!”, “If only…”. Talking the race to bits and sinking beer – it’s the best feeling. The relief of finishing and pride that you feel when you overcome something so huge in a faraway country with conditions that you will likely never experience again. I put my name down for age-group selection because I wanted a big challenge, to see places that I would never have thought to go, yet now I would do it for those reasons and to meet and hang with great people who love a great sport.

Name: Tracey Chatterton
Age category: 30 – 34
POT Half Result: 7th
World Champs Result: 11th

Highlights: A finish line has never looked so sweet. It was a challenging day on the course thanks to the hot gusty winds. To make matters worse my calf muscle went “pop” on km 2 of the 30km run. I’ve never had to dig so deep both physically and mentally to keep putting one foot in front of the other. It was thanks to the encouragement of my teammates, other competitors and supporters that I kept going. It was this comradery that made the event.

Name: Louise Dumee
Age Group: 35 – 39
POT Half Result: 9th
World Champs Result: 16th
Finishing time: 9:59:24, Division Place 16th in my AG, Gender place 107, Overall 330

Highlights: Highlight of my race was definitely finishing. It was a gruelling swim and getting through it was only one of the challenges of the day. Reflecting back on the race, even though it was hard, it was an accomplishment to be able to finish regardless of the conditions of the day. Representing NZ for the 2nd time abroad, is always an honour.

Name: Ian Fulton
Age category: 60 – 64
POT Half Result: 10th
World Champs Result: 15th

Highlights: I think having the opportunity to be part of a team representing New Zealand is something quite special and enhanced when we participated in the parade of nations and mixed with athletes from other countries at the pasta party before the event.

In the team hotel, event details were shared and advice given and it was just great to spend time with like-minded people. The logistics of the event were a bit tricky as the transition area was quite a distance away. However, some of the team had hired cars and offered lifts to those who needed transport.

The event itself was challenging. The swim was ‘different’ as wind played a huge part in creating surf like conditions and it was very shallow in spots. The bike was scenic and the run well supported by the locals and friends and family of the competitors. They had fun signs dotted along the run course and that helped distract you for a bit. Garth should get a mention as he did a great job of popping out everywhere to yell words of encouragement.

If you get the opportunity to represent NZ in a triathlon, take it as you won’t regret it.

Name: Pamela (Pammy) Meyer
Age Category: 30 -34
World Champs results: 2nd

Highlights: This race meant more to me than others, partly to prove to myself and the doctors that I could return to racing at a relatively competitive level. It was my first real race back post surgery. 2 years prior I split my kneecap in half with 10km of the run to go at the World Champs in China, it was an excruciating 10km but I finished in 2nd place. So Oklahoma was my chance to see what I could do post 2 bout of surgery, 5 months on crutches and a year off running. The conditions were pretty brutal for race day in Oklahoma City, the lake resembled a washing machine, the swim was extra long,  the temperature was 36 degree+ and we had 30-40km headwinds on the bike and run. In other words, a day which tested the best of us and made the finish line even sweeter especially placing 2nd in my age group and in the top 4 non-professionals. To me the highlight, on top of being back at the start line, was the team, I love being at events where everyone bonds instantly because we all have an element of crazy to do such events. The support and kindness of every there was amazing both on and off course. Jen Gregory, the team manager from Tri NZ, was also phenomenal and I have huge admiration for her!

Name: Stephen Morriss
Age category: 30 – 34
POT Half Result: 4th
World Champs Result: 10th

Highlights: Representing New Zealand and wearing the silver is always a career highlight along with meeting Triathletes and making friends from New Zealand and around the world. The Long Distance World Champs in Oklahoma this year made for honest racing with an easy course complicated by extremely hot and windy conditions.

Highlights include meeting Steven Adams of the Oklahoma City Thunder, venturing to a corner of the world I would have never seen otherwise and of course the race itself (even if it didn’t quite go to plan).

Name: Susan O’Brien
Age category: 30 – 34
POT Half Result: 10th
World Champs Result: 8th

Highlights: Representing NZ at a world class event was such a humbling experience.  From being a positive role model to my kids and family who came to watch me compete in America, to overcoming adversities and getting to the starting line was a true blessing. From the lead up to the event, the event and post events, memories were created to treasure forever.  If I had to choose the World Champs highlight, it is definitely the event itself!  From watching inspiring elite athletes kick start the swim and to competing on an international field, you get this amazing buzz! I was able to also race along side my fellow NZ team mates where we all supported each other with words of encouragement as we battled the gruelling hot humid winds together.  Being part of a collective journey to do NZ proud by going into the unknown and pushing ourselves mentally and physically with a supportive atmosphere was invaluable.  If you are thinking of going to the Worlds, I say go for it!  Anything is possible if you try.

Name: Sarah O’Grady
Age Group: 25 – 29
POT Half Result: 9th
World Champs Result: 7th

Highlights: The World Champs was my first time competing overseas therefore everything about it was incredibly exciting (being so new to the sport). Tauranga was only my first half ironman and I didn’t have all the flash gear. I never dreamed I would qualify especially riding on an old chunky bike which I had purchased off TradeMe for $200. Once I heard the good news, I was completely committed to the goal. I was lucky enough to have the support of Saint Cycles North Shore who helped me acquire a speedy new machine. The most memorable thing about going to the World Champs for me has to be the conditions and being able to perform in those conditions. On arriving in Oklahoma, we were all shocked by how hot it was – 35 degrees or so. The conditions were far harder than anyone expected – Wetsuits were banned due to the water temperatures being too high, the lake was like a washing machine with many swimmers blown off course and swimming a whole lot further than 4km, the winds on the bike were like you’ve never experienced before, and then to finish off with a 30km run in sweltering heat… The joy of crossing that finish line was out of this world, especially for first timer. The experience has given me the confidence to sign up for the full Taupo Ironman in March.

Name: Shirley Rolston
Age Group: 60 – 64
POT Half Result: 2nd
World Champs Result: 1st


Contribution from Garth Barfoot – Shirley Rolston completed the 4km swim in 2 hrs 14 min 10 secs, just 50 seconds inside the cut off time. A wind storm came up just after the start, not only making the normally calm lake almost unswimmable but blowing the buoys further out so that swimmers actually had to cover 4.8 km. Even more remarkable is that no one older than Shirley’s 67 years, male or female, completed the swim within the cut off time.

Name: Karen Russo
Age category: 35 – 39
POT Half Result: 6th
World Champs Result: 4th

Highlights: Definitely up there with one of the best experiences in my life, just getting there from a health and fitness perspective to completing the race and every moment during!

Totally enjoyed visiting Oklahoma City and other places that are probably not on your bucket list of places to visit.

The people I met along the way- locals, team mates and manager, competitors and even the race director… (race prep wasn’t going so well on the morning!)

I definitely had my fair share of first time overseas racing ” hiccups” and I learnt so much and had just the best time.


Name: Malcolm Tweed
Age category: 55 – 59
POT Half Result: 2nd
World Champs Result: 15th

Highlights: I could ramble on about the race day decision by the organisers to go with a 4k non wet suit swim in shitty conditions blah blah, but nah. Race done. It wasn’t the highlight of Oklahoma City for me. What was more important was the personal pride I had in having earned a chance to be a part of a great group of amateur athletes representing New Zealand at a world championship event. Stories, comradeship and memories. Many of my mates said to me “Oklahoma City, why there? Steven Adams?” At the time I said “Because I might not ever have another chance.” But after being there, I’m so glad I went because I got to see how a community has had to deal with the aftermath of a tragic event – the 1995 Oklahoma bombing. 170 people died and 340 buildings were severely damaged or destroyed. The relevance to me is I have spent the last 8 months commuting to Christchurch most weeks and both cities have stories to tell about the challenge of rebuilding – lives, homes, work places, community places, shops and so on. Race hard, represent and discover.

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